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    Bike Tour
    The Five Countries Tour

    1 review(s)

    Next Trip(s): 1st May | 7th Aug Duration: 13 Days / 12 Nights

    From €4,550 View Prices & Dates

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    Travel Planning and Advice

    Trip created by Darragh Devaney
    View Darragh's Profile

    Region: Multi-Location
    Trip Type: Biking
    Accommodation: Classic
    Max Group Size: 8
    Confirmed: When 3 Traveller(s) Book
    Deposit From €1,137.50 €1,137.50


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    Download Itinerary

    Cycle through the 5 countries of Great Britain and Ireland – all in one highlight-packed bike tour.

    Over 13 days ride 750 km, experience the different cultures and the best of what’s on offer in these islands.

    This unique itinerary provides the amazing opportunity to cycle through the 5 countries of England, Wales, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland – all in a single highlight packed adventure.

    We start in England’s Yorkshire Dales National Park, where our route heads south into Lancashire. Then we cross the border into Wales and ride through Snowdonia National Park before hitting the historic coast. A short hop by boat leads to the Isle of Anglesey and from there across the Irish Sea to Ireland and Dublin for a day of rest in one of Europe’s greatest capitals. We then head west within Ireland, exploring the roads of County Donegal before crossing the border back into the UK in Northern Ireland. Here we follow the spectacular Antrim Coast (some say the best stretch of coastline in Ireland) past the remarkable Giant’s Causeway. Then from Northern Ireland, it’s a boat journey to our final country – Scotland. Here we ride through Dumfries & Galloway on rolling roads. Farms, green hills and gentle coastlines provide the background to the end of our journey. Our final day passes through Keir Mill where the pedal bicycle was invented back in 1839 before rolling into the 17th century Drumlanrig Castle – a majestic end to our memorable tour of all 5 countries of the British Isles.

    Need a bike? See our bike rental page for details.

    Trip Highlights

    • Ride through the fantastic 5 countries of Great Britain & Ireland.
    • Experience the culture of 5 different nations journeying through the best of scenery from wild mountains, to scenic coast, castles and charming villages.
    • Explore the roads made famous by the Tour de France, Tour of Britain & Tour of Ireland.

    Day by Day Itinerary

    Day 1 – York and the Yorkshire Dales

    You will meet your guides at York Train Station in England and transfer to our start point at on the edge of the desolate but beautiful Yorkshire Dales. Over a pub lunch, your guides will brief you for the day ahead. Our opening ride follows a lovely route around the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to the quaint village of Leyburn. We then ride through the valley of Wensleydale before crossing into the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Our destination for the evening is near the village of Reeth where we stay in a local inn and enjoy a welcome dinner. (L, D)

    Distance: 38km / 23 miles Elevation Gain: 585m / 1,920 ft

    Day 2 – Yorkshire and the Tour de France

    In 2014, Yorkshire was the proud host of the Grand Départ for the Tour de France. Today’s route follows much of the 2014 race’s Stage 1 and provides the opportunity to test yourself on the amusing Anglo-French climbs of the Côte de Buttertubs (532m) and Côte de Cray (416m). We’ll ride through some of England’s most iconic and picturesque scenery, typical of the Yorkshire Dales. Today is one of the most challenging of the trip but the rewards are ample. By the time we reach the village of Malham, you will have ridden one of the best day rides in the UK. (B, L, D)

    Distance: 82km/ 51 miles Elevation Gain: 1,319m/ 4,326 ft

    Day 3 – Yorkshire Dales to the Forest of Bowland

    Enjoy a relaxing start today after yesterday’s expedition. Leaving the Yorkshire Dales National Park, behind we cross into Lancashire and the Forest of Bowland. This happens to be the geographic centre of Great Britain, which seems a fitting place to pedal through on our 5 countries tour. We ride through to the village of Waddington where we take a late lunch. Then we transfer south to Oswestry near the English/Welsh border. (B, L, D)

    Distance: 45km/ 28 miles Elevation Gain: 425m/ 1,394 ft

    Day 4 – Across the English/Welsh border

    From Oswestry, our bike tour heads west into Wales. Central and north Wales are fairly mountainous which makes for great and, at times, challenging From Oswestry, our bike tour heads west into Wales. Central and north Wales are fairly mountainous which makes for great and, at times, challenging cycling. Immediately you will notice a different culture to England. Welsh is often the first language and the national identity is strong. Passing through the rolling valleys of the east, the Milltir Cerrig mountain pass presents a barrier to entering Snowdonia National Park. However, the climb of 300m/900ft is at a steady gradient and the increasingly impressive views provide motivation. The descent over 8km/5miles is a blast and leads us to lunch on the beautiful azure shores of Bala Lake. The second half of the day journeys through the wild Welsh scenery on roads ideal for bike riding. Climbing higher into Snowdonia National Park, our destination for the evening awaits at the end of another amazing descent into Ffestiniog. (B, L, D)

    Distance: 81km/ 50 miles Elevation Gain: 1,202m/ 3,942 ft

    Day 5 – Snowdonia, Anglesey and Dublin

    Our second day in Wales begins in the mountains of Snowdonia. In the morning we will pass through many mountain villages steeped in Welsh mythology and legend. Continuing west and our destination is in Caernarfon – home to one of the most impressive castles you will find anywhere and a World Heritage Site which overlooks the Menai Straits. After a late lunch and time to explore the town, we will cross by boat to reach the Isle of Anglesey. From here it’s a short distance to Holyhead where our journey across the Irish Sea begins. It’s just over 2 hours by fast boat to Dublin where we’ll be ashore in time for dinner in the city. (B, L, D)

    Distance: 54km/ 34 miles Elevation Gain: 707m/ 2,318 ft

    Day 6 – Rest day or Optional Ride in Dublin & Wicklow

    With five days of riding under our belt, it’s time for a well-earned break – and the cosmopolitan capital of Dublin is the perfect place to do so. Wander the historic streets, sample the city’s cafes and bars or perhaps go for a massage to recharge for the second half of the tour. Dublin is a fantastic place to hang out and explore. If your legs are feeling strong, there’s the option of a cycle out of the city, along the coast and into the Wicklow Mountains where the best views of the city can be taken. Tonight we enjoy a relaxed dinner in Dublin and perhaps a few pints of Guinness at the world-famous Temple Bar. (B)

    Distance: 58km/ 36 miles Elevation Gain: 755m/ 2,476 ft

    Day 7 – Dublin to County Donegal

    In the morning, we travel by road out west to the wild open spaces of North Donegal. Geographically and politically cut-off from much of Ireland due to the border with Northern Ireland, Donegal has retained its own cultural identity and unique accent. We’ll arrive in time for lunch near Glenveagh National Park before riding north through Donegal’s wild and rugged landscapes to the coast. The route takes us along an elevated road overlooking Lough Swilly, one of Ireland’s three fjords. From here it’s a short distance to our accommodation either in Rathmullan or Inishowen. (B, L, D)

    Distance: 48km/ 29 miles Elevation Gain: 574m/ 1,882 ft

    Day 8 – Fanad Head and Lough Swilly

    Continuing north, we’ll bike along an elevated road that overlooks the azure shores of Lough Swilly, a huge glacial fjord between two peninsulas. Our route takes us to the Fanad Head Lighthouse, situated on the wild coast of the Fanad Peninsula in North Donegal. From here, we ride south towards one of the most picturesque climbs of the trip. Passing through a landscape dotted with castles, we’ll explore the rocky coastal terrain in this little-travelled region of Donegal at the edge of the world. (B, L, D)

    Distance: 87km/ 54 miles Elevation Gain: 1,152m/ 3,780 ft

    Day 9 – Inishowen Peninsula and Northern Ireland

    Starting in Northern Ireland, we follow the Causeway Coast, considered by many to be Northern Ireland’s finest stretch of coastline. Some also consider it to be the “toughest cycling road in Ireland”! The riding is as dramatic as it is challenging following the Torr Scenic route through wild landscapes and deserted villages. A short transfer by road to the ferry port of Larne and a two-hour crossing takes us to Scotland for the second half of our day’s ride. Flat roads mean quick progress through the rural farmland of Dumfries. (B, L, D)

    Distance: 74km/ 46 miles Elevation Gain: 1,402m/ 4,598 ft

    Day 10 – The Antrim Coast then Sail to Scotland

    Starting in Northern Ireland, we follow the Causeway Coast, considered by many to be Northern Ireland’s finest stretch of coastline. Some also consider it to be the “toughest cycling road in Ireland”! The riding is as dramatic as it is challenging following the Torr Scenic route through wild landscapes and deserted villages. A short transfer by road to the ferry port of Larne and a two-hour crossing takes us to Scotland for the second half of our day’s ride. Flat roads mean quick progress through the rural farmland of Dumfries. (B, L, D)

    Distance: 74 km/ 46 miles Elevation Gain: 978m/ 3,207 ft

    Day 11 – The Galloway Hills

    Dumfries and Galloway is a cycling revelation with quiet roads through beautiful scenery. Our route takes in some of the region’s best roads as we head through Galloway Forest Park in the shadow of the hills known as the “Range of the Awful Hand”. With no major climbs, we should make quick progress, reaching Castle Douglas for lunch. From here we head south following the shores of Loch Ken and then through rolling farmland. A late afternoon stop for coffee and cake at one of the best Farm Shops in Scotland provides the boost we need for the final 15km to our historic hotel in Mabie Forest near New Abbey. (B, L,D)

    Distance: 98km / 61 miles Elevation: 928m / 3043 ft

    Day 12 – New Abbey to Drumlanrig Castle

    Our final day of cycling takes us from New Abbey to a magnificent finish at the 17th century Drumlanrig Castle. The Speddoch is the last major climb of the trip, winding through woodland and over wild moorland, while the descent gives superb views across the glens and hills to the north. We pass Keir Mill where the pedal bicycle was invented in 1839 – from here, it’s a short distance to the Drumlanrig Estate where quiet roads wind through scenic parkland. Our final kilometre is one of the best you’ll find – a perfect boulevard leading to the castle entrance. No doubt you’ll be feeling the effects of the past 11 days but we’ll have smiles all around! Enjoy celebratory drinks and cake at the castle before returning to New Abbey for our final night dinner together. (B, L, D)

    Distance: 57km/ 35 miles Elevation Gain: 663m/ 2,174 ft

    Day 13 – Transfer to Edinburgh then depart

    After a relaxing breakfast, we’ll depart New Abbey in the morning for the two hour drive to Edinburgh. We will plan our arrival into Edinburgh no later than noon with the option to be dropped at Lockerbie for the West Coast railway line en route (for trains south inc London). On your journey home, you’ll have time to reflect on what will surely be one of the most memorable biking trips you’ve ever done. (B)

    The Five Countries Tour

    To download a PDF copy of our Trip Itinerary, containing full details about this holiday, please complete the form below:

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    Trip Dates & Prices

    Trip Dates for 2022 Availability Status Price Book
    1st May - 13th May 2022 6 place(s) left UNCONFIRMED €4,550 Book Now
    7th Aug - 19th Aug 2022 2 place(s) left PROVISIONAL €4,550 Book Now

    What's Included

    Accommodation Read More

    This trip features some of the best hotel and guest house accommodation and food in the British Isles. As outlined above, each day lunch is either a wilderness picnic or taken at a local cafe/restaurant.

    Single Room Supplement

    We do not charge single person supplements to solo travellers. However you will be expected to share a room with another person of the same sex.

    Due to the limited range of accommodations in the regions we visit, we can accommodate a maximum of 2 single rooms on this trip. The single supplement charge for this trip is u00f3400 but please note that this is subject to availability.

    Single rooms should be requested at the time of booking but all single room requests are subject to availability.

    Meals Read More

    All meals are included in the price of this trip with the exception of lunch and dinner on the rest day. Breakfast is provided each morning, as well as lunch and snacks throughout the trip. Local pubs and restaurants offer a wide choice of local dishes.

    On this trip, we generally eat dinner as a group however if you would like to make alternative arrangements you are free to do so. Your guide will have an evening off during this trip where they do not eat with the group. They will recommend options for dinner that evening and will help you make any necessary reservations.

    Inclusions Read More

    What’s included in this cycling holiday?

    • 13 days professional guiding with lead guide, plus assistant guide/support driver
    • 12 nights accommodation in 3* and 4* hotels/inns/guest houses on a B&B basis
    • Most meals as stated in the itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
    • Vehicle transport throughout including ride support and luggage transfers
    • Ferry and private boat transport as required
    • Entrance and admission fees as stated in the itinerary
    • Ride snacks, home-baking and drinks and some Wilderness extras
    • and a boat load of fun!

    Read more about this cycling trip below and download the dossier for more information.

    Travel Read More

    You will be met by your guide at 11 am on Day 1 of the trip at the York Train Station in England. We will finish in Edinburgh Waverley Train Station in Scotland around 12 pm on Day 12. Full details on how to get to York and from Edinburgh, please see our travel page.

    Photo Gallery

    Make This Trip Private

    Sometimes it's nice to get family and friends together and travel privately for some quality time. This means you benefit from all the features of the group departure, including hand-picked accommodation and expert local guides and we'll take care of it all. Then you can make your choice of departures dates and we'll get back to you to finalise the details.

    Speak to an Expert

    Darragh Devaney

    One of our team members, Darragh is Wilderness Ireland’s Operations Manager. As the team’s resident bike expert, Darragh has helped research, design and even guide nearly all of Wilderness Ireland’s bike trips. When not in the office, Darragh can usually be found exploring a little-known corner of Ireland on two wheels or camping in the countryside with his family.

    Ask Darragh a Question

    Difficulty Grades Explained

    Blue Grades 4-6

    The road cycling trips that we offer are graded to take into account a combination of the general level of fitness required and the number of miles cover as well as the daily ascent and estimated saddle time.

    Our blue graded trips are aimed at people who regularly enjoy road cycling and may have completed a multi-day cycle tour before. These trips include the occasional day with steeper climbs, but with plenty of opportunity to stop and to admire the view and take photos.

    Harder days are usually followed by much easier ones both in terms of how much distance we cover that day and the number of steep ascents. Most days these trips allow plenty of time for exploring the surrounding area and to enjoy relaxed lunches.

    Distance typically range from 30-50 miles each with rolling terrain. On some days you can expect some more challenging climbs and steeper descents. But remember, our support minivan will always be available to offer you a ride if you need it!

    Before joining this trip, the questions you should be asking yourself are:

    Are you happy being on your bike for around six hours each day for several days in a row?

    Do you regularly ride your bike most weeks or have you done a multi day tour recently?

    Are you comfortable climbing and descending steep roads?

    Trip Reviews

    Rated 5.00 out of 5 based on 1 review(s) of Bike Tour – The Five Countries Tour



    Every client receives a feedback survey when they return from their guided, self guided or tailor made holiday with us. Once completed the review is published on our website just as soon as our database updates. The little touches and details are important to us and where issues are raised we make positive changes to our trips to improve your experience.

    That’s why we read each of our client’s reviews and although we don’t respond to all of them, if it’s glowing feedback then we get the satisfaction of helping to make your holidays truly memorable.


    Charlie Evenson

    Reviewed on 07/07/2019

    Age: 60 - 70
    Country: USA
    Trip Date: 17/06/2019
    Trips Taken: 3

    The Bottom Line

    The Bottom Line

    This was a really fun trip! The route was interesting, scenic, challenging enough and the choice of roads (appropriate for biking) was excellent. We loved the winding country lanes, stone walls and hedgerows, grand vistas, awesome descents and even the super-steep climbs. With so much to see along the way each day, we'd like to have been able to slow time down to better soak it all in. Our guides, Ben and Simon, were true professionals. They made our lives carefree so we could just ENJOY!

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