The Bay Cycle Way
If you’re the kind of cyclist that prefers to savour the scenic view from your saddle rather than beat the clock, then the Bay Cycle Way is for you.
Touring Morecambe Bay by bike will surprise and delight you with encounters of rare bird life, pockets of curious industrial landscape, world class historic sites, pretty rural villages and bustling market towns.
Whether you’re on a fun break with kids in tow or want to enjoy some gentle flat rides to savour the Bay’s landscape, you can go at your own pace, stop off at the pub or do a little local shopping in between – the choices are endless.
What is the Bay Cycle Way?
Developed in close partnership with Sustrans, the Bay Cycle Way is part of the National Cycle Network (NCN 700) and connects Walney Island near Barrow-in-Furness to Glasson Dock just south of Lancaster. This relatively flat route is one of many long-distance cycle routes that cross Cumbria into Lancashire and beyond, linking with the Way of the Roses, Walney to Wear and Coast to Coast.
The route skirts the coastline around the Bay, between the sands and saltmarsh and the outer edges of the Lake District National Park with views to the Cumbrian fells, and as you cycle towards Lancashire, you'll glimpse the hills of the Yorkshire Dales National Park too.
How hard is it to ride and what’s the traffic like?
This is a beautiful route with some long flat sections along coast and canal tow paths with the majority of the route on quiet lanes or traffic-free tracks.
There are a few very short sections on busier roads but there is usually an option to get off and push your bike along the pavement if that’s what you prefer.
There are some moderately hilly sections with one ‘steep’ section at Bigland Hill between Grange-over-Sands and Greenodd. The views however on this part of the route are completely magnificent, and the ‘wind in your hair’ experience is a massive reward, particularly when you know there is a 'top notch' selection of teashops and cafes awaiting you.
How many days does it take to complete the route?
You can easily split the route up to cycle as many miles as you think you can manage in a day.
Most people enjoy the route comfortably over 3 days which averages between 25 and 30 miles a day, allowing plenty of time to soak up the views, take ample coffee breaks or explore some of the cultural sites such as Birkrigg Stone Circle or the Budhist Temple near Ulverston.
If you are ‘cycling fit’, two days is more of a challenge but if you want to visit the sites and soak up more of the culture and heritage of the place, why not just pootle along the route over 4 or even 5 days – it’s not a race!
What's the best way to plan the route?
Use the route planner to devise your own itinerary. You will be able to see where there are places to stay, eat and shop and lots more besides. We've suggested a three day route here starting from Glasson Dock.Create your bespoke itinerary
Ride the Bay Cycle Way over 3 days
Day 1 Glasson Dock to Arnside (26 miles)
The first stage of the Bay Cycle Way takes you from Glasson Dock to Arnside easing you in gently along miles of flat old railway line, coastal promenade and canal trails. Passing through Lancaster crossing the Lune via the Millennium Bridge and on to the Lancaster Canal Towpath to Carnforth, with an array of options for cafe and pub stops.
Day 2 Arnside to Greenodd (31 miles)
Enjoy some wonderful flat coastal stretches and then on into some hilly hinterland with spectacular glimpses of the Lake District fells visiting the picturesque seaside town of Grange-over-Sands then climbing the hill to Cartmel village, famed for its culinary delights. Perhaps the most challenging section of the route, but the rewards are abundant with incredible views, beautiful woodland and tea shops galore.
Day 3 Greenodd to Walney Island (24 miles)
This final stretch Bay Cycle Way ride takes you through the interesting market town of Ulverston before meandering through the Furness Peninsula, taking in historic sites and pretty villages before finishing at Sandy Gap's shingle beach on Walney Island.
Enjoy Morecambe Bay by Electric Bike
Explore the Bay Cycle Way with a little assistance from an electric bike from one of our hire points on the Electric Bike Network.Hire an e-bike