A “hidden gem” cycle route in North Yorkshire has been crowned the best in the UK and Ireland by Big 7 Travel.

The North York Moors Cycleway was praised for offering views of “stunning” landscapes and “rugged” coastlines - not to mention the “charming” pubs to stop off at along the way.

It comes as the travel experts invited some of the UK and Ireland's most passionate cyclists to select their favourite cycle routes, resulting in a diverse list that caters to riders of all levels.

The ranking ranges from tranquil paths ideal for beginners to demanding trails for experienced cyclists, encompassing the idyllic wildflower meadows of the Cotswolds, the dramatic chalk cliffs along the Kent coast and the iconic Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland.

@sarahjwestwood Mtb on the North York Moors #lapierrebikes #girlswhoridebikes #northyorkmoors #whitby ♬ Good Day - Nappy Roots

Big 7 Travel commented: “There are now thousands of miles of dedicated cycle paths crisscrossing the country, including car-free tracks, quiet country lanes and former railway lines. But with so much choice, which should you choose for your next two-wheeled adventure?

“We’ve rounded up 20 of the best cycle routes in the UK and Ireland based on feedback from our social audience and editorial opinion. Each of these routes offers something unique, whether it’s breathtaking vistas that stretch for miles or challenging climbs guaranteed to test your limits.

"We’ve included routes suitable for beginners, families, and advanced cyclists to make sure no one feels left out too.”

You can see the full list here.

Why is North York Moors Cycleway the best cycle route in the UK?

Big 7 Travel explained: “Known for its challenging hills and stunning landscapes, Yorkshire is a top spot in the UK for cycling enthusiasts. This circular route through one of Yorkshire's national parks remains a hidden gem in the region.

“If you're feeling adventurous, you could tackle the full 171 miles, starting and finishing in Pickering. However, for a more leisurely ride, a shorter section will still be enjoyable.

“Only the most experienced cyclists would dare to take on the entire 171-mile journey in a single day, requiring an early start and possibly finishing after dark.”

It added: “Less hardcore riders can split the trip into 2, 3, or even spread it out over a week, with popular overnight stops in Pickering, Whitby, Scarborough, and Thirsk.

@lifeofpippa_ [AD] 5 accessible experiences you should try in the North York Moors! Try adaptive cycling in Dalby Forest, where the friendly Cycle Hub team are on hand to kit you out ready for the forest's accessible trails (or for lower-energy expenditure, hire a Tramper instead) Board the North Yorkshire Moors Railway with a Seaside Special ticket and travel from Pickering to Whitby via a scenic steam train journey - there's a lovely and spacious accessible carriage and even an accessible loo on board Visit the ruins of Whitby Abbey and wander around the indoor English Heritage exhibition - there are lifts and ramps to help you access everywhere you'd like to go and on a clear day the views of the coast from the top are stunning Spend some quiet time in Helmsley Walled Garden, taking in the gorgeous greenery and feeding the on- site chickens - and don't forget to stop by The Vinehouse Coffee for cuppa and freshly baked cake too Hire a Tramper from Lake District Mobility and follow the accessible trails at Sutton Bank National Park to discover the aptly-named 'finest view in England' - I'm desperate to go back and try the White Horse Trail next time too! If the North York Moors isn't already on your radar as a fabulous inclusive holiday destination, then consider this your sign to start booking your own adventure - there’s plenty more tips and info available on the Visit England website! [AD - content repurposed from previous Instagram paid partnership with Visit England!] #VisitEngland #NorthYorkMoors #WheelchairAccessible ♬ Freedom - Kygo & Zak Abel

“The route boasts a total elevation gain of 12,759 feet, offering a fantastic taste of the UK's stunning landscapes, including heather-covered hills, dense forests, and rugged coastlines.

“Along the way, you'll find charming pubs and cyclist-friendly cafes perfect for a well-deserved cake break.”

10 best cycle routes in the UK and Ireland

  1. North York Moors Cycleway, North Yorkshire
  2. Giant’s Causeway to Benone Cycle Route, Northern Ireland
  3. Elan Valley Trail, Wales
  4. The Caledonia Way, Scotland
  5. Isle of Wight Round the Island, Isle of Wight
  6. South Downs Way, Sussex
  7. The Northumberland Coastal Route, Northumberland
  8. The Borrowdale Bash, Cumbria
  9. The Taff Trail, Wales
  10. Yorkshire Dales Loop, Yorkshire

You can find more information about each best-named cycle route on the Big 7 Travel website.