Coastal cycle routes can often be endless hills (hello, West Wales) or town after town (hello, the South Coast). Not this one, which is almost entirely flat, very rural, and thoroughly relaxing.
Route 72 is best known as the coast-to-coast Hadrian’s Cycleway from Carlisle to Newcastle. Before reaching Carlisle, however, it ambles along the Cumbrian coast on a pleasant, largely level series of country lanes and roadside cycleways, with excellent views over the Solway Firth. On occasion it dives inland to avoid a busy road or just to take in a different vista.
The coastal towns of Whitehaven, Workington, Maryport and Silloth are full of history from when this was a thriving maritime area.
The route’s current limit is Ravenglass, but it will extend down to Barrow-in-Furness in time. A railway line runs parallel throughout, so it’s easy to plan a one-way ride.