One of Sustrans' longest routes, NCN 5 tours the Thames Valley, Midlands and North Wales Coast.
From Reading through Oxford to Birmingham, it's mostly undulating country roads with a handful of traffic-free cycleways along the way - see our detailed guides to the Thames Valley and Oxford-Birmingham.
Through the West Midlands, canal paths and other traffic-free trails keep you safe from traffic. There's currently no signposted route across Cannock Chase.
NCN 5 resumes at Stafford to follow towpaths and rail-trails through the Potteries, with a winding, piecemeal course through Cheshire largely following the broad Weaver valley. After Chester, an excellent, largely traffic-free cycle route runs all the way along the North Wales Coast to Anglesey.