Bike fever took the UK by storm when the pandemic hit in 2020, with 3.3 million bikes being sold according to BikeBiz. Now that the country is open again and we can book train tickets in advance, it’s time that those who were avid bike users during lockdown found some locations around the country where they can ride their bike, that they might not have considered before.
Devon boasts some of the most beautiful scenery in the country. The stunning coastline, coupled with the beautiful scenery makes for a fantastic journey. The most scenic routes include the Tarka Trail and The Granite Way, where bikes are available to hire for those of you who don’t want to take them on the train. After all, everyone knows how difficult it can be to manoeuvre a bike that doesn’t collapse!
Just a stone’s throw away from Devon, Cornwall also harbours some of the UK’s most iconic horizons, including Land’s End, Bodmin Moor and the rest of the beautiful coast. You could follow The Camel Trail, and view a wide variety of landscapes and wildlife through the woodland, all while enjoying a riverside view of the Samel Estuary.
Moving away from the South Coast, there are some fantastic cycle routes in Wales, including the Taff Trail in Cardiff. Enjoy a relatively traffic free cycle route to Castell Coch. Start in Bute Park, near Cardiff Castle, before taking the “fairy-tale” trail to Castell Coch, taking in all of the scenery as you venture.
If you’re a wildlife lover, you need to head to Norwich to enjoy Mariott’s Way. On this trail, be on the lookout for kestrels, owls, hares, deer and sometimes otters and kingfishers. Journey along the vale of the River Wensum, before arriving at Reepham station to enjoy a drink and a snack in the cafe, and return your bicycle, if you’ve chosen to hire.
Even North Yorkshire offers a fantastic coastal cycle route for Britain’s bike enthusiasts. Travel from Scarborough to Whitby, enjoying some spectacular sea views along the way including Robin Hood’s Bay and Ravenscar. As you arrive in Whitby, you’ll be greeted by an incredible view of the Larpool Viaduct and Whitby Abbey, which inspired Bram Stoker to write Dracula after a visit there in 1890. Finish up with a trip to the beach and a lemon top ice cream.
Of course, we all know that taking your bike on the train is no mean feat. You’ll need to book a bike slot in advance if you don’t have a fully folding bicycle. Generally speaking however, bikes usually travel for free on UK transport and can easily be slotted into the designated bike zones on your train service. Just make sure you stay close enough to keep an eye on your belongings!
If you don’t want to take your bike on the train, make sure you research beforehand and find somewhere to hire a bike locally. While it is an additional cost, it could stand to make your train journey a lot easier, and a lot more comfortable.