Inspiration for our cycling nation

When it comes to cycling these days, there are two things we should all be getting excited about:

Medal after medal, we dominate the Olympics on two wheels, and Bradley Wiggins becomes the first ever Brit to win the Tour de France, causing a phenomenal appreciation for UK cycling and…sideburns!

Given that British cycling is big news, we got inspired and decided to take a look at some of the best UK family cycle spots to GO Outdoors and spin those wheels like Bradley.

The Derwent Reservoirs, Peak District

Ladybower, Derwent and Howden make up the three Derwent reservoirs nestled in the heart of the Peak District. When you’re taking in the abundance of pine trees alongside the glassy waters, rolling hills and the warmth of the sun’s rays, this place can really take you away from it all.  The circuit of the dams will probably take you 2 – 3 hours, and you will cover approximately 17 miles. The terrain is of moderate gradient and partially on gravel tracks, so a sturdy bike to handle this is recommended. This is a fantastic ride with stunning scenery the whole way around, and make sure you finish off at the visitor’s centre for an ice cream at the end.

Difficulty: Easy

Cuckoo Trail, East Sussex

We’re not sure how many Cuckoos you’ll see on this trail, but with around 250,000 visitors each year there must be something bringing people back.

The Cuckoo Trail is a wonderful exploration of the East Sussex countryside, taking you on an 11 mile journey along the former railway track from Heathfield to Polegate. Discover this wildlife haven as you roll along through lush meadows and quaint villages. It’s packed full of places to stop and things to see, but be sure to stop and picnic at the hand carved seats made from old felled trees, and see the metal sculptures placed along the route, designed by local artist Hamish Black. This trail is a true British classic.

Difficulty: Easy

Wastwater to Santon Bridge, Lake District

Considered to offer the best view in the Lake District as it sits in the back garden of England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike, the route from Wastwater to Santon Bridge offers a diverse and luxurious surrounding.

The 12 mile route will take you through a wonderful adventure through the English lakes. Starting at Wastwater, the deepest lake in England, you will slowly meander your way through rolling hills and a stunning backdrop to finish up at Santon Bridge. This route is a test on the legs with a few good climbs, so the full route may not be suitable for young children, although it can be shortened to 5 miles to suit the whole family. This route is a bit more of a challenge but still an epic ride.

Difficulty: Medium

Haldon Forest Park, Devon

A location with something for everyone. Rattling along dusty single tracks with swooping turns amongst a wilderness of pine trees, getting lost is what it’s all about here.

Haldon Forest Park is a great place to get out and spin those wheels. With several purpose-built tracks ranging from family fun to Mountain Biking madness, there is something for us all. The tracks range from a pleasant 1.5 mile loop up to a more testing 7.6 miles, and they’re clearly marked so you don’t lose your way. A handy skills testing area is available so you can be sure to check which ride is for you, and with an onsite shop with all your bike essentials you won’t get caught out. A lot of forest fun to be had here!

Difficulty: All levels

Hamsey and Barcombe Mills, East Sussex

A great route for all the family, packed full of history and adventure. The 12 mile route, which should take around three hours, will take you past Roman sites, wartime defences and a steam railway at Isfield. The trail is a mixture of quiet back lanes and mild off-road, crossing farmlands and rivers and giving you a great view of the distant South Downs.

If you’re looking for a good stop off you can call in at The Anchor Inn, this is a great pub and you can even hire out a boat if riding bikes is not enough for one day. Be sure to call in at the signal box at Isfield and have a go at pulling the levers and operating a signal, great fun!

Difficulty: Medium

Feel free to join in and let us know your favourite cycle spots on our Facebook page.