Bikepacking in the UK was more of an adventure than I bargained for, but the effort paid off

Having explored further afield, Isobel returned to discover that the best roads and trails had been closer to home, all along - they'd just been hiding under standing water

I have just returned from a solo-cycle trip which took me from South-eastern Turkey to England. I received many questions from people I met during the journey, frequently revolving around my gender and lack of companionship; however, one of the most common inquiries was about the potential for cycle touring (or, bikepacking) in the UK. Everyone wanted to know where to go, what to see and how to get there.

I was puzzled. I began to wonder, how had I missed apparent treasures closer to home? So, after cycling thousands of miles over multiple countries, I ignored the “get a real job!” groans from friends and family, and alighted the ferry at Dover and set out to continue to out-pedal adult commitments across some of the UK’s bicycle routes. 

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 Isobel Duxfield is currently a freelance journalist and consultant on gender equal mobility for several public sector organisations. She previously worked in Brussels for a sustainable mobility network.