Saturday 10th June will mark the start of Bike Week 2017. With over half a million people due to join in, Bike Week aims to promote the environmental, health and social benefits of cycling. With a jam-packed calendar of cycling events on offer, you’re guaranteed to find something near you.
Cycling is a great way to get out and about, and across Britain there are some fantastic trails which take you through stunning scenery, charming villages and spectacular countryside. Plenty of these cycling routes are suitable for all abilities, and make a great day out for all the family. It’s never been easier to explore Britain by bike, with a National Cycle Network of around 14,000 miles of quiet roads, trails and paths that are just waiting to be discovered.
Bike Week is the perfect time to dust off your family bikes, pump up the tyres and hit the road. To get you started, we’ve teamed up with cycling clubs around the UK to bring you a hand-picked selection of family-friendly cycling routes - allowing you to explore some of Britain’s most beautiful countryside on two wheels.
The Settle Circular Route, Yorkshire Dales
Chosen by Cycle the Dales, the Settle Circular Route is a gentle ride through the heart of the Yorkshire Dales. This trail takes you through pretty villages and impressive countryside, where you can enjoy some of the highlights of the spectacular Yorkshire Dales National Park. The full route is 17 miles long, but there are plenty of places to turn around if you fancy a shorter ride.
Start and finish: Settle Market Square or Clapham village
Full route length: 17 miles
The route begins at the Market Square in Settle, around 20 minutes from Todber Valley Holiday Park. Head down the main street in the direction of Little Stainforth, and continue over the bridge past Settle School, before turning right onto Stackhouse Lane – which bears the Way of the Roses sign. Follow the road through Little Stainforth, until you reach a T-junction, where you turn left. Continue following the Way of the Roses signs, descending through a series of bends that will take you through the lovely little village of Austwick. Follow on until you can see the main road, the A65. Take the signed gravel roadside path, then re-join the road and head into Clapham.
In Clapham, there are several pubs and cafes to rest up at – making it the perfect place to stop for a well-earned break. After exploring Clapham, turn left across the bridge, then left down Station Road. Here, cross the A65 using the underpass, then continue onwards to reach Clapham Station. Bear left and go under the railway bridge, then take a left turn and follow the signs towards Settle and the Yorkshire Dales Cycle Way. Continue following these signs back into Settle.
The route takes you through the beautiful countryside, where you can enjoy amazing views across the Dales. As the road passes through Eldroth, turn right at the cross roads and go under the railway bridge. Cross the A65, then follow the road back into Settle town centre.
Sourced from John Greenwood
Rhos-on-Sea to Pensarn, Wales
This scenic route passes along the wide coastal promenade that stretches from Rhos-on-Sea and Colwyn Bay to Pensarn. Taking you through the bustling seafront of Colwyn Bay, only 15 minutes from Ty Mawr Holiday Park, you’ll head along the coastline, soaking up beautiful views of the sea and the wooded hillsides that rise up from the coast.
Start: Rhos-on-Sea Tourist Information Centre
Finish: Abergele & Pensarn Railway Station
Distance: 7 miles each way
The route begins at the Rhos-on-Sea Tourist Information Centre and takes you along the wide seafront promenade, through Colwyn Bay to Pensarn. Then, a short climb takes you up and over the jetties, which carry stone quarried from the hillsides out to sea. In the wooded hills, look out for Gwrych Castle, which you’ll catch a glimpse of as you pass between Llanddulas and Abergele.
Enjoy the gentle sea breeze as you ride along, before reaching the pretty coastal town of Pensarn - which is a great place to stop off for an ice cream. If you fancy resting for a while, Pensarn Beach is a lovely hidden gem along this section of coastline. There’s a small funfair for the kids to enjoy, and it’s the perfect place to relax on the beach and paddle in the waves, before heading back along the route to Rhos-on-Sea.
Video sourced from GrumpoftheBay
North Dorset Trailway and the Castleman Trailway, Dorset
Dorset is one of the most picturesque regions in Britain, with beautiful beaches and dramatic countryside just waiting to be explored by bike. The region has plenty of traffic-free routes that Dorset Cyclists Network recommend for families. The two routes below each offer something different for you to enjoy, and both are under an hour away from all of our parks in Dorset.
North Dorset Trailway
Start: Sturminster Newton
Distance: 10 miles
The first recommended route starts in the pretty market town of Sturminster Newton, and follows the old Somerset and Dorset Railway, taking you to Blandford. The trail is virtually traffic free, apart from a very short section that takes you through the village of Stourpaine.
On the way, look out for the historic station at Shillingstone. The station now includes a museum and model railway exhibition, which tells the story of the old Dorset Central Railway. There’s also a café at the station, so it’s the perfect place to stop for some refreshments – before carrying on along the North Dorset Trailway until you reach Blandford.
On the banks of the River Stour, Blandford is the most complete, small Georgian town in England. Discover the architecture of this charming little market town, where there are plenty of pubs, cafes and shops to explore. Wander down to the riverbank of the Stour, where there are lots of picturesque picnic spots. Keep an eye out for otters playing in the water, before you follow the route back to Sturminster Newton.
The Castleman Trailway
Start: Poole Harbour
Distance: 12 miles
The second route Dorset Cyclists Network recommend for families follows The Castleman Trailway, which offers a traffic-free route from Poole Harbour to Parkstone and Wimborne. Along the way, you’ll pass through the beautiful Upton Country Park, where you can explore over 130 acres of parkland, woodlands and gardens. There’s a stunning Georgian country house to visit, and loads of outdoor space to relax in before you continue along the route.
To reach Parkstone and Wimborne, you’ll join a disused railway line which takes you through the beautiful Dorset countryside. From Wimborne, you can either head back the way you came, or continue along a quiet back road for another 10 miles to reach Blandford, where you can connect with the North Dorset Trailway and carry on your adventure.
Video sourced from Cinematic Drones
Norfolk Coast Cycleway Loop, Norfolk
Just 10 minutes from Heacham Beach Holiday Park, this gentle ride begins and ends in the lovely village of Ingoldisthorpe – and is surrounded by rolling countryside. Expect picturesque views along country lanes, as you follow the route through pretty villages and spectacular landscapes.
Start and finish: Ingoldisthorpe
Distance: 18 miles
Starting in Ingoldisthorpe, follow the National Trails Route 1 to the small village of Shernborne, best known for its spectacular medieval architecture, beautiful abbey and two castles. Continue along the route towards Anmer, then cross the B1153, and head towards Houghton.
Follow the route and look for signs for Houghton Hall, which is open to the public during the summer months - and is well worth a visit. Built in the 1720s for Britain’s first Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole, soak up the history of the house and explore the majestic interior. Outdoors, there are beautiful walled gardens full of colourful plants and flowers, as well as a sculpture park, historic stable block and parkland to wander around. Look out for the striking white fallow deer herd that roam around the 450 acres surrounding the hall.
Continuing along the route, you’ll reach Great Bircham and pass alongside Bircham Windmill - which is the only working windmill in the area open to the public. Cycle towards Snettisham, crossing over the Peddars Way again, before you complete the loop near Snettisham Park Farm.
Video sourced from streetworker01
Have you got a favourite cycling route? Tweet @ParkdeanResorts using the hashtag #BikeWeek to share your recommended routes.