The Top 13 UK Cycling Events & Sportives You Shouldn’t Miss In 2023

13 UK Cycling Events & Sportives You Shouldn’t Miss In 2023.jpg

Cycling has taken a massive leap in popularity over recent years, and it is easy to see why. It’s a sport and hobby that welcomes everyone no matter their ability and gets people outside and in nature as often as possible. Road cycling in particular has seen a high uptake, with over 2000 registered clubs and nearly 125,000 registered members of the British Cycling organisation.

Whatever your reason for cycling, there are plenty of sportive events to get involved in this year. Below, we delve into the top most exciting UK cycling events for 2023. 

North West & North East 

Fred Whitton Challenge 

Date: 07.05.2023
Location: Grasmere, Cumbria
Distance: 112 miles 

As one of the most popular UK sportives, the entries for this race have already been filled for 2023. Taking place in the stunning hilly climbs of Grasmere in Cumbria, the Fred Whitton Challenge spans 112 miles with an elevation gain of up to 4000 metres.  

Tour De Manc 2023 

Date: 30.04.2023
Location: Middleton, Manchester
Distance: 100 miles 

With four great routes to choose from, the Tour de Manc is one of the more popular northern sportives and is run entirely by volunteers. All proceeds and funds raised by cyclists in this event go to local charities, and medals, photographs and refreshments are included in the price of admission. 

London & South East Sportives

Hampshire Hilly Hundred 

Date: 07.05.2023
Location: Winchester
Distance: 100 miles  

A great early spring course, the Hampshire Hilly Hundred is another of the more popular UK cycling events near London. Cyclists taking part in this bike race will get to see the beautiful views of the South Downs National Park and take part in challenging climbs. Are you taking part in a few cycling events this year? The Hampshire Hilly Hundred is a great introduction to try as it gives you a challenging route with breathtaking scenery. 

Ride London

Date: 28.05.2023
Location: London
Distance: 100 miles 

One of the best closed-roads sportives, RideLondon is back with a vengeance for 2023. Skirting both London and Essex, cyclists can expect to see picturesque villages, rural countryside and urban sites too with this route. This event is super hard to get involved with, and the 2023 ballot has now been closed. However, you may still apply for a place if you’re fundraising for a charity. 

South West UK Cycling Events 

The Cotswolds Classic 

Date: 19.08.2023
Location: TBA
Distance: Varied routes 

The Cotswolds are one of the most beautiful places to visit in the UK. With sprawling countryside and spectacular villages, The Cotswold Classic is another popular sportive in the UK for cyclists and enthusiasts alike. With varying routes depending on your fitness levels/preferences, this bike race offers free photography at the price of your ticket. 

Lands End 100  

Date: 16.08.2023
Location: Marazion, Cornwall
Distance: Varied routes

With varying routes for those with different cycling abilities, the Lands End 100 is a popular annual sportive that offers spectacular scenery, food options, mechanical support packages and a medal - all of which are included in the price of your entry. 


Midlands UK Cycling Events 

Tour of the Peaks

Date: 21.05.2023
Location: Bakewell, Derbyshire 
Distance: Varied routes

One of the best sportives that the midlands has to offer, Tour of the Peaks is an event with tons of history! This sportive has been going since 1943 and is located in the heart of the Peak District. Cyclists taking part in this sportive can expect up to 3000 metres of elevation depending on the route you take, breathtaking views and a fully closed road so you don’t have to worry about other vehicles too!  

Haughton Giant 2023 

Date: 25.06.2023
Location: Haughton, Staffordshire
Distance: 37 miles 

Fancy a summer off-road challenge? The Haughton Giant could be the sportive for you! Don’t let the short 37-mile route fool you, this event is tough. With road, woodland paths and dirt tracks along the way, this route is sure to keep you on your toes.  

Yorkshire Sportives 

Etape du Dales  

Date: 21.05.2023
Location: Grassington
Distance: 110 miles 

A classic UK sportive that weaves through stunning countryside, the Etape du Dales covers well-known climbs as well as popular dales such as Swaledale, Wensleydale, Littondale and Ribblesdale. Not for the faint of heart, this sportive takes on some steep climbs. However, with that being said, there is a shorter route you can take if you’re not quite ready to take on this event. 

Le Petit Depart 

Date: 04.06.2023
Location: Skipton 
Distance: 80 miles 

This special sportive was once part of the Tour de France staged back in 2014 and showcases the very best that Yorkshire has to offer. Check out more information here 


Etape Loch Ness

Date: 23.04.2023
Location: Loch Ness 
Distance: 65 miles 

One of the most popular tourist attractions in Scotland, Loch Ness is a stunning location that the whole family can enjoy. The Etape Loch Ness is one of the best sportives in the country and reaches an elevation of 900 metres. Places for this year’s race are now closed, however, you can still access this event if you apply for a charity place. 



Dragon Ride 

Date: 18.06.2023
Location: Margam Park
Distance: Varied routes 

Set in the breathtaking Brecon Beacons, the Dragon Ride is one of the most popular Welsh cycling events and has an established reputation in the wider UK sportive calendar. With varying routes, cyclists can choose courses that suit their current level and enjoy beautiful views as well as tough climbs.  


Wicklow 200

Date: 11.06.2023
Location: Bray
Distance: Varied routes

The Wicklow 200 takes place in some of the most iconic locations in Ireland’s Garden County. The routes have yet to be announced for this sportive, but it’s shaping up to be an exciting ride! Keep your eyes peeled for the official route on their website