Skip to content

No. 11 Explore on wheels

A young children cycles along a garden pathway with an adult just behind them. The child is wrapped up in a colourful striped winter coat and helmet.
A child cycling at Anglesey Abbey, Cambridgeshire | © National Trust Images/Trevor Ray Hart

Feel the wind on your face and chase your shadow through the trees, with no. 11 of our ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’. Whether you’ve got a bike, scooter, wheelchair or skateboard – you’ll explore further and faster on your wheels at a place near you, and it’s also a fun way to exercise.

Where will you explore?

Pick a trail you’d like to explore near you and you’ll be ready to set off. You’ll find safe cycle routes through country estates and woodland, along canals and rivers, and even by the coast. If you’re exploring on your own or with friends, it’s best to check with an adult before you set off and take weather-proof clothes and snacks to keep your toes and tummies happy.

And you’re off!

As you cycle, scoot or roll along, take some time to listen to the sounds of your wheels on the ground. Can you hear leaves or stones crunching underneath? If you’re out in the rain or soon after, you might hear the squelch of mud or feel the splash of puddles as you race through.

Watch the light dancing on the ground as it peeks through the leaves above. What else can you see around you? Can you spot any animals or tracks? Does anything look different to when you’re moving more slowly?

Family exploring the cycle trail at Calke Abbey, Derbyshire
Family exploring the cycle trail at Calke Abbey | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

Time for a pit stop

One of the best things about exploring on wheels is you can discover lots more nature than you can on two feet. Take time to rest and think back on your journey. How far have you come? What was the best thing you discovered? You could even keep an ‘explore on wheels’ diary with your friends, and draw a map with key things you spotted on your trails.

Keep safe

Exploring on wheels means you can go further and faster. This is great fun, but it does mean you need to be more careful – take a puncture repair kit if you know how to use one and a mobile phone to call for help, or a lift home, if you need it. Choose a route that’s safe and the right length for you. And don't forget your safety gear too.

Two girls exploring the woodland trails at Quarry Bank Mill, Cheshire

‘50 things to do before you're 11¾’

Have fun exploring nature and the great outdoors with our list of ‘50 things to do before you're 11¾’.

You might also be interested in

Visitors exploring the parkland in winter at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, Yorkshire

Safety information for ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ activities 

To ensure you can complete your ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ activities safely, here are some top tips to help you complete your challenges with safety in mind.


‘50 things’ activity list 

Download the full ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ activity list.

Image shows a family of three cycling along a path alongside the wildflower meadows, flourishing with yellow buttercups. In the background you can see views across the water.

Great places for a family bike ride 

Saddle up and explore some of our favourite places to take the children for a bike ride. Find miles of peaceful, traffic-free trails through woods and parkland.

Father pushing young daughter on bike in front of Osterley House, with other daughter riding bike behind

Top tips to teach a child how to ride a bike 

We want as many children as possible to experience the excitement of exploring new places by bike, so we've created a list of top tips to help your little one find their way on wheels.

Children playing on the campsite on Brownsea Island, Dorset

No. 3 Camp outdoors 

Grab your torch and head for the wilderness. Wherever you choose to go camping, it will be a fun adventure in nature. Camping outdoors is no. 3 of the‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’.

Children eating a picnic in the covered seating area at Charlecote Park, Warwickshire

No. 9 Eat a picnic in the wild 

Pack a picnic next time you go on an adventure and enjoy tucking into your sandwiches surrounded by nature. It’s no. 9 on the ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’.