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Three popular cycling routes near Cambridge (plus one route from Cambridge to the coast and back)

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Cambridge, a historic city renowned for its academic heritage and vibrant cycling culture, offers more than just picturesque architecture and bustling streets. For both the novice and seasoned cyclist, the area around Cambridge boasts a variety of cycling routes that promise exhilarating rides and breath-taking scenery.

Whether you’re using a route planner cycling app or looking for the best cycling route app to guide your journey, these routes are easily accessible and marked with unique landmarks and serene landscapes.

Here’s a closer look at three popular cycling routes near Cambridge that should make your cycling bucket list:

1. Kneesworth Road-B1039-Barley Road

1. Kneesworth Road-B1039-Barley Road
1. Kneesworth Road-B1039-Barley Road

Distance: Approximately 34 miles

Elevation: 310 metres

Difficulty: Easy to moderate

Route highlights: Meldreth, Royston, Barley

Starting from Cambridge, this route takes you on a scenic loop through some of the most tranquil and picturesque parts of the Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire borders.

Ideal for cyclists looking for a bit more of a challenge without venturing into highly strenuous territory, the Kneesworth Road-B1039-Barley Road route offers a perfect mix of mild hills and flat stretches.

Landmarks along the way include the historic town of Royston and the quaint village of Barley. Cyclists can enjoy a mix of architectural beauty and rustic charm, with plenty of spots for a relaxing break or a quick bite. The rolling countryside, lined with fields and occasionally dotted with livestock, makes for a refreshing escape from the city. This cycling route is especially popular in the spring and summer months when the landscape bursts into vibrant colours.

The charm of this route lies not only in its natural beauty but also in its perfect balance of physical challenge and visual rewards. Riders can push themselves on some of the hilly stretches, while the more leisurely sections allow for a calm ride through the lush English countryside. This route is a testament to the rural allure that lies just a stone’s throw from bustling Cambridge.

2. B1052-Littlebury Green Road-Chrishall Grange Road

2. B1052-Littlebury Green Road-Chrishall Grange Road
2. B1052-Littlebury Green Road-Chrishall Grange Road

Distance: About 43 miles

Elevation: 551 metres

Difficulty: Intermediate

Route highlights: Littlebury, Chrishall, Duxford Imperial War Museum

Perfect for cyclists who enjoy a bit of historical exploration alongside their ride, this route spans across gentle hills and lush farmlands leading to the historical landmarks like the Duxford Imperial War Museum. This museum, accessible from the route, offers a fascinating glimpse into military history with an impressive collection of aircraft and exhibitions, making it a worthwhile detour.

The B1052-Littlebury Green Road-Chrishall Grange Road route also passes through several delightful villages, including Chrishall, known for its traditional English countryside views. With mostly gentle terrains and few challenging slopes, this route is ideal for a leisurely day out cycling, suitable for both beginners looking for a manageable challenge and experienced cyclists on a relaxed ride. The entire path is a display of England’s timeless rural beauty, interspersed with moments of historical intrigue.

This route is a great choice for those using cycling apps to discover cycling routes near them, as it offers a comprehensive experience combining safe riding conditions with captivating scenic and cultural stops.

3. Broadway-Guided Busway Bridleway-Histon Road

3. Broadway-Guided Busway Bridleway-Histon Road
3. Broadway-Guided Busway Bridleway-Histon Road

Distance: Approximately 30 miles

Elevation: 195 metres

Difficulty: Easy

Route highlights: St Ives, Histon, Cambridge North

This route is perhaps the best for those searching for a cycling route that combines accessibility with a touch of adventure. Starting directly from Cambridge, this route utilizes the guided busway bridleway, providing a safe and uninterrupted path that is perfect for those who prefer a more urban ride. The path is well-maintained and is a favorite among local cyclists for its ease and accessibility.

As you cycle towards Histon and then on to the charming town of St Ives, you'll encounter a variety of cafes and shops, ideal for grabbing a coffee or exploring local delicacies. The return journey on the same path offers beautiful sunset views over the fields, making it a popular choice for evening rides. This cycling route captures the essence of Cambridge’s cycling-friendly environment, making it accessible and enjoyable for everyone from the leisure rider to the daily commuter.


4. Cambridge-Southwold-Cambridge Classic

4. Cambridge-Southwold-Cambridge Classic
4. Cambridge-Southwold-Cambridge Classic

Distance: 178 miles in total; can be completed over three days, or in two days for more seasoned cyclists.

Elevation: 2,803 metres

Difficulty: Moderate to challenging.

The Cambridge to Southwold/back to Cambridge Classic route was ridden by Lionel Birnie, journalist and co-founder of The Cycling Podcast back in 2018, and is a route that just had to be shared.

This route offers an engaging experience for those who want to immerse themselves deeply in each region's rural beauty and endurance cycling. The route, which extends significantly longer than typical day rides, traverses an array of landscapes, offering a rich tapestry of the local environment and community.

This multi-day journey is perfect for cyclists looking to push their limits while enjoying a well-paced adventure. The route can be broken down into three manageable stages, each presenting unique challenges and spectacular views. For the ultra-determined, compressing it into two days provides an exhilarating test of stamina and speed.

Each stage of Lionel's route is crafted to enhance your connection with the countryside, passing through quiet villages, alongside flowing rivers, and across open fields. Cyclists can revel in the peacefulness of rural England, punctuated by overnight stops that allow for rest and reflection.

For those ready to embark on this adventure, it is advised to prepare thoroughly. Ensure your bike is well-maintained, pack sufficient hydration and nutrition, and plan your accommodations in advance if you're splitting the route into several days. A GPS device and a detailed map are indispensable as you navigate through less frequented paths.

But as you would expect, all three stages are available on Strava via the links below:

Cambridge-Southwold-Cambridge Classic Stage 1

Cambridge-Southwold-Cambridge Classic Stage 2

Cambridge-Southwold-Cambridge Classic Stage 3

Cycling essentials & things to take with you

Before you set out on any of these routes, it’s important to pack smart and prepare for the journey ahead. Here are some essentials that every cyclist should carry:

Helmet: Safety first! Regardless of your experience level, always wear a helmet to protect yourself in case of accidents.

Water bottle: Staying hydrated is crucial, especially on longer rides.

Bike bags: Essential for carrying your supplies, bike bags can be strapped to your bike frame or seat.

Repair kit: Include a spare inner tube, a patch kit, a mini pump, and basic tools to handle minor repairs.

Weather-appropriate clothing: Check the forecast and dress accordingly. Layering is key so you can adjust to changing conditions.

Snacks: Energy bars and bananas are great for a quick boost on longer routes.

Navigation tools: Use a reliable cycling route planner or cycling route app on your smartphone, or consider a GPS device if you’re going off the beaten path.

Emergency information: Carry ID and emergency contact information, and let someone know your planned route and return time.

Planning today for tomorrow’s adventure

These four cycling routes near Cambridge offer diverse experiences that cater to different tastes and abilities. Whether you are using a cycling route planner or a cycling route app, each route provides unique opportunities to explore the rich landscape and cultural heritage surrounding Cambridge. They are not just mere routes; they are gateways to discovering the heart of England on two wheels. So, pick your route, prepare your bike, and set off on a memorable cycling adventure that you won’t soon forget!

Brought to you by the bike accessory experts at https://timetoride.cc/

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