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Weekend cycling destination for beginner...

HierotochanHierotochan Posts: 108
edited September 2011 in Tour & expedition
Hi all,

this is my first post outside of the Beginners section so be gentle!

I have had my road bike a while now & also managed to convert the Mrs. into a commuter.
What I was wondering was if anyone had a suggestion of a destination for a little weekend cycling.

We would like to catch the train from London to wherever and just take in some views,
find a nice B&B (and more importantly a tea room!) and carry as little as possible.
As she is pretty new she's not much of a climber (yet) so my initial thoughts of the Peak District may have been jumping the gun a bit!

Any ideas would be appreciated.


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  • explosifpeteexplosifpete Posts: 1,327
    When I first read your post I was thinking of the standard places, peaks, lakes, devon but have you considered going to Essex? Not everyones choice but if you get the train to braintree (45min from Liverpool st) you can access loads of pretty,quite, safe and flat roads with plenty of cyclists tea rooms. If you do decide to do this I can send you one of my training loops as a good route.
  • MichaelWMichaelW Posts: 2,164
    East Anglia is the obvious choice.
    Train to N Essex/S Suffolk. Pootle up to the Norfolk Suffolk border then up to Norwich.
    The Suffolk coast is good, esp Southwold/ Aldborough. Much quieter than the N Norfolk coastal road.
    The network of lanes is very dense so you need to keep an eye on navigation. You dont need a special cycle route, just a decent map and a compass for confusing junctions on a cloudy day. You can pick up the National Cycle Route 1.
  • wheelygoodwheelygood Posts: 101
    Lots of wonderful cycling terrain up here in sunny north lancashire!
  • jc4labjc4lab Posts: 554
    Theres a campaign to getting everyone cyling at the moment nationwide ,not just London as per this link ,with guided rides all over the country.A lot close down at the end of August though..Easy peasy stuff.Ride the Lights at Blackpool is a popluar one
  • Thanks for all your suggestions!

    I live in Walthamstow so cycle through Essex & Redbridge on my local lap.
    I think I'll look more into it & will probably stay fairly local for the first trip,
    but would definitely appreciate some suggestions on bike friendly hotels/B&B's if you have some.

    I would like to do The Broads some time in the future when I can spare more time.

    Thanks again!

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  • TiBoyTiBoy Posts: 366
    I would recomend having a look at the Sustrans site to find out some good cycle routes, I find them very well signed and they tend to keep you off busy roads. I do find the website very slow though.
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  • explosifpeteexplosifpete Posts: 1,327
    I can recommend the blue egg
    and the stisted tea rooms for good eats in the north essex area
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    edited August 2011
    My vote would be for Norfolk/Suffolk as well (there is the Suffolk Coastal Route which is well signposted (IiRC it's marked up on the Sustrans maps as a regional route). But really there is just so much good cycling within a 2-hour train journey - eg if you don't mind schlepping to Paddington you could go to Castle Cary and then pick up the NCN routs down into Somerset and Dorset, or the South Somerset circular route, or Mational Byway, or go north towards Gloucestershire. Or you could go to bristol Temple Meads and pick up the Whitchurch Way out of Bristol and on towards Cheddar and across the Somerset Levels and Glastonbury.
  • durhamwaspdurhamwasp Posts: 1,242
    North Yorks - Reports on Cingles du Mont Ventoux, Alpe D'Huez, Galibier, Izoard, Tourmalet, Paris-Roubaix Sportive & Tour of Flanders Sportive, Amstel Gold Xperience, Vosges, C2C, WOTR routes....
  • tim_wandtim_wand Posts: 2,552
    My first tour with the Misses was in the Suffolk/ Norfolk are so I would go with AndyMiller and MIcheal W's recomendations. Fantastic countryside which isnt too topographically challenging, Fantastic accomodation at all price ranges, Pubs , tea shops and restruarants a plenty with glorious coastal stretches.

    You can base a great route around the Suffolk coastal route or NCN 1
  • bartimaeusbartimaeus Posts: 1,812
    The Peak District is a pretty good choice as there are a number of trails on disused railways, so the trails are pretty flat but the scenery is anything but... and there are tea rooms. Check out the High Peaks, Tissington and Manifold Trails (see here). It was a long while ago, but I remember that Hartington was a good base for cycling and walking.
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  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,533
    East Anglia is pretty flat - which will help when starting out!

    Also look at old railway lines now bike tracks or canal towpaths - as both of these will be pretty flat too.

    You missus wont thank you if she has to cycle up big hills at this stage...!

    I can recommend the Kennet and Avon cycle route - there are some sections not suitable for a road bike but the sustrans route avoids them, using quiet roads. Goes through some stunning scenery especially around Bradford on Avon to Bath and the old railway converted to smooth cycle track from there to Bristol docks. 25 mins from Paddington to Reading for the start and easy trains back from Bristol. For beginners you can do 25-30 miles a day and stop in Hungerford, Devizes, Bath.
  • Hierotochan
    New Forest.
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