To help shape up and work off the Christmas excess, why not take to the saddle and explore Scotland's spectacular countryside over the New Year? Sustainable transport charity Sustrans has launched a map for a new National Cycle Network route, number 754, to help you discover the stunning, historic scenery between Edinburgh and Glasgow along the Union and Forth and Clyde Canals.
This new colour map is jam-packed with useful information on attractions to visit along the way, including the engineering marvel of the Falkirk Wheel and Muiravonside Country Park, an area rich in historic and wildlife interests. Crossing over dramatic aqueducts along the line of the Antonine Wall, this new route offers a range of places to eat and drink which are all marked on the map to help you plan those all important refreshment stops.
The 'Forth and Clyde Cycle Routes Map' is £6.99 and has been produced by Sustrans in partnership with the Scottish Government and British Waterways Scotland. It is available from www.sustrans.org.uk, 0845 113 00 65, Tourist Information Centres and local book shops.
The routes in the area are peaceful, flat and mainly traffic-free making them ideal for a relaxing afternoon stroll or leisurely cycle. The definitive map features National Cycle Network routes between Edinburgh, Glasgow and the Cowal Peninsula as well as accommodation suggestions in the area and advice on how to combine cycling and walking with train travel.
Katharine Taylor, Sustrans' National Cycle Network Development Manager in Scotland, said: "This fantastic new map is an excellent guide to the cycling and walking routes in our area and shows just how easy it is to explore beautiful countryside by bike and on foot."
Steve Dunlop, Director, British Waterways Scotland, said: "As New Year resolutions come around, choosing to cycle Route 754 would be a great challenge to set for 2010. Step out, or cycle onto, your local canal and stretch yourself from small sections through to the full tour between Edinburgh and Glasgow.
“Feel the burn whilst at the same time experiencing the fabulous wildlife, scenery and awesome heritage peppered along the canal network which has already attracted 18.3 million visits over the last year."
The main routes on the 'Forth and Clyde Cycle Routes Map' are all part of the National Cycle Network which now runs within one mile of half the UK population. The routes are free to use and open to everyone, making them a great way for all ages to stay fit and healthy while enjoying a breath of fresh air.