As Stages 2 and 3 of the Tour of Britain Women whisk through Cheshire for this year's race, we've been inspired to showcase some truly exceptional cycling routes across the county. There's a lot of room to explore in Cheshire and what better way to do so than on two wheels? There's something for everyone, with all sorts of terrain, locations and difficulty levels. So whether you're after a gentle ride with the family or something a bit more challenging, try out some of these cycle routes.

Macclesfield Forest – Cat & Fiddle Pub Loop from Langley 

Difficulty – Difficult 

Estimated time – 2:17 hours.  

Distance – 14.8 miles  

Located near Macclesfield and passing the cat and fiddle pub this cycling route is ranked difficult due to the abundance of uneven surfaces, flooring and steep climbs. The route starts next to a car park and ends in the same location. The 14.8-mile loop is paved in areas and the remainder of the route is uneven natural surfaces, this area of the ride is a single track and is at the top of a steep uphill segment which you may have to decent and push your bike. This route is suitable for all skill levels of riders but having a good level of fitness and some experience will help when it comes to the more technical segments of the journey. 

Delamere Forest  

Difficulty – Easy 

Estimated time- varies depending on route taken. 

Delamere Forest is a great place to practice your technical skills and combined with some great tracks that lead through the forest, there is something for everyone. The forest has a number of cycle routes and offers a variety of fun for all levels of ability. These tracks are great for families as theroutes are moderately easy with wide paths and have shallow climbs and descents making it easy for the whole family to ride together. The first route is the Blakemere Trail which is a scenic route that includes some picturesque forest riding that loops around Blakemere Moss. The route is quite easy and is around 3.6 miles (6km). The Whitemoor trail is longer at 6.8 miles (11km) and is slightly more difficult due to the longer length of the route, but it allows you to access the more peaceful, unseen areas of Delamere forest making the extra few miles worth it.  

Sankey Valley Trail

Difficulty - Easy

Distance - 4.5 miles

Enjoy a super, waterside cycle as you follow Sankey Brook's course and the now disused Sankey Canal. Take in meadows, woodland and a wetland nature reserve with a variety of birdlife.

The path along the Sankey Canal continues all the way to St Helens

Bollin Valley Way

Difficulty – Hard

Estimated time – varies depending on route.

Distance – 24 miles

Bollin Valley cycle route follows all the way along the River Bollin and around Macclesfield Forest it’s a more popular route due to the scenic views. This route is not for new comers it is advised to use this route that your experienced or confident with cycling due to most of the journey being on country roads which are notoriously uneven and have sharp corners which can be more challenging with cars on the roads, the main section of the route is not suitable for small children. But further on in the ride the route joins another cycle path called the Trans Pennie Trail which is good for families as the paths are safer and wider. There are multiples return route maps available depending on where you want to cycle, this is a great route for a more difficult ride.

Beeston Castle – Queens Park Suspension Bridge Loop from Chester

Difficulty – Easy

Estimated time – 1:51 hours.

Distance – 27.1 miles

This route is especially great for its location and easy accessibility as it starts and finishes at Chester train station and passes multiple attractions including Beeston Castle, Chester Cathedral and it also runs along part of the River Dee. It is an easy cycle route for all abilities of riders with any fitness level making it great for families with children or large groups as it allows you to cycle and explore the city of Chester at the same time. The 27.1-mile ride is mostly well paved and flat as the route is on the road with only a few hundred yards being unpaved and inclined, making it a great fast way to experience and view the sights of our picturesque city.

Alderley Edge - The Wizard Trail

Difficulty - Easy

Distance - 10 miles

This trail takes you through some attractive Cheshire countryside and is ideal for an afternoon's cycle. Starting at Alderley Edge, not far from Alderley Park and the start of Stage 5 of the Tour of Britain, highlights on the route include the Wizard's well, the 15th century Alderley mill and National Trust Hare Hill. There is also some lovely scenery at Windmill Wood.




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