London Edinburgh London 2025: eight route highlights
We're really proud of our route for London Edinburgh London 2025. We've included nearly 600 kilometres of new roads in Essex, Yorkshire and Scotland, along with old favourites from previous events.
Here, in no particular order, are eight route highlights to look out for in 2025.
1. St Mary's Loch
This new addition for 2025 marks the first time that London Edinburgh London has routed along a lake – in this case, the lovely St Mary's loch, which sits high in the hills outside Moffat. It is on the northbound section after Hawick, towards the top of an ascent so gentle you won't even notice it. At the lochside, you'll find the Glenside Café, which will be open for riders night and day. On a clear night, this section is magical by moonlight.
2. Essex lanes
London Edinburgh London has passed through Essex since 2013, but this year – for the first time – you'll be enjoying this county's lanes from early on in the ride. Once we leave Chelmsford and turn off the main road, you'll be able to settle into your day of riding amid the tranquillity of countryside backroads.
Nearly traffic free and garlanded with wild flowers, the lanes create a pleasingly gentle introduction to an epic route. Be sure to look out for chocolate box villages, cute thatched roofs, black and white timbered cottages and houses with the beautifully patterned render that is common to Essex.
3. The Devil's Beef Tub
This drag is the longest climb of the event, but arguably one of the easiest. Its unforgettable name originates from these hills being used as a place to hide cattle stolen by the Johnstone clan of the Border reivers (raiders) in the 12th to 16th centuries.
The climb starts as soon as you leave Moffat and continues for nearly 6 kilometres as it rises over Moffat and takes you up towards the source of the River Esk. The Beef Tub itself is across the valley at the top of the climb – a deep and dramatic hollow formed by four hills. As one of the event's most scenic climbs, you'll have plenty of time to enjoy it as you slowly make your way up the long ascent. If the wind is in your favour at the top, it's a fast descent all the way to our pop-up café at the village of Broughton.
4. Humber Bridge
An iconic London Edinburgh London highlight, for many riders the Humber Bridge marks the end of their first day of cycling. The bridge – the longest of its type when it opened in 1981 – dominates the landscape as you approach. Depending on your head for heights, crossing it can be either breathtaking or terrifying! But, if you can, try to cross at dawn or dusk when the low sun illuminates the bridge's solitary elegance and the watery expanse of the Humber Estuary.
As in 2022, we will have sole use of the east footpath. This gives you an uninterrupted crossing before the control in Hessle.
5. Howardian Hills
Let's be honest here! You don't get quite this close to Castle Howard on the route, although you do pass the front of this most stately of homes as you leave Malton. But equally appealing is the arrow-straight route through the grounds of Castle Howard – decorated with arches and follies – before you skirt the Howardian Hills and head towards gentler roads to Richmond and dozens of handsome, stone-built villages.
Compared to 2022, this section of the 2025 route is much less hilly, which makes it a good transition to the hills that will come later! Look out, too, for excellent café stop at Rainton Village Hall.
6. Yad Moss and Alston
An event stalwart since the first edition of London Edinburgh London in 1989, we had to abandon Yad Moss in 2022 because of roadworks. And, while our Chapel Fell alternative was an unexpected hit, we appreciate it's perhaps too steep and high for an event like this. So, for 2025, we've decided to stick with Yad Moss in both directions, giving you chance to savour on your ascent the scenery that zips by on your (hopefully) much faster descent!
Expect weather. If it's good weather, the climb and descent are magical. If it's bad weather, it could be a real two-hour slog, both uphill and downhill. Either way, look out for our café stops at Mickleton and just after Alston.
A treat for the return leg only, Cambridge follows on from one of London Edinburgh London 2025's most interesting sections of infrastructure: the wide cycle path alongside the guided busway from Northstowe to Girton.
This small city is renowned for its love of bikes, and the route into and out of Cambridge makes for surprisingly mellow cycling. There is a segregated cycle lane into the city centre, a traffic-free route past the university's many buildings, and a wide bus lane south of Cambridge that you will probably have all to yourself.
The town centre is packed with historic, architecturally impressive university colleges that are immensely popular with tourists, meaning your path is often likely to be blocked by pedestrians. Best thing to do is to slow down and enjoy the sights, too – you'll soon be back to full speed as you head towards our penultimate control in Henham.
8. Alemoor Loch
We conclude these highlights with another new addition for 2025. After a steep-ish climb out of Hawick, probably the event's toughest climb, the route passes through hill-crowned farmland to reach this loch situated on either side of the road.
As you'll notice, there is little up here apart from sheep, fields and wind farms, meaning you get the rather sumptuous scenery all to yourself before rattling along a screamingly fast descent en route to St Mary's Loch (see 1. above).
Want to experience these highlights and more for yourself? London Edinburgh London 2025 opens for early entries on Friday 3 November 2023. You can find out more here.