E-bikes are transforming the two-wheeled experience for many cyclists across the globe. Powered by a rechargeable battery, e-bikes provide the rider with a little added oomph to help them go that extra mile.
As reported by the Bike Storage Company, between January and October 2020, one pound in every five spent on bicycles went towards e-bikes. What’s more, motoring and cycling retailer Halfords predicts that by 2050, 1.5 million e-bikes will be sold in the UK’s major cities in that year alone.
Not only are these modern innovations seen as an alternative to the traditional bicycle, but they could even be used in place of petrol and diesel-powered vehicles – particularly over shorter distances. They’re also becoming more popular for use on staycations, whether you take your own or hire one at your destination. E-bikes will potentially allow you to explore more of an area than you otherwise would have on a regular bicycle.
Whether you’re thinking of organizing an e-bike inspired adventure for your next staycation, or are just looking to zhuzh up your weekend itinerary, here are three of the UK’s best cycle routes, tailor-made to be taken on with an e-bike.
Southern Broads Loop, Norfolk Broads
The world-famous Norfolk Broads can be explored in so many different ways. From taking a boat out and meandering through the waterways, to using your own steam to tread the many footpaths that zig-zag across this stunning area, there’s no wrong way to admire the Broads. But for a truly unique experience, why not take to two wheels and tackle Norfolk’s most testing trails in the comfort of your e-bike?
There is so much to love about this enchanting corner of the country, and enjoying it on your e-bike is the best way to ensure you can see as much of it as possible. From a range of wildlife, to historic villages, to quaint pubs and cafes where you can refuel and re-energize, every one of the crowd-pleasing routes has its own unforgettable features.
If you’re looking to use your e-bike to its full potential, take on the Southern Broads Loop – one of the longest recognized routes in the region, clocking in at 61km. The trail starts and finishes at Whitlingham Country Park, taking you across the River Yare and through some quintessentially scenic villages en route.
Elan Valley, Wales
With its varying landscapes and endless breathtaking vistas, Wales is something of a cyclist’s paradise. There are countless trails to choose from, from short, family-friendly paths, to some of the most testing tracks in the UK.
One of the most acclaimed is the Elan Valley Trail, which will take you through the mountains in the very heart of the country. Along the route, you’ll pass three reservoirs that were created over 100 years ago to supply water to the city of Birmingham. They provide the backdrop for this unforgettable cycling experience that has to be seen first-hand to truly be appreciated.
Most of the path is tarmacked, making for a comfortable and relatively straightforward ride. But you will have the chance to put your e-bike through its paces as you reach the northern end, which is unsurfaced and on a steady incline.
Applecross Peninsula, Scottish Highlands
Riding through the Scottish Highlands features on the bucket lists of cyclists the world over. With awe-inspiring views waiting around every hairpin turn, the Highlands’ cycle routes are truly in a league of their own.
Scotland’s boundless natural charm and beauty are encapsulated in the Applecross Peninsula, nestled on the northwestern coast. Pack up your e-bike and glide along the 96 kilometers of tarmacked road that loops around the local lochs, with the route starting and finishing in the village of Torridon. You’ll even be treated to views of the neighboring Isle of Skye as you make your way along the northwestern coast.
Even with the added thrust of your e-bike, this route isn’t one for novices, with its near 2,000m ascent putting your pedal power to the test. There are several restaurants and cafes dotted along the route where you can recharge, as well as plenty of accommodation options, should you decide to tackle the route over a couple of days.
Read also: Check out best UK travel destinations by electric bike in this overview article.