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If lockdown hasn’t got us walking, it’s had us turning to peddle power and getting back in the saddle.
And while it’s fine to cycle to the shops or round the block to get some fresh air, there are loads of great bike routes around the Liverpool City Region that offer a little bit more, like history, fabulous views and the chance to build some stamina!
So here are 10 – but don’t forget to stick to government guidelines and, if you can’t do a particular route now, park it for when you can:
This route is based on the Loop Line Path, an old railway line which has been converted to a footpath and cycleway (until the 1960s, its main use was by frequent night-trains carrying fresh veg from Lancashire farms to London’s huge Nine Elms vegetable market). The bike ride, which also passes the National Wildflower centre before heading towards and into Halewood Park and its lovely pond, is just over nine miles in length and along mostly purpose built cyclepaths so it’s good going without any rough terrain.
This great route was one of those helped by Sustrans’ National Big Lottery Funded project to extend the National Cycle Network into the heart of thousands of communities across the UK, and it’s not hard to see why.
The Liverpool project ‘Everton Park and the Mersey’ provides a vital east-west link in the north of the city, connecting Everton Park and its fantastic panoramic views of Liverpool, the Mersey and beyond, to the towpaths of the Leeds-Liverpool canal, and eventually the Mersey docklands.
It starts at Everton Park where the elevated position offers one of the best views of the, winding down towards the Eldonian Village, before riding on to the canal towpath and then back towards Everton Park again.
This lovely five-mile route across a mostly flat surface showcases the Wirral Peninsula at its best, with beautiful views across the coastline.
Starting and finishing at Wirral Country Park in Thurstaston and taking in the Wirral Way, the mainly traffic-free route follows the track bed of the former Birkenhead Railway route from West Kirby to Hooton.
You journey through Cubbin’s Green where you can enjoy the jaw-dropping views over the Dee Estuary, before riding to Ashton Park and returning back along the same path to complete the journey.
As the names suggests you’ll be treated to some fab views of wildlife as well as Antony Gormley’s ‘Another Place’ statues with this cycle route, making it a fab time out as well as the chance to get some much-needed exercise in the saddle.
Beginning at Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre, it takes you past the former homes of John Smith, Captain of the Titanic, and Thomas Henry Ismay, founder of the White Star Line shipping company, eventually leading onto Burbo Bank Road North.
At this point, you can either extend the ride by heading into Crosby or ride back along the prom, passing Another Place, before passing the Seaforth Freeport, which houses the Seaport Nature Reserve and is noted for the hundreds of Cormorants that roost there.
Starting and finishing at the Seacombe Ferry Terminal, this cycle ride takes you around the historic coastline of Seacombe and New Brighton with views of the famous Liverpool skyline and across Liverpool Bay.
The ride follows the coastline towards New Brighton, going through Fort Perch Rock, built to defend the Post of Liverpool during the Napoleonic period, and the New Brighton Lighthouse which hasn’t been in use since 1973. It takes you down King’s parade and past the North Wirral Coastal Park and Bidston Moss Nature Reserve along the return journey to the ferry terminal.
If ever there was a cycle tour that showed off what Liverpool had to offer, this is it.
It boasts natural green space, off-road cycle routes and the scenic National Trust Property Speke Hall. The ride begins at the Otterspool Park and heads north alongside the River Mersey and past the Festival Gardens. From there it’s a short ride along the shoreline to the Albert Dock, circulating around the Arena and into the heart of the city.
Cycling through Duke Street you turn right past Liverpool Cathedral and St James Mount and Gardens, travelling on the National Cycling Network route 56 through Toxteth, Princes Park and Sefton Park. The route then meanders through Allerton, passing Calderstones Park and towards Childwall before converting the roads to the traffic free Liverpool Loop Line of the National Cycle Network 62.
Travel south to Speke bypassing the airport and stop at Speke Hall where (for a fee of course, unless you’re a National Trust member) you can enjoy the grounds and gorgeous scenery.
Go along the Trans Pennine Trail on this flat 11-mile route.
Start at Sankey Valley car park, just off Cromwell Avenue, heading along Sankey Canal before following cycle paths beside Callands, Westbrook and Chapelford. Next, take the Whittle Brook Greenway towards Lingley Mere followed by some quiet roads through Penketh to the River Mersey and Trans Pennine Trail.
After looping around the boats in the harbour , you take the Trans Pennine Trail back towards Warrington along the St Helens Canal, looping around Saxon Park before returning to the Sankey Valley car park.
The Squirrel route links Southport to Formby and also passes several nature reserves including the Queens Jubilee Nature Reserve, Birkdale Nature Reserve and the Sands Lake Nature Trail. The route ends close to the entrance of a National Trust site, famous for its red squirrel population.
Formby is well known for its beautiful beaches, and there are spectacular views across the Irish Sea and, sometimes, even the mountains of Cumbria can be seen.
While Southport has the second longest pier in the country and, on a clear day, allows visitors striking views of the hills of North Wales.
The Runcorn Cycleway forms a loop around Runcorn new town and passes the 900-year-old Norton Priory and Big Wood, a woodland park which is a safe haven for wildlife including foxes, squirrels and even buzzards. The route is 11 miles long and mostly on cycle tracks.
Runcorn’s history dates from the 10th century when a fortification was built here as protection against the Vikings. In 1776 the Bridgewater Canal was completed, stretching all the way from the Mersey at Runcorn to Manchester, and began to be used for transporting the coal which powered the Industrial Revolution.
The Owl route is a 10-mile circular route starting at Maghull station and passing through Maghull, Old Roan, Aintree and Melling.
The route begins in Maghull and takes in the picturesque village of Melling and, for long sections, runs alongside the historic Leeds-Liverpool Canal before arriving in the home of the National, Aintree.
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