Explore by bike as more routes open up
Pedal power is a wonderful way to go exploring when you’re staying at one of our adult only touring parks. Sales of electric bikes have recently soared and cycling is growing in popularity. (If you’d like to know more about electric bikes, see our blog Choosing an Electric Bike.)
You don’t have to be an expert cyclist to appreciate what an enjoyable, healthy, economical and eco-friendly way it is to get around. New networks of cycle paths, lanes and trailways are opening up all the time. And if more people use bikes to get around, it reduces the build up of traffic and pollution in local neighbourhoods and tourist hotspots. That’s definitely a win-win!
Here’s a quick round-up of major cycling opportunities from our parks. You can also get more information when you’re staying at a park.
New cycle paths just opened
Bath Chew Valley Caravan Park – exciting new Chew Valley Cycle and Walking Trails open to all
Just under 3km of new cycle trail and footpaths will link Bath Chew Valley Caravan Park to the western shores of Chew Valley Lake after an official opening on 19 May. Cyclists will now have a direct off-road link to Sustrans routes 3, 4 and 40 for Bath, Bristol and Cheddar as well as Blagdon Lake.
The new pathways extend the walks from Chew Dam to Woodford Lodge and onward to Heron’s Green, a well-known nature watching spot on the lake’s western shore.
A new, 3m wide, bridge now provides direct access to the trails a few moments’ walk along Ham Lane providing park guests with a fully accessible access to the lakeside walks, Salt & Malt and Woodford Lodge restaurants. The Chew Dam roadway has recently been remodelled to accommodate a separate cycle path and walkway along with added traffic calming measures. At the same time, bird watching enthusiasts will welcome the re-opening of the Bittern Trail, lakeside hide and viewing point on the lake’s eastern shore close to the park. Walking guides to each of the three lakes in the Somerset lakeland can be downloaded from the Bath Chew Valley Caravan Park website.
New route from Briarfields Motel & Touring Park to Cheltenham
A brand new cycling/walking path into Cheltenham has just opened opposite Briarfields Motel and Touring Park. It’s a dedicated tree-lined path for pedestrians and cyclists running alongside the main A40 for the three-mile journey into town. When completed, the path will connect Cheltenham and Gloucester. This new path leads to the Honeybourne Line cyclist access to many areas of Cheltenham.
Cheltenham is also running a trial scheme for electric scooters. Once you’ve set up an online account, you can hire them as you please and pay by the minute. The closest pick-up point to Briarfields is about a five-minute walk away. For cycle hire, there’s a hub at the railway station.
Cycling information from our parks (north to south)
Overbrook Caravan Park, North Yorkshire
The North York Moors, where Overbrook Caravan Park is situated, is always a big draw for cyclists with its mix of casual and challenging routes. The area has hosted the Tour de Yorkshire road race a number of times and it’s hoped that the event will return in the next year or so. Dalby Forest, about eight miles away, is a major cycling centre with miles of track to suit all abilities. The Mountain Bike World Cup has been held there. You can hire bikes in the local village of Thornton-le-Dale at Dalby Bike Barn. The park recommends the routes from Ryedale Cycling and Malton to Pickering and there’s a bike shop in Pickering.
York Naburn Lock Caravan Park, York
The area surrounding York Naburn Lock Caravan Park is largely flat with quiet country roads. The park is close to an access point for the major Sustrans Route 65, the long-distance cycle path connecting Hornsea and Middlesborough. For a desciption of the section from Naburn Lock into York, see the park’s website. Along the route there’s a scale model of the Solar System, devised by the University of York. You can pick up leaflets about it in the onsite shop. Information about other local cycle routes are on the Travel York website.
Grooby’s Pit, Lincolnshire
“Lincolnshire is great for cycling as it’s so flat!” says Tracey from Grooby’s Pit. Many of their guests bring bikes to explore the area. She has plenty of information on the most popular circular cycle routes for enthusiasts, using www.komoot.com to plan them.
Long Acres Touring Park, Lincolnshire
The minor roads surrounding Long Acres Touring Park take you to different parts of the Fens, offering many different cycle routes. With flat landscapes and quiet roads, cycling is relaxing and enjoyable. The park has devised three interesting routes from the site, all about 15 miles long, and all with pubs en route! Printed maps are available at the park or you can download them from www.long-acres.co.uk/cycling.
The Willows Touring Park, North Wales
The Willows Caravan & Camping Park is located on the scenic Llyn Peninsula where the local AONB Unit has worked with Sustrans to develop four circular Llyn cycling routes on small rural lanes with low levels of traffic. In Snowdonia there are are recreational off-road routes and a forest park with world-class mountain bike trails. See Visit Snowdonia for information.
Lamb Cottage Caravan Park, Cheshire
Excellent cycle routes from Lamb Cottage Caravan Park include the Whitegate Way and Weaver Parkway, as well as trails in the Delamere Forest. For information there’s a section for cyclists on the Lamb Cottage website.
Red Kite Touring Park, Powys, Mid-Wales
Red Kite Touring Park offers several ‘Llanidloes by Bike’ leaflets for guests to borrow whilst staying there. They detail six different routes, varying from four to 19 miles, all of which start from the nearby market town of Llanidloes, which is just over 1 mile from the site. Many of these take in the stunning scenery around Llyn Clywedog and Hafren Forest. Although you need to cycle along a main road to get to Llanidloes it’s only a short distance. For bike hire, equipment, repairs or servicing, there’s a bike shop in Llanidloes, Llani Bikes. You can also find local cycling routes online at www.llanidloes.com/cycle-llanidloes.
Also accessible from Llanidloes for the more proficient rider is National Cycle Route 81, running from Aberystwyth to Wolverhampton and taking in some fantastic views around Elan Valley and reservoirs locally. National Cycle Route 8 runs from Llanidloes to Cardiff Bay. There is also the Lôn Cambria, which runs through Wales connecting Aberystwyth and Shrewsbury.
Eye Kettleby Lakes, Leicestershire
There are plenty of cycling routes around Eye Kettleby Lakes, including one into Melton Mowbray. It’s roughly a three-mile ride mostly on public roads with a small part on a public footpath. Don’t forget to pick up your pork pie and Stilton cheese while you’re there!
Within a 15-mile radius of Eye Kettleby Lakes, there are plenty of quiet country lanes. These are a pleasant way to explore rural Leicestershire and discover local villages and pubs. Why not take a break at The Royal Oak in Great Dalby for a traditional pint or and a bite to eat.
The large reservoir and nature reserve, Rutland Water is a great place to hire bikes if you don’t bring them with you. Enjoy the peaceful waterside trails with plenty of picnic spots and pub stops en route! You might spot a rare osprey at this nature reserve or stop at the sandy beach for a well-earned ice cream. Rutland Water Website. For routes and maps of the area please ask at reception when you arrive.
Delph Bank Touring Park, Lincolnshire
Two Mills Touring Park, Norfolk
Two Mills Touring Park is just one mile south of the old market town of North Walsham on the old main road to Great Yarmouth. The village of Worstead, famous for its woollen cloth, is only two miles away and surrounded by quiet country lanes and byways that are ideal for cycling.
Stroud Hill Park, Cambridgeshire
Stroud Hill Park is located in Cambridgeshire, one of the best counties for cycling. It’s relatively flat with extensive areas to explore and has cycling networks for all ages and abilities. Here’s some information from the park team that you may need to get out and about amongst some beautiful and historic sites and countryside.
Directly from the park there’s a lovely circular loop through Pidley village and across beautiful farmland to the village of Old Hurst and a fantastic farm shop which, (in the park team’s opinion) has one of the biggest and best butcher counters in the area. After a drink stop here you can cross the A141 and explore the quieter roads that lead them through villages adorned with beautiful thatched houses and impressive church buildings like Broughton and Abbots Ripton, (Villages that, incidentally, have fantastic country pubs for a well earned lunch stop.). From there, the shorter loop brings explorers back round through Warboys and eventually back to Stroud Hill Park. More avid cyclists may want to extend the reach of their day out by incorporating typical market towns of Ramsey and Chatteris, and Ely with its stunning cathedral, into their route.
Guests with bikes can enjoy a selection of cycle routes departing from various locations in the local area too:
- There’s the popular route from St Ives to Cambridge, Cycling along the Guided Bus Route. Cyclists can divert to explore different villages along the way and even Fen Drayton Lakes Nature reserve. Take in the historic city of Cambrigde which has so many places of interest to see.
- Grafham Water (about 16 miles south) is a biological Site of Special Scientific Interest and England’s third largest reservoir, nestled in 1,500 acres of beautiful countryside. You can cycle right around the reservoir and incorporate Huntingdon, site of the Oliver Cromwell museum. The Wheatsheaf Pub in Perry is a very popular lunch stop where you can start and finish your route, by prior arrangement, and be rewarded with a fabulous meal at the end of your outing.
- The following links to Cambridgeshire cycle routes provide more information and useful maps to plan routes a little further afield: Cambridge, Ely, Huntingdon, St Neots and Wisbech.
- For information on cycle hire in the area, the best website is rutlandcycling.com.They have branches in various locations throughout Cambridgeshire which means you can hire local to the specific area you wish to explore.
For further information on cycling and the countryside surrounding Stroud Hill Park, please talk to your wardens who will be only too happy to help.
Somers Wood Caravan Park, Warwickshire
From Somers Wood Caravan Park you can cycle down the adjacent public right of way into the local village, Meriden. This takes you away from the main road and onto a quieter road into Meriden (approximately 1.3 miles). See the Somers Wood website for details of the Meriden Village Country Path.
Electric bikes are now available across the West Midlands 24/7 through West Midlands Cycle Hire using the Beryl app. You can find them in Birmingham, Coventry, Sandwell, Stourbridge, Solihull, Sutton Coldfield, Walsall and Wolverhampton. Docking stations are at railway, bus and metro stations, as well as visitor attractions and town or city centres. For local cycle routes, try bikemap.net. A popular cycling destination with miles of surfaced paths and cycle hire is Kingsbury Water Park (11 miles away).
Run Cottage Touring Park, Suffolk
Run Cottage Touring Park is near the long-distance cycle path that follows the coast for 50 miles from Lowestoft to Felixstowe through a variety of coastal scenery. See the park’s website for information about Suffolk Coast Cycling, the Sailors’ Path and Rendlesham Forest.
South Wales Touring Park, Llanelli, South Wales
There’s a new cycle path under construction that will go from near the South Wales Touring Park entrance and link with many other cycle routes in Carmarthenshire. See the park’s cycling page for a map and links to the Celtic Train West, the South West Wales Legends cycle trail and the Millennium Coastal Path.
Plough Lane Caravan Park, Wiltshire
North Wiltshire is a great area to explore by bike and Plough Lane Caravan Park have compiled information on local cycle routes for guests to borrow. Popular trips from the park inlcude the picturesque village of Castle Combe as well as Calne and Avebury. There’s more information on the park’s cycling page.
Old Oaks Touring & Glamping Park, Somerset
The area around Glastonbury is ideal for cycling and the Old Touring & Glamping Park has put together a website page about local cycling with six local cycle routes for you to download. Free cycling maps are also available in the Tourist Information Room. On the Old Oaks’ cycling page you’ll also find information about the local company that hires electric bikes and delivers them to the park. You can also hire bikes in Glastonbury from the local tourist information centre and the park recommends these websites of interest: The Open Road Experience and Curious Trails – Somerset Cycle Paths for Awesome Days Out.
Back of Beyond Touring Camping & Glamping Park, Dorset
From Back of Beyond Touring Camping & Glamping Park you can reach the New Forest with its extensive off-road trails. There’s also a major cycle path running along a former railway line nearby, as well as local country parks with good cycle tracks. See the cycling page on the park’s website for more information.
Woodland Springs Touring Park, Devon
Woodland Springs Touring Park is located in Dartmoor which has plenty to offer cyclists. There’s The Granite Way cycle path linking Okehampton and Lydford, Drake’s Trail from Tavistock to Plymouth and several trails at Haldon Forest. Cycle hire is available nearby.
Trethem Mill Touring Park, Cornwall
Cycling from Trethem Mill Touring Park is mainly on footpaths and lanes rather than designated cycle routes. A lot of guests do, however, enjoy cycling from the park. There is a coast-to-coast trail from Devoran to Portreath, known as the Bissoe Trail. You can reach the southern point using the King Harry car ferry. This chain ferry links the Roseland Peninsula with Feock, Truro and Falmouth. For more information, see Cornwall Trails or the Scoop of Cornwall blog.