First things first: you’ll need to get yourself something to ride. With branches at Cambridge Station and the Grand Arcade, Rutland Cycling is a great place to start. Both branches have a fleet of bikes available for hire, including children’s bicycles, and you can book your slot in advance of your visit via the company’s website. City Cycle Hire, based at the Lammas Land Carpark, also offers bike rentals, as does Grounds Cycle Centre at Milton Country Park.
Cycle Training Courses
If you’re new to cycling, a bit rusty or simply want to gain more confidence on two wheels, Outspoken Training offers a range of courses. Delivered by fully qualified National Standard Instructors, the one-to-one sessions can be tailored to your specific needs, covering everything from road safety to route planning.
Cambridgeshire County Council produces maps of cycle routes for the city and surrounding villages, which can be picked up from the Tourist Information Centre and in many shops, or you can download them here: cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/travel-roads-and-parking/cycling/cycle-routes-and-maps.
Routes To Try
A cycle along The Backs and around the city centre, taking in Cambridge’s world-renowned architecture, is a must, but if you fancy venturing farther afield, there’s much to explore in the area. Head out of the city southwards, passing Addenbrooke’s Hospital, and you can climb your way up one of the city’s few hills to Gog Magog. Offering woodland, wildlife and beautiful scenery, it’s a joy to explore, as is Wandlebury Country Park, right next door.
For a lovely riverside ride, follow the Cam all the way from Jesus Green up the towpath to Waterbeach, where you can enjoy lunch at The Bridge – a 200-year-old pub with a large beer garden and good food. For a smooth, traffic-free cycle with nice views of the Cambridgeshire countryside, the Busway to St Ives is a great option. You can hop on near Cambridge Science Park to the north of the city, passing Histon and Fen Drayton Lakes, and exploring the pretty market town of St Ives when you arrive.
Another classic local ride is Cambridge to Saffron Walden, via Linton and Bartlow – be sure to schedule a pitstop at Bicicletta, a cycling hub with fantastic coffee, brunches and lunches. Around a 40-minute drive from Cambridge, Grafham Water is England’s third largest reservoir, set in 1500 acres of gorgeous countryside. There’s a nine-mile track around the perimeter, making it a fab destination for a cycle or walk.