A bicycle is the proper strategy to discover the countryside. These off-grid routes, from mountainous lung-busters to scenic household rides, discover historical past in addition to wilderness

The Malvern Hills are wilderness within the Midlands, outliers of the Welsh mountains and beloved by artists, writers, poets and composers. The Malverns have been composer (and eager bicycle owner) Edward Elgar’s muse, and the inspiration for 14th-century poet William Langland, whose well-known work Piers Plowman contains the phrases: “On a Could morning, on a Malvern hill-top/A marvel befell me, as would possibly a fairy story.”