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Top 5 UK Vegan Cycling Trips

The number of vegans in the UK is growing year on year, with the number of plant-diet-based Britons quadrupling between 2014 and 2019.

By Alicia WalkerPublished 4 years ago 5 min read
Top 5 UK Vegan Cycling Trips
Photo by David Marcu on Unsplash

The number of vegans in the UK is growing year on year, with the number of plant-diet based Britons quadrupling between 2014 and 2019. It is believed that there were 600,000 vegans in the country last year. Although, that only accounts for 1.16 per cent of the population, there’s clearly evidence of a growing appetite for animal-free cuisine.

And with the number of cyclists increasing by as much as 200 per cent over the course of the UK lockdown, healthy lifestyle choices are clearly becoming the new normal when we decide to travel and eat out.

One survey measured the number of vegan restaurants in each UK city in comparison to the size of its population, to conclude which cities were the most vegan friendly to live in and visit.

We’re taking a look at the top five entries on that list and making our recommendations on the best cycling routes to take and where to stop off for a bit of food on the way.

5. Bristol

According to the data, Bristol is the fifth best city to live in if you’re vegan. There’s no surprise actually – the former industrial heartland is quickly growing a reputation for good food and restaurants that cater to a variety of dietary requirements.

Did you know there are five Michelin-star restaurants in Bristol? It’s also home to the Bristol and Bath Railway Path, a 13-mile route on the National Cycle Network.

Made over the remnants of the Midland Railway, the track is a three-metre wide nature corridor which allows for an easy commute between the two cities. Of course, history can be found along the path, with numerous sculptures and locomotive machines dotted down the former railroad. It’s an easy cycle route, but it makes for an enjoyable day out.

If you’re looking for a vegan-friendly snack on your trip to Bristol, we’d recommend Eden Café in Clifton Village. They offer an animal friendly afternoon tea, with all the spoils. A recent addition to the Bristol café scene, the owners boast their backgrounds in health and wellness. Cycling will not be the only thing to help your health here.

4. Newcastle upon Tyne

The home of messy nights out and even messier post-night out takeaways, you don’t have to sacrifice junk food when advocating for animal welfare on a cycling trip to Newcastle.

Junk It Up has all the staples of a classic takeaway with a vegan twist, with a selection of pizzas, nachos, and southern-fried-fricken (fake chicken) to choose from. We know that cycling can make you build up an appetite, and this is just the place to fill that hole.

Let’s not forget, no cycling trip is complete without some actual cycling. Luckily, like their selection of vegan friendly eateries, Newcastle does not disappoint when it comes to their cycling routes.

You can enjoy a traffic free route through this urban city by pedalling alongside the River Tyne, traversing down towards the North of England’s most famous coastline beaches. It’s about 10 miles long and should take about one hour. The sights are certainly no less impressive, with seven amazing bridges connecting Newcastle and Gateshead to spectacle at. The Millennium Bridge deserves a special mention, with a designated cycle lane to avoid pedestrians. This course rivals any other UK river route you can cycle down.

3. Glasgow

More skilled cyclists may find enjoyment in the hilly contours of this Scottish city. What’s a city break without some historical appreciation? We recommend taking a trip up towards Balloch Castle before returning to the culture capital of the UK.

Sat on Loch Lomond, this country park is the perfect escape from the busy city. But it still lives up to the reputation of Glasgow’s loud music scene, having hosted concerts and gigs for the likes of Oasis and R.E.M.

Returning to Glasgow after a nice stop off in this idyllic location shouldn’t take too long. At about 37 miles long, this little adventure should only take between three to four hours to cycle.

Before you head off for the day, a hearty meal is an essential requirement to keep your energy levels up. We recommend a full Scottish breakfast from Picnic on Ingram Street to give you that morning kick. Of course, there’s no meat to be found in this meal, with the café providing a full vegan menu. While breakfast is available all day, you may want to try one of their smoothies for that extra health kick.

Our next entry doesn’t take you too far away if you wanted to make a small holiday out of your tour-de-tofu.

2. Edinburgh

It’s quite amazing really – for a country who’s national dish is haggis, a savoury meat pudding, their capital city is number two on the list for best vegan cities.

Lucky Pig on Lothian Street has been serving up vegetarian and vegan meals for years. With options including burgers, nachos, and mac ‘n’ cheese, this vegan hotspot will satisfy any animal ally.

Cycling is one the best ways to be a tourist in Edinburgh. A journey through Holyrood Park will allow you to see all the best sights in the Old Smoky town. From the Scottish Parliament to the Palace of Holyrood House, there’s so much to see on your bike.

Edinburgh also benefits from some of the best off-road cycle paths and on-road lanes in the UK, so navigating the busy streets shouldn’t be too difficult. You may find a lot of commuters travelling through the city, so an electric mountain bike may help you keep up to the speed of the built-up town centre.

1. Norwich

Who’d have thought that Norwich was the best UK city for vegans? According to the research there are more vegan restaurants in this city for the size of its population than anywhere else in the country.

And for cyclists, Norwich is just as friendly. A series of interconnecting ‘pedalways’ allow you to get around the city on your bike with ease. It’s best to plan your route around the historic landmarks that you’d like to see. We’d recommend starting at Norwich Castle and Norwich Cathedral before venturing out towards Whitlingham Country Park and along the River Yare.

After all showing off your cycling prowess in the best vegan cities the UK has to offer, a well-deserved drink is in line. The Tipsy Vegan in Norwich can certainly help you there. A vegan buttermilk burger will go down well with a few specialty cocktails.

A healthy lifestyle is a way of life, and with offerings of vegan cuisine and an increasing number of safe and accessible cycling routes in UK cities, there’s never been a better time to look after our bodies while helping to prevent animal cruelty.

The quality and experience of dining out as a vegan is improving every day, we just need to keep on pedalling the successes and benefits of keeping active and eating well.
















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    AWWritten by Alicia Walker

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