800-mile off-road cycle route launched from England to north coast of Scotland

The Great North Trail connects the Peak District to the north coast of Scotland

Female cyclist in Scotland (Arretera/Getty)
(Image credit: Universal Images Group via Getty)

An 800-mile off-road cycle route has been launched connecting England and the north coast of Scotland for the first time.

The trail takes riders through Loch Lomond, Trossachs National Park, Loch Ness and Cape Wrath in Scotland, and the Peak District, Yorkshire Dales and Kielder Forest in England. 98% of the route being a combination of off-road cycle routes already in existence, forest roads and quiet tarmac roads.

>>> Destroy and rebuild – GBDuro adventure race across Britain

The route comes after a high-level of demand from cyclists for routes away from traffic, according to Cycling UK.

Obscura Mondo Cycle Club helped Cycling Uk with the creation of the trail in Scotland, with volunteers helping to map out an off-road route totalling 368 miles from Glasgow to the lighthouse at Cape Wrath.

Map of the Great North Trail (Cycling UK)

Cycling UK's head of campaigns, Duncan Dollimore, said: "We've created the Great North Trail because we recognised very little has been done to promote national off-road trails.

"For example, plans to extend the Pennine Bridleway to Scotland were published 20 years ago, but still haven't been implemented.

"And yet we know there is an appetite for more cycling access to the countryside as off-road trails can be ideal for families to ride safely, away from traffic and city pollution."

In June, EF Education First's Lachlan Morton won the 2,000km Land's End to John O'Groats GBDuro endurance race.

The Australian took just under 159 hours to complete the four-'stage' race, the format of the race involving four timed 'stages', with the clock only stopping when riders reach checkpoints, allowing competitors to sleep with the time stopped before starting the next leg.

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Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.

Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).

I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.