Cycling

The relatively flat landscape is ideal for cycling and there are a variety of cycle paths throughout the area some forming part of national trails and others contributing to local cycling networks.

 

National & Regional Cycle Routes

Preston is the mid point of the National Cycle Network which comprises traffic free routes and traffic calmed or minor roads.  Sections of the National Cycle Routes (NCR) 62, 6 and 55 are within the Ribble Coast and Wetlands.

2009 National Cycle Network map 

The Lancashire Cycleway follows minor roads where possible and comprises two circular routes meeting in the historic village of Whalley in the Ribble Valley to the east of the Ribble Coast and Wetlands.  The southern loop Route 91 takes in the West Lancashire plain providing easy cycling. 

Local cycle way networks

Lytham St Annes has a network of signed cycle routes linking quiet roads and cycle paths.  Cycle on the Promenade and pass Lytham Green with its windmill to Fairhaven Lake and Granny's Bay to see excellent views across the Ribble Estuary.  At the lake find the RSPB visitor centre, a children's playground and lakeside café for refreshments. 

Cycle to Preston via NCR 62 and Lancaster canal.  For a circular tour use NCR 6 and follow Lancashire Cycleway Route 90, to make the link back. 

In Preston and South Ribble there are over 50 kms of traffic-free cycle paths including routes along the River Ribble, the Ribble Link and segregated routes alongside main roads. 

The Penwortham cycleway crosses the river by Penwortham Old Bridge contributing to the network of cycle routes north and south of the river.  Follow the cycle path to Cop Lane or Kingsfold, or take the cycle route across Hurst Grange Park.  You can continue onto Hutton largely on cycle paths.  The route is used by NCR 62 (continuing to Southport).  There are also cycle paths and cycle lanes alongside the busy A59 in Penwortham, and out on the dual carriageway to Longton and Much Hoole. 

The River Ribble Cycle route follows the north bank of the river between Penwortham Bridge and Brockholes Bridge and forms part of NCR 6.  Between Penwortham and Walton Bridge there are cycle paths on both sides of the river.  On the north of the river you cycle alongside a tree lined avenue past Victorian Parks.  On the south bank the path takes you through riverside meadows.  From Walton Bridge you can continue along the north side of the river to Fishwick Bottoms and Brockholes Bridge on an idyllic path through riverside woods alive with birdsong in the spring, where it is hard to remember that you are still in a city.  There is a cafe in Avenham Park and riverside pubs by Walton Bridge and in Broadgate. 

In 2010 the route should be extended to Brockholes Wetlands, a major new nature reserve. It is also planned to extend the route to Preston Docks. 

There is cycle access along the south bank of the River Ribble between Leyland Road and London Road which also provides links into the Old Tram Road (NCR 55)and Preston Junction Local Nature Reserve, a multi user path which continues south east towards Bamber Bridge.

Preston & South Ribble Map1 

Preston & South Ribble Map 2

West Lancashire has many quiet minor roads with hardly any hills so it’s an ideal place to cycle.  You can cycle to WWT Martin Mere and Mere Sands Wood, hiring bikes in Burscough from Jack Parker 01704 892442 if you wish. Burscough has rail links to Southport, Manchester, Liverpool and Preston and Burscough Interchange provides a bus/rail connection.  Signed routes from Burscough Bridge station give access on foot and cycle to WWT Martin Mere passing farm shops and tea rooms for those not in a hurry.  The rides in the Cycle Rides in West Lancashire leaflet all start from railway stations. 

Southport Promenade is part of NCR 62 and an ideal way to explore Sefton's Natural Coast.  It is also the western end of the Trans Pennine Trail

 

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