Wheel luxury: One of its rides through Dorset
Wheel luxury: One of its rides through Dorset

Get on your bike: Great British cycle rides

From a vintage cycle race to a luxurious Dorset retreat, Nicola Trup spins through some two-wheeled adventures

Nicola Trup
Thursday 16 April 2015 16:29
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Whether you’re a seasoned rider looking for a new challenge or fair-weather cyclist, you’re spoilt for choice in Britain. So dust off the Lycra, pump up your tyres and get in the saddle.

Rough and ready

Mountain bikers can test their mettle on Northumberland’s new, 120-mile Sandstone Way cycle route (sandstoneway.co.uk). Linking Berwick-upon-Tweed with Hexham, it skirts along the coast before cutting inland and running around the edge of Northumberland National Park, using a mix of existing rights of way and a few quiet roads. Saddle Skedaddle (0191 2651110; skedaddle.co.uk) has cycle trips along the length of the Sandstone Way, starting in Berwick on 31 July and 14 August, from £385pp with three nights’ B&B, lunches, and guided cycling with vehicle support.

Retro ride: Eroica Britannia vintage cycling festival

Island hopping

You don’t have to be an experienced rider to take on a cycling holiday. Wilderness Scotland (01479 420020; wildernessscotland.com) has a new island-hopping adventure aimed at first-timers, on the mostly flat Hebridean islands of Islay, Jura and Arran. Taking in whisky distilleries, wildlife and whirlpools, the trip is led by a guide, but you can go it alone and meet up with the group along the way if you prefer. From £1,195pp including five nights’ B&B, some meals, luggage transfers and ferries. Departures from Glasgow on 13 June and 19 September.

Saddle but not sore

If you like a bit of R&R with your ride, head to Dorset, where a British Cycling coach and a party planner have launched a new high-end cycle retreat. On the Rivet (01308 456 313; ontherivetuk.com) offers cycle fitness training and countryside rides, before guests bed down each night in a luxurious manor house with its own pool, spa and hot tub. Two-day retreats from £500pp including full board with wine, a spa treatment, and guided rides. Various dates available between 27 April and 18 September.

Wheel luxury: On The Rivet retreat

Good vintage

Retro-tinged cycling celebration Eroica Britannia (eroicabritannia.co.uk) returns for its second outing on 19-21 June, this time in Bakewell, Derbyshire. The festival features vintage sales, street food, an old-fashioned sports day, and what’s billed as the “world’s biggest bike jumble”. If you fancy a challenge, sign up for The Ride, which takes place during the festival on pre-1987 bikes (rent one from goldenagecycling.com or bring your own) with three distance options: 30 miles, 55 miles or 100 miles. A weekend festival pass costs £10, Ride entry is £60 with food and drink en route.

Challenge yourself

If you have two months to spare and fancy circumnavigating the British coastline by bike, sign up to The Great Tour (thegreattour.co.uk). Taking place between 4 July and 5 September, the event describes itself as the “ultimate cycling challenge”. It starts and ends in Holyhead, Anglesey, though you can opt for day- and week-long rides for any of the other stages if you aren’t able to do the full route. Entry is £50 a day including luggage transfers and lunch, or £900 a week with luggage transfers, meals and accommodation.

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