North Sea Cycle Route

North Sea Cycle Route
Signage at Carnoustie, Scotland.

The North Sea Cycle Route is a 6000 km cycle route through England, Scotland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands and Belgium. It is also known as EuroVelo route 12 (EV12).

The cycle route was officially opened in 2001, and is an international project between the countries participating, making 68 partners in 8 countries. In 2003, the route was awarded a Guinness record certificate confirming that the North Sea Cycle Route is the world's longest cycle route.

In 2008, journalist Bernie Friend had a book published about the route, Cycling Back to Happiness - Adventure on the North Sea Cycle Route, which follows his attempts to overcome a travel anxiety on the 6,000km coastal cycle path.




The English section of the route starts at the Port of Harwich at Parkeston. The signposted North Sea Cycle route meets National Cycle Route 51 in a park to the south of Dovercourt station. The North Sea Cycle route is then signposted with National Cycle Route 51 south-east to Colchester where it picks up National Cycle Route 1, although cyclists could also take the National Cycle Route 51 in the other direction to Harwich, then take a (seasonal) foot ferry north using NCR 51 to Felixstowe and then either head directly for the NCR 1 using Regional Cycle Route 41 to Woodbridge or take a more scenic route using RCR 41 up the Suffolk coast and join NCR 1 near Saxmundham.

Once on NCR 1, this route takes you all the way to the Scottish border and up to the Shetland Islands.


The entire route is using National Cycle Route 1.

Due to the closure of the Smyril Line ferry (Shetland Islands to Norway) service getting from Orkney to Norway can be problematic. There are two weekly flights from Sumburgh Airport to Bergen.[1]


The Norwegian part starts in Bergen, and exits to Sweden at Svinesund. The route follows the southern coastline, and is approx 1000 kilometers long. Along the route several towns are visited, among them Haugesund, Stavanger, Kristiansand, Arendal, Larvik, Sandefjord, Tønsberg, Fredrikstad and Sarpsborg. The whole route is marked with a sign that reads 1, as it shares it route with the Norwegian national cycle route no 1.



The Danish section starts at the German border on the west coast following national route 1 all the way north to Skagen. From Skagen (NE tip of Denmark) it continues south to Grenaa following national route 5. From Grenaa you can take the ferry to Sweden and continue the route in the Swedish section.


The Netherlands

The Netherlands part starts in Sluis, and exits to Germany at Nieuweschans. The route follows the entire stretch of coastline, and is approx 450 kilometers long. The whole is route is split into two national routes, i.e., the LF1 (Noordzeeroute) and LF10 (Waddenzeeroute).

The LF1 starts from Sluis to Den Helder. With a perfect sun and beach just what you need while biking, this route shows the Dutch part of the LF1. The unruffled waters of the sea, happily waving beach grass and sand crunching under your tires: LF1 is to experience the Dutch coast unrivaled. To start the route in Den Helder and cycle through long strips of dunes and seaside fishing villages to major cities such as Haarlem and Middelburg. Definitely fun to bike over the massive Sea Barrage and kilometers of dams, including the world famous storm surge. And thanks to many tourist places along the way, accommodations are available for every taste. This makes an ideal route for an overnight trip or cycling.

The LF10 starts from de Noordzeekust and ends in Nieuweschans. This route shows you the Groningen and Frisian coast at its best. The salty, fresh wind on your back and gaze at the endless green pastures cycling along vanished villages, congested inland seas, hidden, stinzen, mounds and basalt dikes. Highlights include the former island of Wieringen in North Holland, part of the route, Lauwersmeer National Park. The route also passes over all ports with ferry connections to the Dutch Wadden Sea. A little "island hopping" to Vlieland and Schiermonnikoog is easily possible.


External links

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