In 2021 I co-authored my first book with Kathy Rodgers, Big Rides, which was published by Vertebrate Publishing. In 2022 my first own book was published by the same publisher. Great British Gravel Rides is much more than just a guidebook. It offers an insight into gravel cycling in Britain, featuring well-known riders like Mark Beaumont and Jenny Graham alongside others.
Great British Gravel Rides
Great British Gravel Rides pays homage to the very best gravel cycling across England, Wales and Scotland. I have curated a collection of 25 routes across Britain – each a favourite route of a well-known gravel cyclist. You can join round-the-world cycling men’s record holder Mark Beaumont in East Lothian, experience a different side of East Anglia with ultra-endurance racer Josh Ibbett and GBDURO20 winner Gail Brown, embark on a coast-to-coast trip across Scotland with round-the-world cycling women’s record holder Jenny Graham, or see the best of Scottish Borders with diversity in cycling champion Aneela McKenna.
Each route gives an insight into what each cyclist loves about gravel riding – what inspires and motivates them – and why they believe it qualifies as one of Britain’s best gravel rides. A detailed route description of the trail is then provided, including interesting information about the local area, exactly what to expect on the route, details on the best places and attractions to explore, recommendations for the best local cafes and pubs and a list of local bike shops, should they be needed. With inspiring photography showcasing some of the best gravel trails in the UK, as well as bespoke maps and downloadable GPX files for each route, this is the essential companion for any gravel rider.
Whether you want a challenging pedal through the country’s awe-inspiring landscapes or a more leisurely day out in the saddle, let Great British Gravel Rides help you explore the best gravel cycling of Great Britain – your adventure begins here!
For an excerpt check out this article on Cycling UK’s website.
BUYING THE BOOK
You can buy a signed copy of Great British Gravel Rides for £25 including postage in the UK directly from me. There’ll be an extra £3.70 postage charge per book for most international orders. Once you have submitted the form, you’ll receive a secure payment via Zettle by email.
You can buy signed copies of Great British Gravel Rides also at the following local shops:
- Biketrax Edinburgh, 2 Fountainbridge, Edinburgh EH3 9QB
- ProjektRide, 82 Newington Rd, Edinburgh EH9 1QN
- Velow Bikeworks, 19 Windsor Pl, Portobello, Edinburgh EH15 2AJ
- Topping & Company Booksellers of Edinburgh, 2 Blenheim Place, Edinburgh EH7 5JH
- Honey Pot Creative Cafe, 1 Longcraig Rd, South Queensferry EH30 9TD
- Moffat Outdoors, Chambers House, High St, Moffat DG10 9ED
- Aviemore Bikes, 5A Myrtlefield Shopping Centre, Myrtlefield, Aviemore PH22 1SB
- Cycle Highlands, The Pavilion, Victoria Rd, Ballater AB35 5QQ
You can also buy the book in good book shops, or ask your local library to order it.
Reviews in the media
‘Want to go ride some excellent gravel somewhere you haven’t been before? Buy this book’ Read more at road.cc
‘My new bible for a while.’ Rob Penn
‘A genuine tour de force. I’d say it sets a very high benchmark and will become a classic.’ Richard Else
‘if you’re into gravel, this is the shizzle.’
Read more at thewashingmachinepost
‘it is difficult to find a better guide that inspires to that degree and that has trips that you will immediately be able to download to your GPS and cycle along. It is extremely thorough both in its descriptions, map material and pictures. All in all, this is a wonderful guidebook with lots of detail, useful information, descriptions, personality and great pictures.’ Read more at cykelportalen.dk
‘You’re not just browsing a collection of routes – it feels like you’re being welcomed into a community that’s keen to have you, to share its secrets and spread the joy that its sport can bring. Great British Gravel Rides is a book designed to spark (or feed) your sense of adventure, filled with an enthusiasm that’s infectious.’ Read more at rolfraehansen.com
‘a useful guide for anyone who enjoys riding on a surface that isn’t tarmac and maybe wants to spread their wings and go somewhere beyond their doorstep’ Read more at bearbonesbikepacking.co.uk
‘I know mountain bikers who are a bit sniffy about gravel biking, but I think this book has some fantastic routes in it which everyone who loves getting off tarmac should consider.’ Read more at tinkadventures.com
‘a book which will make you want to get outside and ride the trails for yourself.’ Read more at cyclist.co.uk
‘narratively rich’ Listen to more at alwaysanotheradventure.com
‘a comprehensive guide to some great routes on gravel and road’
Read more at ukgravelco.com
‘a book that I am sure will inspire cyclists to get out and explore on gravel.’
Read more on FionaOutdoors
‘As a friend of Markus, and many of the local riders within this book, I was sure that this would be a fantastic read. It has not disappointed.’ Read more at Life In The Saddle
‘This book challenged a preconception I had that gravel is a bit, um, boring…’
Read more at Chasing Trails
‘provides some great local insights to the routes and area.’ Read more at Cycling UK
‘handverlesen und selbst-erfahren und wie immer bei Markus auch sehr gut fotografiert. Wer also im nächsten Urlaub auf die Insel fährt, der sollte hier ausreichend Touren finden.’
Mehr gibt es auf Biketour-Global.de
Reader reviews on Goodreads.com
A labour of love
Markus has created a fantastic book. Instead of just featuring rides he knows, he’s drawn on the knowledge of a diverse group of cyclists who share their best gravel rides. On top of that, the book contains useful descriptions, and brilliant photography and is beautifully printed. Well done Markus!
A fantastic book a must have for all gravel enthusiasts
Looking forward to the Scottish rides
A great resource which helps to take a little bit of the stress out of planning gravel rides in an unfamiliar area. While studying maps is fun having the routes as a reference has really helped. I have joined the Kielder loop with the following loop to make a great overnight trip with the security of having some local villages nearby if anything went wrong. Can’t wait to explore further a field next year. This book is already well thumbed!!!
Superb bikepacking book
Written by bikepackers for bikepackers. A must have book. GPX files are super useful and Markus is a super nice approachable guy.
I don’t mind using mapping to explore but sometimes it’s nice that that work is done for you now and again! Looking forward to reading and usingvthisxwell put together book.
A lovely inspiring book to help plan your adventures. Inspiring and beautifully made and written.
Very well researched and engaging
Guide books are typically about places – whereas travelling and adventure is also about people. In this book Markus manages to capture both in a way that is far more engaging than just routes and descriptions. A pleasure to play a small part and it’s inspired me to explore parts of Britain that I’ve never been to
An inspirational guide to gravel tour in the UK
This is a fantastic read with lots of detail, useful information, descriptions, personality and great photos.
More about the Great British Gravel Rides in the media
Dotwatcher.cc – Five Minutes With Markus Stitz
Kinesis Blog – Great British Gravel Rides
Apidura Journal – Markus Stitz: Great British Gravel Rides
The Gravel Ride Podcast – Markus Stitz: Great British Gravel Rides
Always Another Adventure – Markus Stitz. Great British Gravel Rides
Gravel Junction Podcast – Episode 8 Markus Stitz
mtb-tribe.com – 218 – Around The World Ride On A Single Speed with Markus Stitz
Bikepacking.com – FRIDAY DEBRIEF 22
Yellow Jersey The Draft Blog – Great British Gravel Rides
Much Better Adventures Blog – 3 of the best gravel rides in Great Britain
Schottlandberater.de (German) – Great British Gravel Rides – Cycling the Wild Trails of England, Scotland & Wales
Cycling Europe – ‘Cycling Stuff’: Hostels In Scotland And Great British Gravel Rides
Shimano Blog (German) – Kleine Geschichte des Gravelbikes – Eine Erfolgsgeschichte
Gravel Union – Guide Book Gravelling
Big Rides: Great Britain and Ireland
Big Rides: Great Britain and Ireland is an inspirational guide to the most iconic, epic and popular long-distance cycle trails in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Ireland, including two excursions from mainland Britain to Northern France. The twenty-five featured routes showcase the best of Britain on two wheels. For those who prefer to pedal on-road, the routes take you along the historic Way of the Roses trail through Lancaster and York, as well as across Scotland’s Atlantic perimeter on the Hebridean Way. The trails head off-road to Northern England’s hills on the Sea to Sea (C2C) and past iconic monuments in Southern England on King Alfred’s Way. Mountain bike enthusiasts will find plenty to challenge them in the Sarn Helen and through the Scottish Highlands on the renowned Highland Trail 550. The routes then head offshore, to Ireland’s coast on the Wild Atlantic Way and from Devon and Dorset’s Jurassic Coast to Normandy’s alabaster cliffs on the Tour de Manche. Vertebrate Publishing’s Big Rides books are designed to inspire big adventures. Rather than being carried along the route, this guide provides everything you need to plan and explore further, including a general overview of the trails, specific technical information, overview mapping, key information and stunning photography. As well as this, each route specifies approximate timings which allows for you to plan your adventure at your own pace. Whether you’re completing routes at a leisurely speed or racing towards the finish, let Big Rides: Great Britain & Ireland be your guide.
Bikepacking Scotland (May 2023)
Bikepacking Scotland features routes of different lengths which take in the best of the country, from the Ayrshire Alps, Dumfries and Galloway and the Borders in southern Scotland, through Perthshire’s unique drovers’ roads and the grand architecture of the Central Belt, across to Argyll’s islands on ferry-hopping adventures around Islay, a paradise for whisky connoisseurs, and Jura and Mull to spot magnificent golden eagles. And of course the Scottish Highlands with an epic tour of the Cairngorms National Park, home to 25 per cent of Britain’s rare and endangered species, as well as the author’s own take on the North Coast 500 and more.
Researched and written by the founder of Bikepacking Scotland, and mostly accessible by public transport, each route includes all the information you need to help you plan your ride, with points of interest along the route, food recommendations and accommodation options, in addition to stunning photography and overview mapping. Downloadable GPX files of the routes are also available. Alongside further information on access, seasons and what to pack, and valuable insight from Scottish cycling personalities including Mark Beaumont and Jenny Graham, this book is full of practical tips and advice for both experienced bikepackers and those who want to try it out for the first time.