National Geographic Traveller (UK)

Gravel adventures



The Tian Shan mountains of Kyrgyzstan are the site of the annual Silk Road Mountain Race. Pannier runs a slightly more gentle eight-night, 217-mile adventure through big skies and bigger peaks.


Hampshire’s largely flat New Forest National

Park is a haven of smooth gravel. It’s an ideal location for newbies and families to hone their craft.


Hardy cyclists gather annually for perhaps the wildest bikepackin­g challenge in Europe — a 500-mile route through southern Spain, taking in the otherworld­ly Gorafe desert and Pico Veleta (11,140ft), the continent’s highest col.


The far tip of Cornwall is the site of one of Cycling UK’s new, mostly off-road routes. The figure of eight, which covers 140 hilly miles, can be completed as one bikepackin­g adventure or in sections. cycling


The gravel trend arguably began in the Flint Hills, west of Emporia. The annual Unbound Gravel race sells out fast, but there are plenty of other events and the hills are alive with potential yearround. visitempor­

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