Family cycling holiday recommendations

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
Wilf Roberts
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Family cycling holiday recommendations

Postby Wilf Roberts » 30 Nov 2014, 8:16pm

Hello forum!

I'm hoping to go on a camping and cycling holiday next spring. The rough plan is to drive to a campsite that has easy or direct access to some good traffic free cycle routes, and then spend a few days exploring these and returning to the campsite each night. It would be me cycling with our 2yr old on my bike, and my wife and our 6yr old each on their own bikes. Our 6yr old is a very keen and pretty competent cyclist, he's done 40 miles in a day so 20 mile routes will be no problem for example.

Is this viable in the uk? I'm thinking there may be some canalside routes in the midlands perhaps? Have done a little bit of googling but without much success... If a UK option doesn't exist then France/Belgium/Holland would be possible.

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Tigerbiten
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Re: Family cycling holiday recommendations

Postby Tigerbiten » 30 Nov 2014, 8:27pm

Are you thinking totally off road or on quite roads for a bit ??
The only place I can think of off road would be somewhere like the Thetford Forest, New Forest or Kilder Forest.

ferdinand
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Re: Family cycling holiday recommendations

Postby ferdinand » 30 Nov 2014, 8:43pm

Is "canalside" code for "flat" ? ! How flat?

In think this might be possible in the Peak District and just outside. based at somewhere such as Ashbourne, Bakewell or further North. There are a canal or tow, but also reasonable circuits on off road trails and ex-railways, and quite a number of published circular and straight routes at different standards.

eg
http://www.peakdistrictcycleways.co.uk/ ... routes.php

Ferdinand

Wilf Roberts
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Re: Family cycling holiday recommendations

Postby Wilf Roberts » 30 Nov 2014, 8:47pm

Tigerbiten wrote:Are you thinking totally off road or on quite roads for a bit ??
The only place I can think of off road would be somewhere like the Thetford Forest, New Forest or Kilder Forest.


I'm open to suggestions - I'll be on a rigid MTB with slick-ish tyres, my wife has a hybrid and the boy will be on an Islabike Beinn. So no "serious" offroading but a decent towpath should be fine. He's good on the roads for a 6yr old but a traffic free route, tarmac or not, would be ideal.

ferdinand wrote:Is "canalside" code for "flat" ? ! How flat?

In think this might be possible in the Peak District and just outside. based at somewhere such as Ashbourne, Bakewell or further North. There are a canal or tow, but also reasonable circuits on off road trails and ex-railways, and quite a number of published circular and straight routes at different standards.

eg
http://www.peakdistrictcycleways.co.uk/ ... routes.php

Ferdinand


Thanks I'll check that out Ferdinand! It doesn't have to be completely flat, but with the family in tow a hilly route would seriously cut down the miles we could cover.

MrsHJ
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Re: Family cycling holiday recommendations

Postby MrsHJ » 1 Dec 2014, 6:36am

Part of Eurovelo 6 or 1 using the cross channel ferry if you don't mind going outside of the UK. Take the car if you want and leave at a campsite then get the train back to collect. We did 1 this summer with the 8and 10 year olds using their bikes, it's very easy going and traffic free along the (long) canal sections I. Brittany. 6 is along the Loire, don't forget to stop, otherwise you'll end up in the Black Sea.

eileithyia
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Re: Family cycling holiday recommendations

Postby eileithyia » 1 Dec 2014, 7:32am

New Forest and Thetford Forest, the railway tracks of the Peaks, High, Tissington and Manifold are great for kids.
It would only be a 1 day trip but you could try out the Preston Guild Wheel, 21 miles of tracks (mostly) couple of quiet roads that circumnavigates Preston.
I stand and rejoice everytime I see a woman ride by on a wheel the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood. HG Wells

Galloper
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Re: Family cycling holiday recommendations

Postby Galloper » 1 Dec 2014, 2:36pm

Co Durham. We have a wonderful network of traffic free paths, all converted from old railway lines. As an added benefit, a lot of them link up together. As a selection:

Waskerley Way
Lanchester Valley Way
Brandon to Bishop Line
Crook-Waterhouses-Durham

In addition you can have a very pleasant day exploring Hamsterley Forest and there is a good selection of cycle routes on quiet roads. You can also explore parts of the C3C, Walney to Wear and NCN1 although that is less salubrious in parts.

Have a look at http://www.durham.gov.uk/article/3691/Railway-paths

bretonbikes
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Re: Family cycling holiday recommendations

Postby bretonbikes » 2 Dec 2014, 3:23pm

If you want a fixed-centre cyclecamping base then Gouarec in brittany is brilliant - http://www.bretonbikes.com/gouarec.html

You've obviously got all your own gear so you don't need our 'facilities', but if you want a copy of all our routes in the area from the campsite, or just help/advice then just email/PM and I'll send them off gratis (this applies to anyone else on here too) - I'd really like to get as many people cycling there as possible as it helps when I hassle the local authorities about supporting the campsite so it's purely selfish on my part! This year we had the UK Tandem club over (100 tandems) and they had a ball. - Edit - in case of confusion - it's not our campsite, it's just that we need it to keep being successful so we can continue to be based in a corner of it!
Last edited by bretonbikes on 2 Dec 2014, 9:39pm, edited 1 time in total.

JJF
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Re: Family cycling holiday recommendations

Postby JJF » 2 Dec 2014, 5:16pm

The river Avon from Avonmouth thro' Bristol, Bath, Kennet and Avon canal and river Thames to just to the west of London provide a continuous cycle route. Mostly towpaths but with occasional bits of road. If you camp somewhere in the middle then you can have two days of very attractive out-and-back rides. Several attractions such as Hampton Court Palace.

If you choose France, Laval in Pays de la Loire has 4 Voies Vertes radiating from it. 2 rivers and 2 former railways. The rivers are attractive but I haven't tried the rail routes. www.af3v.org/-Fiche-VVV-.html?voie=53

MrsHJ
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Re: Family cycling holiday recommendations

Postby MrsHJ » 2 Dec 2014, 8:36pm

bretonbikes wrote:If you want a fixed-centre cyclecamping base then Gouarec in brittany is brilliant - http://www.bretonbikes.com/gouarec.html

You've obviously got all your own gear so you don't need our 'facilities', but if you want a copy of all our routes in the area from the campsite, or just help/advice then just email/PM and I'll send them off gratis (this applies to anyone else on here too) - I'd really like to get as many people cycling there as possible as it helps when I hassle the local authorities about supporting the campsite so it's purely selfish on my part! This year we had the UK Tandem club over (100 tandems) and they had a ball.


We passed through and saw the tandems. They had a ball. I think they said they are going to Prague next year?

Wilf Roberts
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Re: Family cycling holiday recommendations

Postby Wilf Roberts » 2 Dec 2014, 10:19pm

Thanks everyone for the excellent suggestions - we're going to have lots of fun trying these out!

elPedro666
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Re: Family cycling holiday recommendations

Postby elPedro666 » 3 Dec 2014, 8:57am

There are loads of flattish routes around the Peaks - High Peak Trail, Trans Pennine, Tissington, Monsall...

hamster
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Re: Family cycling holiday recommendations

Postby hamster » 3 Dec 2014, 5:55pm

The New Forest is also a good choice, plus some extras like a trip to the Isle of Wight and plenty of tourist attractions too.

theDaveB
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Re: Family cycling holiday recommendations

Postby theDaveB » 3 Dec 2014, 7:36pm

North Wales is fantastic for cycling on the sea front. I went from Prestatyn to Landudno on the coastal cycle path. I did carry on to Conwy but there was too much sand on the path to cycle. The path carries on after Conwy but not looked into how far it is a nice cycle path.

Loads of campsites and caravan parks and a lovely beach the whole way.

Dave

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RickH
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Re: Family cycling holiday recommendations

Postby RickH » 3 Dec 2014, 8:50pm

Not far from North Wales there is also Chester & the surrounding area with the Dee River path (better surface than many roads but a small number of barriers to negotiate), the Chester Greenway, the Shropshire Union Canal (which has a fairly well surfaced towpath - & some of the slightly ropier section heading out towards Ellesmere Port has recently been resurfaced), the Wirral Way (& the mostly off road route right round the North of the Wirral) and lots of quiet lanes.

You could always combine the Chester area & North Wales by getting a train out somewhere & riding back (or vice versa) - Arriva Trains Wales seem to be OK with bikes, at least on the Warrington to Chester section of the Manchester to North Wales route that I do most weeks, I've had the tandem in with 3 other bikes in the "2 bikes" space without anyone batting an eyelid.

Mersey Rail on the Wirral seem to be OK too -their £4.90 all areas SaveAway ticket is good value, particularly if you want to take a Mersey Ferry trip which is included. We did a very enjoyable (organised) ride the other Sunday. We parked at Hooton (mainly because it is the station nearest Chester that both the Chester & Ellesmere Port routes pass through hence more frequent trains), took the tandem & us through to Liverpool James St, met up with the ride at Albert Dock for the ferry to Birkenhead (we'd never done a Mersey Ferry trip) they didn't seem bothered by around 30 bikes coming aboard. Then we rode round the coastal path as far as Parkgate before heading across to Port Sunlight & back up the Mersey side ostensibly for the return ferry (we opted out of that one & just went to the station at Birkenhead & headed back to Hooton). Plenty of non-cycling things to see & do around there too.

Rick.