Bike rides for beginners
Planning to get fitter in 2014? Well, the good news is there are loads of beautiful places across the country waiting for you to dust off your bike and hit the trails.
From cruising along the flat routes of Wicken Fen to tackling part of the Olympic road race at Box Hill, there’s something to suit everyone. Let us know how you get on with your ride on Facebook or Twitter.
This mock-Gothic castle sits on the shores of Lake Windermere, with informal grounds to explore. Follow the linear route for approximately four miles for views of the lake.
More easy cycle routes in the North West:
* With minor roads, forest tracks and bridleways, beginners can enjoy a variety of rides in the Coniston area, in Cumbria. If you'd like a bit of help with those hills you can even hire electric bikes locally
* This route invites you to learn about the history of Beatrix Potter and the landscape that she was so determined to protect. It's a ten mile route, through Cumbria, but it can be shortened
* You can cycle along several routes and the beach at Formby, Merseyside
Leigh Woods, just outside Bristol, is a great escape from the city. Follow our cycle trail through diverse broadleaf woodlands on the plateau above the Avon Gorge and with views across the city.
If you’re looking for a slightly more challenging route, then try the Yer Tiz trail. This trail requires a mountain bike, but is suitable for relative novices. You’ll weave your way through the woodland and if you’re up for a challenge, then in places the trail splits giving you the option of the more difficult red grade Gert Lush trail.
More easy cycle routes in the South West:
* At Kingston Lacy, Dorset, you can cycle past rivers, amongst ancient trees and even by an Iron Age fort on one of our many routes
* Killerton, in Devon, is a fine 18th century house surrounded by historic parkland. Try the circular cycle route to discover areas of the estate you might not otherwise know about
* Cycle down to a rocky headland and crashing seas with our easy cycle route in Mortehoe, Devon
* This ten mile route through Plymbridge Woods, Devon, follows the old railway track and is perfect for people who are just getting into cycling
Get on your bike and explore the beautiful landscape park, heath and woodlands at Clumber Park. There are over 20 miles of open trail here, but our five mile route around the Serpentine Lake is perfect for beginners. You can bring your own bike or hire one at our cycle hire centre.
More easy cycle routes in the Midlands:
* The Manifold Way cycle trail, in Staffordshire, follows the former route of the Leek and Manifold Light Railway. It's over eight miles long, but don't worry there is a tea-room on the way
At the stables courtyard you will find secure cycle racks and essential tools for repairs. We also offer a free cup of tea in the stables tearooms to anyone arriving by bike.
See the best of Stowe’s parklands at speed. With over 40 historic temples and monuments and 250 acres of park there are some fantastic highlights to whizz by. This route has been designed for families and beginners. It’s just over three miles long and you’ll be glad to hear it isn’t too hilly.
More easy cycle routes in London & the South East:
* Box Hill, Surrey, may have made its name by hosting the Olympic road races, but that’s not to say beginners couldn’t try to tackle just part of the route
* Cyclists are welcome on the shared paths at Osterley Park, Middlesex
Get fit whilst you explore one of Europe’s most important wetlands. Wicken Fen is very flat, so ideal for beginners. The family discovery cycle route is over three miles long. Look out for birds, Highland cattle and Konik ponies that might keep you company on your way. Or if you fancy something a bit longer there are five other routes to choose from. A range of adult and children's bikes, tags and trailers are for hire.
Pedalling around Erddig is manageable for cyclists of all abilities: with our flat riverside path, rolling farmland and lovely woodland tracks. Pick up a trail map at visitor reception when you arrive.
At Castle Ward, we’ve just opened a network of 21 miles of multi-use trails. Take a trip to the lough, or through sheltered woodland and deer parks. You can bring along your bike or hire one from Clearsky Adventure in the farmyard. After cycling our bike wash is available for you to use.