Cycling can set you free into an adventure where you can lose yourself, to spend time alone, or with the best people around you. Cycling provides a simple answer to the stresses of the everyday and here, in the UK, we are spoiled for choice when it comes to weekend cycling escapes. Epic climbs, huge vistas and wild journeys can all be found in Britain.
Cycling is the perfect escape for all the family, and is a great way to keep active and see what beauty the UK has to offer. With the weather warming and spring just around the corner, there is no better time to start planning a family weekend with the bikes, and there are numerous road cycling destinations here in the UK.
The simple fact of having to go on a boat to get to the Isle of Wight makes travelling here for a family cycling weekend that bit more exciting. Once the journey has been completed, the combination of plentiful accommodation, quiet roads and pretty landscapes from the sea to the rolling hills in-land, make the Isle of Wight a must-visit location for family trips. With a great mix of on-road and off-road cycling routes, your next family cycling weekend might well be to the Isle of Wight. The Isle can be also be cycled around relatively easily too, and the 65 mile round journey can be tackled in a day or two.
Rolling hill scenes, wide open sea-scape vistas and chocolate-box villages, the UK has it all in plentiful supply which means you are never too far from your next ride with an epic view.
A wild area of Britain with an even wilder name, the Jurassic coast lives up to its namesake. With rocks and fossils dating back to between 250 and 65 million years scattering the entire 95 mile stretch of coastline, a cycling weekend here is not just beautiful, but a walk through time. Many routes within the National Cycle Network run along the Jurassic Coast, all with unforgettable views of the English Channel and epic, rocky coastline. A sight not to miss is the world-famous Durdle Door sea arch from the clifftop above. Spectacular views combined with challenging and fun riding make the Jurassic Coast an epic weekend cycling getaway.
The challenge of a climb is what it’s all about for some cyclists, and there are plenty of demanding routes in Britain that test even the most experienced of cyclists. Here are two of our favourite climbs the UK has to offer.
Height Gains: 298m
Approx. climg time: 15mins
The Hardknott Pass has been quoted as the king of all climbs and is therefore debated as the toughest road in the UK to ride up. Steeped in history, this snaking stretch of tarmac dates back to the 2nd century when the Romans built the Pass lying in the Eskdale Valley of the Lake District. An impressive task, the Hardknott Pass is exposed to the elements as no foliage grows above knee height here. This means that, as well as the monumental task of tackling the 25-30% gradient for 2.25km, the weather must also be fought making the Hardknott Pass one of the hardest climbs in the UK.
Although the Hardknott Pass is a must-do challenge when riding in the Lake District, the area has an incredible wealth of riding on offer which makes it perfect for a weekend cycling getaway. Outstanding beauty and endless emerald green lakes where perfect tarmac can be linked up with traditional pubs makes for a perfect, yet challenging cycling weekend.
Arguably the greatest climb in England and often regarded to as our Mont Ventoux due to the radar station that summits the arduous climb, Great Dun Fell lives up to the ‘Great’ in its name. Brutal from the start, this climb ranges from 20%-25% gradient and is 7.45km. The Great Dun Fell is not the faint hearted and takes a lot of stamina, but once accomplished, the views are as great as the road itself and the sense of achievement is unrivalled. Situated in the North Pennines area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the area around Great Dun Fell delivers endless great riding opportunities making it an ultimate weekend cycling getaway.