Best local cycling routes
Avoid boredom on your bike by exploring your local hood with a fresh two-wheeled perspective in our pick of the best cycling routes. Tackle some of these routes with or without the family.
Foxton Locks Trail
This 9 mile route is relatively flat and starts off from the Foxton Country Park car park, Gumley Road. Head over the wooden bridge to join the towpath and cross Rainbow Bridge which will leads you to Union Wharf, Market Harborough. Stop off at The Waterfront Cafe for a quick bite to eat before cycling back via the country lanes, making the route circular. Cycle the route here.
A fantastic place for cyclists of all abilities, here you can choose from the family-friendly, off road Wood Farm trail as well as the slightly longer and more challenging Shell Brook trail. The latter route is off-road route and takes you around the whole site through a mixture of trees and woods so a great place to get reacquainted with nature and is better suited to intermediate cyclists. Cycle the route here.
Ashby Woulds Heritage Trail
Now forming part of the new National Forest, this route runs from Measham to Moira. You’ll pass through old Donisthorpe Colliery site, now a Woodland Park, and there are links to the old mining village of Oakthorpe and Moira Furnace and past the Ashby Canal which has now been rebuilt. Cycle the route here.
Loughborough to Shepshed
Explore the lesser-known cycle routes of Loughborough town before heading out to Shepshed. This 9 mile route takes advantage of the the traffic-free cycling/walking route known as the Garendon Trail that goes along National Cycle route 6. It then moves to a local cycle route past Charnwood Museum cafe – currently closed. The return route retraces the route back via Shepshed. Cycle the route here.
Tugby to Melton Mowbray
A quiet rural route from Market Harborough through Melton Mowbray with great green countryside views and numerous twists and turns perfect for working up your appetite. Refuel at Cafe Ventoux, Tugby with a freshly roasted before heading to the rural foodie capital of Melton. Stop here and head back or carry on towards Newark and Lincoln if you have the legs for it. Cycle the route here.
A nice, gentle 8 mile family trail that starts over in Normanton and goes to Whitwell while enjoying fantastic views of the iconic church. This is a gentle meander through this stunning area and the route is mostly flat and off-road so easy and safe for the kiddies too. When the weather warms up, stop off for lunch at one of the numerous picnic spots along the way. It’s circular, fully and suitable for the whole family, including the dog. Cycle the route here.
Hambleton Peninsula, Rutland
If you like scenic, level cycling with views, this 15 mile route may just be for you. Starting off tin Whitwell and head towards Oakham, stop off at the Hambleton Peninsula and then do the return journey. The route covers mixed terrain and has a few hills and at times runs next to the road. Cycle the route here.
Leicester to Market Harborough
If you’ve built up your cycling legs during lockdown, this straight-forward but slightly longer route is a quick off-road escape from the city, mainly on quiet country roads/lanes. It follows National Cycle route 63 and 64 and and passes through several pretty Leicestershire villages into Market Harborough where you finish near the train station. From here, head into Bowden and stop off at the Great Bowden Stores (pic above) for a bite to eat and coffee. Cycle the route here.