Recent British success at international level has seen the popularity of cycling go through the stratosphere. Our roads seem to be packed with budding Sir Bradley Wiggins’, especially at this time of year when the Tour de France grabs the attention of the nation. Holidays are the perfect time to indulge our passion for cycling. Many of these days are not satisfied with sedentary breaks and are looking more from our time away from the daily grind and cycling ticks all of the boxes. It’s family friendly whilst getting the most of the great outdoors – not to mention the health benefits. Cycling is perfect for your next activities based cottage holiday. We are going to take a look at some of the best options for a great cycling holiday in Britain
Mountain Biking in North Wales
Wales is a magnet for outdoor sports enthusiasts with many drawn by the spectacular scenery of the Snowdonia National Park. The rugged Welsh terrain is perfect or mountain biking and the area is famous for having some of the best trails in the country. Apart from the stunning views, adventure seeking bikers are attracted by the range of varied mountain and forest routes available throughout the National Park.
The essence of mountain biking is the exhilarating challenge inherent within the off-road biking experience. It is the archetypal man/woman versus nature scenario that offers a sense of freedom combined with speed that makes mountain biking addictive for many. With Snowdonia such a popular and established mountain bike destination there is an established support network offering bike hire, guided tours and purpose built tracks for riders of all abilities. The expanse of wilderness and with such a high proliferation of mountain bike trails, you will more than likely be able to set off from your cottage door.
Where to mountain bike in North Wales:
- Betws y Coed
- Coed Llandegla
Road Cycling in the Scottish Highlands
It is not hard to understand why so many cyclists are drawn to the quiet roads and lanes of the Scottish Highlands. Whether it be traversing majestic glens or exploring exquisite loch side routes, Scotland is simply great for cycling. Many of the roads in the Highlands have very low traffic indeed, in fact a large number remain single track to this day. The rugged unspoiled terrain offers stunning panorama’s throughout the region, but the staggering scenery also means there are energy sapping assents but of course what goes up, must come down. Just keep thinking of the long descent at the other side!
In the summer month’s conditions are great for cycling in the Highlands. Often the climate is mild and the daylight hours extend way into the late evening, staying light longer than the most of Britain. Particularly on the west coast which benefits from the Atlantic gulf stream and in summer temperatures can rocket and the wind drops.
If you are looking for gentler and less challenging routes but wanting to make the most of the gorgeous scenery then maybe exploring the coast is the option you are looking for. With expansive sea lochs and delightful coastal villages, the route taking in Lochinver north to Ullapool takes some beating. With regular ferry crossings available to the enigmatic Scottish Isles, there are great options for rewarding cycle holidays across the islands and mainland of the Scottish Highlands
Where to cycle in the Scottish Highlands:
- The Great Glen
- Kyle of Sutherland
- Fort William
- The Dornoch Firth Circular
Riverside cycling by the Norfolk Broads
In stark contrast to the mountains of Scotland and Wales, the gentle undulations and riverside cycle routes of the Norfolk Broads, whilst maybe a little less energetic, offer a fascinating network great for family riding. This unique area of rivers and small lakes is truly a special part of East Anglia. The tranquil surroundings provide a haven for wildlife and offer cyclists quiet trails across Norfolk and north Suffolk. The Broads themselves are protected wetland area covering over 120 miles of navigable waterway including the rivers Bure, Yare, Ant and Thurne. The landscape is peppered with quaint villages, windmills/windpumps and charming country inns.
Mixing country lanes and riverside trails, the Norfolk Broads has a well established network of cycle routes to enjoy at the pace of your choosing. The ‘Broads by Bike’ network is collection of 14 routes ranging in length from five to twenty-five miles covering the picturesque Broadland countryside and extending to the Norfolk coastline. Taking in routes that pass delightful market towns, nature reserves and ancient churches, there something to entrance the whole family on your next cycling holiday in the beautiful Norfolk Broads.
Where to cycle in the Norfolk Broads:
- The ‘Bittern Track’