When you plan a day out by bike the fun starts the moment you step outside your front door. The wind whipping in your hair and the feel of the sun on your skin as you head for a day of adventure with friends old and new is intoxicating.
To help inspire and excite you we’ve put together a great list of fun days out, with activities as varied as your friends. From fantastic days out for foodie fans to amazing adventures for adrenaline junkies; from countryside capers for nature lovers to urban exploration for city slickers – we have something for everyone.
Glasgow is a city for true foodies, people more passionate about the quality of what’s on their plate over any fashionable food fad. Glasgow Waterways Loop takes you on a circular tour of the city while just a short detour from the route is Cail Bruich, winner of Best Restaurant at the 2014 Scottish Entertainment Awards.
For those of you who prefer your days a little more action packed we’d recommend the fantastic Afan Valley route. Starting in Port Talbot on Swansea Bay the trail soon moves away from the coast and takes you up a pretty woodland riverside path past old mining communities. You then head in to Afan Forest Park where if you’re lucky you might spot buzzards or red deer. As the route is only six miles long you should have plenty of energy left when you arrive at the Visitor Centre where you can rent mountain bikes and have a crack at the world-class trails.
Do you love being outdoors? Are you up for a challenge? If so then this is absolutely the route for you. The 95 (yes 95) mile Dartmoor Way takes you through some of the wildest countryside in southern England, passing bucolic villages as well as breathtaking Devon scenery. Whether tackled over several days with a few nights spent under canvas or in one mammoth slog this is sure to be an epic trip.
What better place for day out for our urban explorers than east London? Starting near Greenwich the London Docklands and Lea Valley route offers the perfect opportunity for revisiting London’s naval past at the National Maritime Museum or the Cutty Sark before setting off on a 26 mile ride north to the Lea Valley, passing Regents Canal, Victoria Park and Walthamstow Marsh Nature Reserve along the way.
If your idea of a far-flung adventure is more leaving Zone 3 than roughing it in the wild then this is the perfect trip for you.
If you’re a culture convert, an art appreciator or museum mad then we have the perfect day out for you. Head to Gateshead where our Baltic to Bill Quay route starts at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art. This amazingly diverse and vibrant centre for contemporary art is housed in a landmark industrial building on the south bank of the River Tyne. The Baltic is a really special space. The route ends at Bill Quay Farm, a not-for-profit organisation that raises rare and indigenous breeds of farm animals and runs activities for the local community. At only four miles long this route is perfectly doable on foot as well as by bike.
Slow Tour of Yorkshire
Fancy taking a tour of God’s own country… at your own pace? The Tour de France is so last month; August is all about the Tour de Yorkshire. The Slow Tour of Yorkshire is a highlight of the 21 best cycle routes across Yorkshire on the National Cycle Network. The routes are between 10 and 20 miles, reachable by public transport, on traffic-free or quiet lanes and mainly flat, making them perfect for beginners or just those who fancy taking it easy.
There’s no shortage of things to see and the Slow Tour of Yorkshire includes routes along canals and greenways, to historic houses and ruined abbeys, or try one of our ‘starter’ hills and have a go at being King of the Mountain.
If you’re in need of a little more inspiration then head over to Sustrans’ website for more ideas for fun days out with friends.
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