For many, nothing quite beats the feeling of being out on the open road on two wheels – whizzing through lush green countryside, along canal paths or tackling a brutal mountain climb.
So, if you love cycling and being outdoors, why not turn your passion into a holiday? With the coronavirus pandemic seriously scuppering many of our traditional holiday plans, there’s lots of fun to be had and beautiful sights to be seen on bike.
A growing trend
This country it seems, is in the midst of bike mania. Brits spent £33.22 million on bikes and equipment in 2019. And if you were one of the people who tried to get hold of a bike over lockdown, you’ll know that it wasn’t an easy task, with many shops running out of stock and up to 20,000 bikes awaiting building and delivery by 24 April alone.
Not only is cycling an inexpensive way to get around, it’s a good form of exercise and many people have found that the combination of beautiful scenery, exercise and fresh air is great for their mental health.
Guided or independent holiday?
If you want the freedom of deciding your own itinerary and going where the mood takes you, then an independent trip is for you. However, you’ll need to do your research before you set off and book your accommodation in advance. The rise in staycations means that places are getting booked up quickly.
If you’re doing A to B cycling, rather than day trips from a fixed location, you’ll be taking everything with you on your bike each day, so pack light!
Self-guided cycling holidays in the UK on the other hand, everything will be taken care of for you. You’ll be given your own bike for the trip, a mapped-out route and your accommodation and luggage transfers will be sorted. Leaving you with nothing to worry about except the big hills!
Where to go
The 205 mile Drovers’ Trail is a new route that spans almost the entirety of Highland Perthshire. On it you’ll pass though classic Highland scenery, including waterfalls, castle ruins, woodland and glens.
Soak up the dramatic Cumbrian and Yorkshire landscapes on the Lakes and Dales Loop – a 195 mile circular route through the best scenery northern England has to offer.
The Welsh end-to-end route of Lon Las Cymru traverses the country from Cardiff to Anglesey and includes some gruelling but absolutely stunning rides through Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons.
What to take
If your bike isn’t up to the task or you can’t transport it, then hiring a bike can be a good, but expensive, option. Make sure you book in advance.
Don’t forget to take your helmet, along with a hand-pump, puncture repair kit and spare inner tubes. Cycling shoes, pedals, a water bottle and sunglasses are some other essentials to pack.
You’ll also need reliable route guidance, such as cycle.travel, which finds the best routes for cyclists and offers turn-by-turn guides.
Finally, check your insurance to make sure cycling is covered and upgrade it necessary. Once you’ve sorted this, all that’s left to do is enjoy your holiday. Happy cycling!