On 20 May cyclists across Europe will ride 6,000kms on the North
Sea Cycle Route, celebrating five years of the world’s longest
signed international cycling trail. Sustainable transport charity,
Sustrans, is supporting the event with Volunteer Rangers, who
maintain the route in England and Scotland, attempting to cycle all
UK sections in one day.
So where does this trans-European trail go? At just over 6,000km
(around 3,788 miles) the route follows the North Sea coast,
passing through Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark,
Sweden, Norway, Scotland and England. This event celebrates the
successful partnership between these countries with cyclists
throughout Europe simultaneously cycling local sections of the
route to achieve the challenge – 6,000km, eight countries, one day!
Linked by the many North Sea ferries sailing out of major ports, it’s
the ideal holiday choice for exploring Europe in a more
environmentally-friendly way. Cyclists can discover a wealth of
cities and villages, beaches and farms, lowlands and uplands, cliff
paths and byways. Not many will want to cycle the route in one go,
but with a wide range of places to eat and sleep along the way,
plenty can enjoy the trail on shorter breaks.
In the UK, the North Sea Cycle Route uses sections of the
National Cycle Network and runs from Harwich, following the east
coast of England through Hull and Newcastle and on to Edinburgh.
From there the route hugs the coast to Aberdeen and Inverness,
ending the UK leg in the Shetland Islands – a total of 2,299kms
Tony Ambrose, Sustrans Ranger Programme Manager, said:
“Volunteer Rangers, who look after the North Sea Cycle Route in
the UK, will join other cyclists across Europe on 20 May to
celebrate five years of this truly impressive trail. They act as the
‘eyes and ears’ for the charity by litter picking, improving signs,
cleaning graffiti and cutting back vegetation, ensuring the paths are
safe and attractive to use.
“The greatest achievement of this route has probably been the
international co-operation in creating a long distance route linking
eight countries, offering plenty of choice for holidays that don’t
involve flying. There’s so many sights and attractions to see; what
ever you don’t manage one year can be enjoyed the next!”
Anyone interested in becoming a Sustrans Ranger can find out
more by calling 0117 915 0110 or e-mail
Further information about Sustrans, go to their website: www.sustrans.org.uk