Warmer weather and Bradley Wiggins’ heroic performance across the Channel over the past few weeks seem to have heralded a resurgence in cycling’s popularity. We noticed it on Monday morning: Scores of cyclists welcomed the new week by setting off in the saddle. We’ve also seen a marked increase in submissions for the upcoming ‘Ride with Brad’ cycling sportive through the hills of Pendle – so don’t get too comfy on those laurels, Wiggo; we’ve a few cottages4you staff who fancy giving you a run for your jersey!
So if 2012 can be called the Summer of Sports, you could just as easily give it the ‘Summer of Cycling’ moniker. And unlike some of the other sports taking place this season, all you need is a cycle and helmet to get out there and start enjoying it. But if you’re all saddled up with nowhere to go, we’re going to recommend a few of our favourite featured cottages for a summer cycle below.
The Stables in Tawstock, Barnstaple
The Tarka Trail is undoubtedly one of the UK’s most popular cycling routes. This 50km network of footpaths and cycle paths follows the route taken by the titular hero of Henry Williamson’s incredibly popular novel. Expect to experience a variety of Devon’s most beautiful terrain, including wooded valleys and coastal paths. Unlike Tarka, however, you can rest and recuperate in the fantastic Stables in Tawstock. This beautifully airy south facing barn offers a wonderful mix of style and comfort and is perfect for larger groups of cyclists. Check out the property listing on cottages4you.
The Hollies in Bowness-on-Windermere
More off-road experiences can be enjoyed at Grizedale Forest in the Lake District. This challenging off-road network offers a fantastic off-road trail and some amazing works of art – so you can soak up some culture while you soak up the sights. But despite the incredible surrounding beauty, Grizedale is perhaps better known for its challenging terrain, so you’ll need somewhere incredibly comfortable to relax afterwards. The Hollies more than fits the bill. Tucked away on a quiet road, The Hollies is a spacious Victorian family home situated in the heart of Windermere, within walking distance of the lake and marina offering sailing, water sports and swimming – if you fancy an equally active unwind! Check out the property listing on cottages4you.
Falicon, nr. Nice
Warmer climes, and many more cycling options, can be found at the village of Falicon near Nice. Twelve routes set off from the village, varying in length from 3 to 30km, and in difficulty from very easy to advanced. This stunning poolside property offers incredible views of your surroundings, so you can choose where you’re going to conquer next! Nice is 12km away, while Cannes is a little further at 48km. Monaco is 21km while the Italian border is just 32km from the property. If you’re not the adventurous sort we’re sure this delightful light and airy, air-conditioned studio villa will provide adequate comfort – and you can always take a few laps of the pool! Check out the property listing on cottages4you.
Chez Chamberlin, Prades, Pyrénées-Orientales
More continental comfort can be found at Chez Chamberlin. Equidistant from the Med and the mountains, the surrounding area boasts a welcome amount of variety for the holidaying cyclist – not to mention a wonderful array of spectacular scenery to enjoy. Bikes can be hired just 5 km from the property, which may come in handy as you will also find bakeries, patisseries, chocolate shops, restaurants and bars only a few minutes away! If you get saddle sore there are plenty of other activities to try in the surrounding area, including tennis, canyoning, kayaking and white water rafting. There’s also a lovely pool with diving board at the property. Check out the property listing on cottages4you.
La Source in Thônes, Haute-Savoie
If you fancy becoming ‘King of the Mountains’ then we highly recommend a trip to La Source in Thônes for some high-altitude exploring. The surrounding Aravis mountain range provides some wonderful snow-sports in the winter months but from May onwards there’s plenty of challenging terrain to explore from the saddle. Both road cyclists and mountain bikers are catered for in the Aravis region with plenty of challenges to suit both disciplines. If you’d prefer a more relaxing exploration you could always take a ski-lift to the summit before enjoying a relaxed ride downhill to La Source, where you can check out your mountain route from the comfort of the large balcony. Check out the property listing on cottages4you.