Mawddach Trail, Dolgellau to Barmouth9 miles, uk One for families and birdwatchers: the short but sweet Mawddach Trail follows a disused railway line to the Victorian resort of Barmouth.You'll pass the RSPB's Mawddach Valley reserve so remember to keep an eye out for dippers and pied flycatchers.Five Pits Trail, Derbyshire5.5 miles, uk Take a pedal turn back in history with a trip along the Great Central Railway past five former collieries.

It's flat and without traffic so great for families. No train station at the end so prepare to turn around or make alternative plans.

Cuckoo Trail, East Sussex11 miles, uk Perhaps the best of Britain's rail trails, the Cuckoo flies through deciduous woodlands and fields on its way from Polegate to Heathfield. Elan Valley Trail, Wales9 miles, uk There's only nine miles of it, but this is one of the prettiest routes in Wales.

It's a very family-friendly, traffic-free ride with plenty of stopping opportunities. It follows the Birmingham Corporation railway line around Elan Valley's four reservoirs.

Mineral Tramways Coast to Coast, Cornwall15 miles, uk Riding through a landscape connects cyclists with more than the trail – on this unique route through Cornish mining communities you'll pass by a remarkable collection of historic buildings as you follow the route copper was transported from Portreath to Devoran.

Wandle Trail, London12 miles, uk Escape the capital on this riverside route south from Wandsworth.

True, you'll only get as far as Croydon but the Wandle Trail takes in 10 South London parks and green oases on largely traffic-free paths.Extra vigilance is required for young riders traversing Earlsfield and Wandsworth town centres.There are plenty of excursions and walks in the area.Kennet and Avon Canal, Wiltshire and Berkshire21 miles, uk The Kennet and Avon Canal celebrated its 200th anniversary recently and is enjoying a new lease of life as a gentle towpath day trip.This section, from Reading to Newbury, is easily reached from London and ends close to Highclere Castle, better known as Downton Abbey. Young riders can spot sculptures inspired by the local wildlife.Water Rail Way, Lincolnshire21 miles, uk Big skies, a traffic-free route and easy turn-around points are the appeal of this rail trail from Lincoln to Boston. Derby Canal and Cloud Trail, Derbyshire13 miles, uk Starting at Derby's train station, follow towpaths and the Cloud Trail, a disused railway, over a viaduct towards Worthington.