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Following the recent success of Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish in the Tour de France and the news that Le Tour will start in Yorkshire in 2014, cycling holidays are all the rage. From super-fit, competitive road cyclists to families with tow bars and trailers, the UK is a dream playground for those exploring on two wheels.

As a keen cyclist, here is my pick of the best cycling routes in the UK, whatever type of cycling holiday you’re planning!

Where the Ride Ends


Ride the Solar System in York

…perfect for families…

The six mile, traffic-free and virtually flat route between York and Selby is a fantastic ride for families.  There’s no need for a map as the route is well sign-posted so you can just enjoy the beautiful countryside which stretches the entire length of this former railway track.  The scale model of the solar system is what really makes this route great for little legs; start at the sun which is eight feet in diameter and suspended above the track.  You’ll find plenty of information at every planet as well as numerous places to stop for a picnic so you can really make a day of it.  You’ll also find a wealth of great family activities in York like the free Railway Museum and the Jorvik Viking Centre.  Why not take a look at our holiday cottages in Yorkshire for inspiration for your next family holiday?


Scale model of the solar system on a bike route

Bedgebury Forest, Kent

…ideal for mountain bikers…

So the south of England may not be known as particularly challenging territory but prepare to be surprised in Kent where Bedgebury Forest offers something for mountain bikers of all abilities.  The 2000 acre forest not far from Tunbridge Wells offers 10km of family friendly paths, adapted bikes for disabled cyclists and bike showers for those particularly muddy days!  The real excitement is the 12km single track path which after a gentle ascent promises twisting, speedy descents interspersed with sharp climbs and challenging jumps.  There’s also a separate free ride area with a great selection of dirt jumps and table tops which are satisfyingly tough!  If this has got your adrenaline flowing, click here for our full range of south coast holiday cottages.


Tweed and Ettrick Valleys, Scottish Borders

…one for road cyclists…

The Scottish Borders provide enviable road cycling opportunities for those looking to emulate their Team Sky heroes.  From 200 mile routes requiring you to cycle around the clock to shorter but equally tricky routes, the mystically beautiful Borders has it all.  For a route which is easily achievable while you’re on holiday, try the 42 mile circular ride through the Tweed and Ettrick Valleys.  The route begins between Selkirk and Galashiels and takes in Innerleithen on the return of what is a challenging but visually stunning loop.  Fortunately, there are plenty of places to stop off for a breather en route as well as the impressive Bowhill House and Country Estate.

Sunlight on hills, Scottish borders, 2010

Find a cottage

Two wheels are one of the best ways to discover the UK’s gorgeous countryside as well as a great way to get the whole family in the great outdoors.  Finding a cottage for a cycling holiday is easy with Sykes as almost half of our holiday cottages are located in excellent cycling destinations the length and breadth of the country.  Many of our cottages also offer secure bike storage so after a hard day in the saddle, you can rest easy knowing that your two wheels are safe.  You could even choose a cottage with a hot tub, what better way to soothe aching muscles at the end of the day!

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