Winter weather may keep you off your bike so put that time to good use by planning your next cycling holiday. Beautiful, unique and downright awesome parts of the UK are opened up to you when you visit them on a bicycle. Bikes will take you places cars simply can’t. Why not add these amazing locations to your cycling holiday bucket list.
The Wales Coast Path is 870 miles of inspiring Welsh landscape around the shores of some of the cleanest, most pristine beaches in the world, and through historical and vibrant towns. While parts are off limits to bikes, there are several sections which are part of the National Cycle Network and which can be incorporated into a longer holiday that takes in the fantastic road and off-road trails that Wales is famous for. Gower and Swansea Bay is perfect for a gentle weekend, while Conwy is home to one of Wales’ most majestic castles. You can also ride up (and down) Mount Snowdon.
You don’t need legs of steel to enjoy a British cycling holiday. The Norfolk broads are wonderfully flat and, as Britain’s largest protected area of wetlands, are ideal for nature lovers – particularly bird watchers. Punctuate your route with a picnic by the river or a spot of pub lunch in a picturesque market town like Aylsham.
If you fancy a greater cycling challenge than the Norfolk Broads, head for the Scottish Highlands and Bealach na Ba, the UK’s highest road climb on the Isle of Skye. The magnitude of the scenery will take your breath away as you power your way through locations that can include Ben Lawers Mountain Range and Cairngorms National Park.
If the beginning stages of the 2014 Tour de France whet your appetite for cycling, bring your bike to Yorkshire and experience the fun first hand. Yorkshire is even more impressive than it looks on television, with challenging hills that will have you gasping with the effort of getting to the top, and exhilaration at the view which awaits you. Off roaders will enjoy Dales Bike Centre in Swaledale, and Dalby Forest, where the 2010 and 2011 UCI Mountain Bike Cross Country World Cup was held.
Explore Northern Ireland from coast to coast with the Belfast to Ballyshannon route – 242 miles of signed cycling route which gives you a flavour of this magical island. Northern Ireland is easily reached by plane or ferry and, as well as staggering scenery, is incredibly hospitable with fantastic restaurants, pubs and cafes along the way to satisfy your ravenous cycling induced appetite.
If you can’t wait for time off work to hit the road then check out the Sustrans maps to find a route to enjoy this weekend. Don’t let poor bike maintenance ruin your holiday. Keep your machine in tip-top order with this handy guide from the BBC. If you do have an accident that wasn’t your fault, the team at Carry on Cycling will be able to help. Being cyclists themselves, they know exactly what is required to help get you back in the saddle.