There’s nothing quite like hitting the open road and traveling around the country. A great way to do this and a healthy way too is to cycle. However this can be impractical if you live miles away from the nearest countryside. What do you do? You could cycle all that way, but what if you want to go away for a few days? You will need to take supplies with you and the easiest way to do that is to take a car, then go out for a bike ride. You can easily transport your bike with bike carriers, which can take the stress out of transporting your bike to wherever you choose.
Here we take a look at just a small portion of the many great cycle routes there are out there. The best part is these cost nothing to go once you are there!
Isle of Arran, Scotland
The Isle of Arran is a fantastic place with an array of cycle routes that cater to all levels of ability. From the biking enthusiast to the leisurely cyclist and it is also great for families. Known as a ‘miniatureScotland’, it has a lot of natural beauty and is particularly popular with mountain bikers due to rolling hills and big mountains.
There are designated trails, colour coded to show degree of difficulty. Blue trails are classed as easy and are around 6 miles in total, whereas red trails are considerably more difficult and should really only be attempted by professionals. There is also another route, colour coded as black, which is hardest of all.
All the routes vary in length between 6-21 miles and can take anything between 1-5 hours to complete. Bear in mind that the timing suggested is not a time you have to stick to. You can just as easily take a full day if you wish, just to take the sights in and taking breaks on the way.
All of the routes, regardless of difficulty have forest trails with faster tracks for people who love speed, as wellas road sections to make the ride a bit smoother.
To get to the island you will need to take a ferry from the mainland.
There are lots of interesting things to spot on the various trailssuch as wildlife like
- Golden Eagles
There is also an old ruined castle to explore which is also a great place to view red deer in the evening. There are also more historic sites to viewsuch as Neolithic burial site being just one of the many ancient sites on the island.
In addition to this there are 11 villages to visit, with multiple pubs in each.
Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire
The Forest of Dean is considered to be a fairy-tale style forest by many, with acres of established woodland, which look like a picture from 100 acre wood. Spring is a particularly beautiful time to go as all the bluebells are in bloom, creating lovely blue carpets throughout the forest. The forest is also alive with the sound of birdsong which can be a lovely sound.
The cycle routes here cater to all levels of biking experience, from beginner to enthusiast and are again great for families. Most routes are classed as easy with just a few being a little more difficult. Each route varies in length, from 3 to 11 miles and should take between 1 and 2 hours. You can also purchase a map, which is both tear proof and waterproof, to make sure you are on the right track.
The best trail for families is the 11 mile circular route, which takes you through the forest with gentle gradients. If you want something more challenging though, you can do the Sallowvallets area, which is designed for mountain biking.
The easiest trail is the 7 mile Verderers’ trail, which is narrow in parts, with different road surfaces. Most of the paths on all the trails are typically stony with gradients ranging from flat to considerably steep.
There is also a viewpoint that is worth visiting as it gives 360-degree views of the forest which are unmatched. In addition to this there is also a great picnic spot at Mallards Pike Lake.
These are just a small sample of what’s out there; you can explore and find your own too. A great way to do this is to go camping and see what you discover. However you may decide that a tent is not for you, you can always take a caravan with you. As long as you have a tow bar, or get a professional Towbar Fitting, the world is yours to explore.