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Is cycle touring a load of faff?

gsk82gsk82 Posts: 2,773
edited September 2019 in Tour & expedition
I've been looking at getting a new bike for winter and for touring. I've been thinking that before i buy a touring bike i should try some touring. I've got use of my dads hybrid and panniers and i can borrow a tent and sleeping bag to. So all nice and easy...

But bloody hell how difficult is it to find a campsite that actually accepts tents and is somewhere near where i want to go? I wanted a marked off road route, so the trans pennine trail from Liverpool, back to home in hull looked ideal. Alas, the plan has been scuppered by a lack of showers and toilets in tent friendly fields!

Does anyone have any tips on finding campsites?
"Unfortunately these days a lot of people don’t understand the real quality of a bike" Ernesto Colnago


  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 14,188
    Your favourite bike, a backpack and B&B. Sorted.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • mercia_manmercia_man Posts: 1,388
    Finding a suitable campsite for cycle camping in the UK is more difficult than France, for example. Probably the best on-line resource is UK Campsites. If you are doing a lot of camping you might consider joining the Camping and Caravanning Club which has a national network of larger sites plus 1,400 small certificated sites exclusive to members (10 tents max).

    https://www.campingandcaravanningclub.c ... mallsites/
    https://www.campingandcaravanningclub.c ... MIQAvD_BwE
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Never had problems camping on sites at all ?
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 8,851
    Uk campsite is brilliant, you may be better credit card touring. Just book B&B,s and travel with just clothes and washing kit with you. You may find useful help on cycling uk,s website formally the cycle touring club. Not sure a hybrid is ideal for true off road touring, maybe look at sustrans routes as mainly off piste quiet roads rather than off road full stop.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • mtb-idlemtb-idle Posts: 2,177
    IMHO tents are a faff and for me at fast approaching 55 years old damn uncomfortable. B&B or hotel all the way from this voter...
    FCN = 4
  • mercia_manmercia_man Posts: 1,388
    Don’t put off the OP before he’s even tried cycle camping. He may even decide he likes it.

    Carrying all your gear gives you the choice of staying on an official site, wild camping or a B&B. I personally find that B&B solo touring in Britain is very expensive for more than a couple of nights. Most sites charge a solo camper £10-£15 a night - far cheaper than the £70 or so I pay at B&Bs or small hotels. I enjoy the occasional comfort of a B&B but camping gives me freedom rather than a feeling of staying in someone else’s house.
  • mtb-idlemtb-idle Posts: 2,177
    Mercia Man wrote:

    Don’t put off the OP before he’s even tried cycle camping. He may even decide he likes it.

    I agree but in fairness he was coming to that decision on his own anyway hence his OP :lol:
    FCN = 4
  • mercia_manmercia_man Posts: 1,388
    mtb-idle wrote:
    Mercia Man wrote:

    Don’t put off the OP before he’s even tried cycle camping. He may even decide he likes it.

    I agree but in fairness he was coming to that decision on his own anyway hence his OP :lol:

    Yeah, I have to confess I gave up cycle camping when I reached the age of 60 - partly because I felt I was too old to sleep on a pad on the ground any more but also because I unexpectedly inherited enough money to buy a camper van. That gives me the best of both worlds.

    There’s a lot to be said in favour of cycle camping. I’ve had some fantastic holidays over the years. But you do need to be fit - hauling camping gear over mountains is physically much harder than whizzing around on a lightweight carbon road bike. And a proper touring bike with strong wheels, low gears and stable geometry makes all the difference.

    But by the time you have forked out on a touring bike, tent, cooking gear, panniers and sleeping bag you will have paid the equivalent of many nights in a B&B!
  • gsk82gsk82 Posts: 2,773
    I managed to get a campsite between Rotherham and Donny last night, so gave this touring lark a go. I caught a train to Stockport, leaving me about 120 miles home, mostly on the trans pennine trail. I was riding my dads boardman hybrid, which seems to me to be pretty much a mountain bike. I carried clothes for the evening and a change of cycling kit for Sunday. Plus the tent, sleeping bag and sleeping mat.

    The train was an hour late, followed by a 30 minute deluge and some poor signing, which resulted in me been only half a mile from Stockport station 2 hours after i should've got off the train. This lead to my relaxed day of cycling becoming a little stressful as i worried I'd end up camping in a bush.

    In the end i made it to the campsite in decent time by getting off the trail and hitting the road. It was the best part of the ride.

    Anyway on Saturday i also purchased a used condor fratello off eBay as a winger bike. So I'll be giving road touring and a B&B a try
    "Unfortunately these days a lot of people don’t understand the real quality of a bike" Ernesto Colnago
  • hdowhdow Posts: 162
    Try credit card touring in Norway and you'll have to sell not only your campervan but also your house. If you want to tour Norway that is
  • You need to join the camping and caravan club. May good sites with facilities are open to these people only. We just stayed in one but in a motor home the sites we go to know are with this fascist card. It keeps the riff raff out apparently. -wheel building and other stuff.
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,532
    I love camping when hiking through wilderness, when you can just wild camp anywhere remote with a water source.

    When cycling I really dont fancy it though - would rather enjoy my cycling without hauling all that extra weight and stay somewhere more comfy that will also store my bike securely.
  • bigjimbigjim Posts: 780
    If you do a lot of touring, lightweight camping gear will soon pay for itself when you factor in the cost of B&Bs. I avoid camping these days in the UK as even in summer the nights can be cold. Have you thought about Youth Hostels. I've paid as little as £10 a night and they are pretty good these days and much more social than a B&B. You'll need earplugs though.
  • I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the YHA yet. I've had fantastic tours using Youth Hostels, much cheaper than B&B and more convenient than camping. Less kit to lug about so you can go lighter although not quite as light as credit card touring.
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