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Inspiring spots for cycling and walking in the UK

Woman cyclingArticle by Emily Mills

Britain has some of the most stunning and picturesque scenery which is easily accessible whether you live out in the middle of nowhere or in the hustle and bustle of the city. Two of the best ways to explore the views, on your own, with a friend or with your whole family, is on foot or by bicycle. So what are you waiting for? It’s cheap, it’s fun, it’s good for you and good for our planet – get on your bike or go for a fabulous walk this weekend.

The Lee Valley in East London may have come to the attention of many in the last couple of years, because it is close to the London 2012 Olympic Park. It is a real discovery of nature reserves, river-side wildlife and miles of attractive countryside that is perfect for walking and riding. Locals say that the best thing about the Lee Valley is that once you’re in it, there are no roads to cross. This makes it perfect for exploring with children or grandchildren. There is a bike hire option at Tottenham Marshes, which means you don’t even have to stick your bikes on the car or the train to have a great day out.

cycling lee valley image

Image credit 1- http://www.visitleevalley.org.uk/en/content/cms/outdoors/cycling/

The Harrogate to Ripley bike ride in Yorkshire offers visitors peaceful and spectacular scenery on its four mile trek. You will get inspiring views of the ravine as you go over the seven-arch Nidd Gorge viaduct. The local woodland is rich with an abundance of kingfishers, butterflies, woodpeckers and bluebells. And why not make a whole weekend of it? Harrogate has many art galleries to offer if you need a break from walking or cycling – and as a conference town, there are also plenty of places to stay and a wide choice of cafes and restaurants.

The Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire springs to mind as an ideal location for a Sunday morning walk or leisurely bike ride. There is a vast array of trails in the Forest of Dean, catering for all levels, from new, inexperienced riders to a Victoria Pendleton-like level of skill. The trails take you through a stunning fairy tale forest where you can listen to lively bird song, whilst eating at one of the plentiful picnic sites or watering holes that are along the way.

Cycling forest holidays

Image credit 3 – http://www.forestholidays.co.uk/locations/heart-of-england-holidays/forest-of-dean-holidays


The Isle of Arran in Scotland, has trails to cater for all levels of expertise when it comes to walking and cycling. If you would like a leisurely amble, then take the tranquil six mile walk, but if you are a mountain bike enthusiast, then why not try the twenty one mile circuit? All circuits will shower you with stunning, breath-taking scenery. Do not just come for the ride though – come to see the nature too, with dolphins, seals, otters, golden eagles and even sharks to be seen from the varying trails. All of the eleven villages on the Isle of Arran have pubs with delicious food and most importantly, muddy boots are welcome!


cycling isle of arran

Image credit 4 – http://jameshandlon.com/2012/06/01/hiking-and-camping-trip-to-the-isle-of-arran/

Box Hill, Surrey. If you fancy yourself as the next Sir Chris Hoy, then you should put your stamina and strength to the test against the London 2012 Olympic athletes by cycling the Box Hill circuit in Surrey. This route also offers spectacular views across to the market town of Dorking and the nearby Denbies Vineyard, which is famous for its award-winning English sparkling wines. Whilst you’re there, see if you can find the blue plaque at Swiss Cottage – the home of television inventor John Logie Baird.


So the next time you have a free weekend, go for a walk or a bike ride in our stunning countryside. Keep an eye on the ever-changeable British weather though, and pack your men’s or ladies waterproof jacket and your suncream – you never know! For a range of outdoor clothing visit Cotton Traders.



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