Whichever English cathedral you visit this year, you will be able to arrive by bike thanks to a unique partnership between Cycling UK, the British Pilgrimage Trust, Sustrans and the Association of English Cathedrals that now links every Church of England cathedral in an initiative to promote greener travel and mental and physical wellbeing. It is hoped that the route will be extended to other nations of the UK in the future.
There are many ways to complete this route, both on-road and off-road, but however you arrive at a Cathedral you will be welcomed. Each cathedral will carry a CCR stamp/sticker. A coveted CCR Finishers Medal is planned to be available to all those who have completed the full 42 cathedrals (CCR/PP passport or stamps may be required).
To find out about opening times and cafe and other facilities at cathedrals you plan to visit, the easiest way is to look in the ‘visit’ section of their website. You can find links to the cathedral websites.
Officially the route starts at England’s most northerly cathedral, Newcastle, and from there winds its way around the country, taking in history and natural beauty at each leg of the journey.
The days range from panoramic hill views, lakes, river and canal rides to quiet country back lanes and bustling cities. Cyclists aren’t expected to ride all 42 cathedrals in one go, although the “42 cathedrals in 42 days” relay challenge is planned to become an annual event. Most cyclists will be tempted by the cathedral-to-cathedral day trips, with almost all destinations benefiting from train services allowing cyclists to catch the train in one direction, either there or back.
Each cathedral has appointed a dedicated cycle champion to improve the cycle-readiness of their buildings, ensuring a warm welcome for visiting cyclists.
Terrain The published CCR route takes mostly paved surfaces suitable for all skill levels and makes use of existing trails where possible. However, if you want to switch to off-road, each leg of the journey offers huge variety, including a section of the King Alfred’s Way.
Navigation The route is not signposted, but very often you are following a recognised cycle route. Parts of the route will require far greater emphasis on your own navigation skills to stay on track, so with so many sites of interest to look out for, scenic vistas to enjoy and coffee shops to visit, don’t forget to keep one eye out for the cathedral spire.
Cycle with Purpose Why not cycle cathedral to cathedral for your chosen charity or support Cycling UK’s Break the Cycle appeal, which aims to help improve people’s wellbeing through the charity’s community cycling clubs, activities and projects nationwide. Here is the justgiving link so you can join us in fundraising for this fantastic cause or donate to support those who are cycling the route. Or, aside from charity, dedicate the journey to your own inner purpose.
Please note: This is not a Cycling UK route and and has been brought about with the help of Cathedral Cycle Champions and the cycling public so may be subject to change. If you think a route could be improved please get in touch at [email protected]