Fantastic family cycling venues

At Islabikes we love designing excellent bicycles for children, but the other ingredient needed for a fantastic family cycling adventure is a fine venue. We’ve rounded up a few routes from across the country that we know are perfect for cyclists of all ages and hope will inspire a great day out.

Bedgebury Forest, Kent

Considering the other facilities available in London and the south-east, finding a family-friendly cycle route can actually be relatively tricky. However, the National Pinetum at Bedgebury, Kent is an absolute jewel. Owned by the Forestry Commission — who has worked incredibly hard in recent years to introduce cycle trails at a huge range of its venues up and down the country — Bedgebury has a choice of 2.5-mile or six-mile family loops, plus eight miles of more taxing mountain bike trails. If you get an early start and want to ride even further, just down the road you’ll find another 13-mile route around Bewl Water.

www.forestry.gov.uk/bedgebury

www.bewlwater.co.uk


Rutland Water, Rutland

Keeping the lake-side cycling theme, Rutland Water — the largest reservoir in England — has a superb bike route around its perimeter. Although there are a couple of short road sections on very quiet country lanes, the majority of the trail is off-road. Perhaps more daunting is the 25-mile total distance, although it’s perfectly achievable for older children, and younger families have the option of a more relaxing three-mile or eight-mile route. With a nature reserve on its south shore it’s also a great place for a spot of bird watching.

www.anglianwater.co.uk/leisure/water-parks/rutland…


Camel Trail, Cornwall

Down in the south-west lurks one of the most interesting multi-use trails in the country. Based on an old disused railway line between Wenfordbridge, Bodmin, Wadebridge and Padstow, the Camel Trail offers a total of 18 miles of mainly traffic-free routes, broken into three roughly equal sections. There are loads of things to see nearby, including the Bodmin and Wenford Steam Railway, and it even links up with other local trails should you want to take in a little Cornish cycle tour.

www.cornwall.gov.uk/cameltrail


Blackpool to Fleetwood, Lancashire

Oh we do all like to cycle by the seaside, and Britain’s wonderful coastline does tend to be pretty good at providing great family-friendly cycling. This route can be started among the bright lights of Blackpool’s promenade before spinning up the Fylde Coast to the fishing and ferry town of Fleetwood. For southern cyclists there are similar routes in Brighton and Bournemouth, and in the east we’ve ridden a less man-made Suffolk coastal jaunt from Sizewell to Aldeburgh. In fact, just find your nearest bit of coast and it’ll more than likely have a safe cycle path close by.


Edinburgh and Glasgow, Scotland

In truth, there’s no shortage of beautiful cycle routes throughout Scotland, most often through stunning countryside. However, you’ll also find some of the UK’s most incredible urban cycle routes in Scotland’s biggest cities. Edinburgh boasts a huge range of traffic-free cycle paths, many following old railway lines, that will let you safely explore the wider city. Meanwhile, Glasgow has 35 miles of restored towpaths sneaking around some of its glorious heritage sites. For city breaks, family cycling style, Scotland is absolutely perfect.

www.innertubemap.com


Millennium Coastal Park, Llanelli, Wales

If you’re looking for a purpose-built family cycling venue, few options can beat the Millennium Coastal Park, along Carmarthen Bay and the Loughor Estuary in south-west Wales. There’s no shortage of parking or refreshment stops en route, and you can even pop into places of interest such as the National Wetland Centre Wales or the Discovery Centre. Best of all, though, is the amazing coastal scenery and the flora and fauna that you’ll experience on this 12-mile traffic-free route.

www.discovercarmarthenshire.com/millennium-coastal…


Ludlow, Shropshire

Finally, what about coming to visit us here in Ludlow? At Islabikes we’re all cyclists, too, and there’s nothing we like better than heading off on one of South Shropshire’s many countryside routes. In fact, we’ve even got a great section of the National Cycle Network that begins right on our doorstep. So why not pop by, have a look at our bikes, go for a spin in the saddle, then come back for something to eat at one of the excellent food outlets we have on site?

www.ludlow.org.uk/downloads/ludlow-cycle-rides.pdf

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