Inspiration to get cycling this summer.

Last month I talked about a crowdsourced approach to mapping cycling infrastructure using 360 images using relatively low-cost kit.

Here in the UK, the National Cycle Network is made up of 8,400 km of traffic-free paths with the remaining 12,101 km on-road.

National Cycle Network UK

You can see the entire network interactively here.

Each route is numbered and the numbers follow a defined numbering system.

National Cycle Network UK Sign

When you’re on route, you can see the signposts indicating the number, direction, and towns/cities along each route.

According to Sustrans who act as custodians of the network, in 2019-20:

  • 4.2 million people used the network
  • 70.9 million car trips were saved by using the network
  • £1.64 billion was spent in local businesses by leisure and tourist users
  • £21.5 million was saved by the NHS through the Network’s impact on people’s health

With May and June gave us some brilliant weather here in the UK, me and my friends decided to make the best of it by taking to our bikes to explore some of the cycle network, and take part in some Map the Paths challenges along the way.

Here are some of the captures…

Bristol and Bath Railway Path (Path numbers: 4)

View on Map the Paths.

The Bristol and Bath Railway Path is a 21 kilometer route on the National Cycle Network, connecting Bristol to Bath.

See Jim Gayes’s setup for capturing the 0.5km Staple Hill Tunnel along this route.

Above you can see the defunct Warmley Station now housing a great cafe for a rest stop that’s almost equidistant between the two cities.

More info: Sustrans website

Drakes Trail (Path numbers: 2, 27)

View on Map the Paths.

Drake’s Trail is a 22-mile walking and cycling route, starting in the maritime city of Plymouth and ending in Tavistock, on the wild western edges of Dartmoor.

More info: Sustrans website

New Forest Ride (Path numbers: 2)

View on Map the Paths.

This ride follows a section of the railway line between Brockenhurst and Wimborne which was known as Castleman’s Corkscrew.

More info: Sustrans website

Your ride here?

Take part in a Map the Paths capture challenge by uploading your imagery of the UK’s cycle network (or your own local rides).

Not sure how to get started? This post will explain everything.

I believe that together that we can capture imagery for over 10% of the UK’s network this summer.

Are you in?


Posted by:

David Greenwood

David Greenwood, Trek View Chief Explorer



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