Family Bike Rides for Father's Day
17 June 2020 - News
Have A Family Day Out for Father’s Day
We all love gifts but maybe this year, for Father’s Day, it’s time to focus on the things that really matter and spend quality time doing something active together, as a family.
This Father’s Day why not have a cycling adventure and explore your local area. Grab your bike, your Dad and a picnic filled rucksack and head out for an afternoon together.
We’ve selected a range of family-friendly cycling routes across the country that also happen to have a picturesque picnic spot for you to enjoy. If you prefer to use sustainable picnic essentials and are looking for low-waste products to help reduce plastic consumption take a look at Planet Organics Picnic Essentials list.
Don’t forget to take pictures on your ride and then when you get home you can create a way to remember the day. Keep it simple with a live route map from the mobile app Relive or you could even create your own photo book of the day.
Family Friendly Cycle Routes
The Tamsin Trail is great for a family bike ride. It winds it away around all corners of Richmond Park, in South West London. There are a couple of short climbs near Kingston Gate and some long slow inclines near Pembroke Lodge and Sheen Gate. Bring your own picnic or grab something from one of the cafe’s dotted around the park. The Park cafes are now open for takeaway only.
The New Forest Sway and Setthorns Loop is great family cycle rides, offering a chance to see some of the best of the New Forest's landscape, nature and wildlife. Mostly off-road on quiet gravel travels, the route starts and finishes at Sway Train Station. The waymarked posts and tracks across this area of the New Forest offer brilliant directions to follow. The route is 9 miles long, but it can be shortened for little ones to just 3.5 miles of cycling.
Here you can find a 2.5-mile short family cycling trail, ideal for young children and less-experienced cyclists. Very tiny riders may need extra help in places where the trail is gravelly and slightly hilly. For the more adventurous there is a longer 5.5-mile trail, surfaced and with mainly gentle gradients and some steeper inclines which circles the 2,000-acre Bedgebury Forest. When you fancy a rest there is a café at the Visitor Centre offering panoramic views across the Pinetum.
Set between Exeter and Dartmoor National Park, Haldon Forest Park has a great all ability, Green-graded Discovery trail for beginners. The route also offers regular spots to rest and beautiful views and fun features. The Ridge Café is open for takeaway and during normal service even sells picnic hampers.
The clay mines of Cornwall go back 250 years but at the Clay Trails, the mining has long gone and nature has been encouraged to flourish. This network of cycle trails is mostly off-road. Stop at the Ruddle Pit viewpoint for your picnic overlooking the luminous turquoise dam, which gets its colour for the mica particles used to clean the clay.
The National Trust are currently releasing tickets for their sites every Friday. There are over 4,600 acres of stunning parkland to explore at Blickling including ancient woodland, a Tower that was once used by the 2nd Earl of Buckinghamshire as a grandstand, and the striking pyramid Mausoleum. Not to mention the sweeping views over the lake, back towards the hall. It should be easy to find a picturesque picnic here! If you didn’t have time to prepare anything all routes start and finish at Muddy Boots café, so there’s plenty of opportunities to stop for a well-earned treat.
The Ancient route takes you through some of the oldest forests in the UK, including 32km of gentle cycle paths that soak up a National Nature Reserve and protected Sites of Specific Scientific Interest (SSSIs) as well as ancient woodland that speaks of the legend of Robin Hood. Layout your picnic in Clumber Park, where there is space for a family cricket or rounders match.
Hicks Lodge is a fantastic day out for the whole family. Set in beautiful woodland at the heart of the National Forest, it has been designed with the whole family in mind with a variety of trails to explore.
The Family Forest Trail (2km short loop and 4.5km long loop) takes you on an exploration across the whole site, there are some hilly bits but it's still suitable for bikes, trikes, tagalongs and pushchairs. Don’t forget to stop halfway round the Family Forest Trail at the fantastic viewpoint for your picnic. If you fancy an easy introduction to singletrack riding head over to the 2.5km Wood Farm Trail.
Part of the Cuckoo Way this route goes from Pools Brook Country Park in Staveley, Derbyshire and ends at Rother Valley Country Park in Wales Bar, South Yorkshire. This mostly flat, traffic-free cycling route, following the Trans Pennine Trail is suitable for the whole family.
Pause on this 7-mile ride at Rother Valley Country Park with the lake in front of you for your picnic. The path goes all around the lake, with the café and facilities on the east side. Turn right for a shorter ride to the café, or left to carry on for a longer ride.
Amongst the Mountain Bike trails that would be great for older children there are two Forestry Commission family cycle trails – a two-mile Ellerburn route for disabled cyclists, learners and walkers, offers a Leisurely family cycle alongside fields and Dalby Beck, while the longer, 8 mile Green cycle route tracks the high plateau around Adderstone.
The eight-mile Green route is a loop that takes you along tranquil forest roads and grass tracks, with a few short climbs and gentle ascents. Also check out the mini-bike skills area before you go, on your right, when you head back towards Low Dalby.
This 9.5 mile, flat ride along the Mawddach estuary against a backdrop of Snowdonia peaks is a particularly scenic and memorable traffic-free route. Barmouth’s seafront is a great start, but the real highlight is within the opening mile as you clatter over the wooden railway bridge with spectacular views of Cadair Idris. Across the water you’ll reach the RSPB’s Arthog Bog, which comes alive with marsh marigold, cuckoos and warblers in spring, then you’ll cling to the water’s edge for most of the remaining ride.
If you fancy cycling in Scotland but are worried about all those hills, the trick is to go for a lochside route where the terrain is flat. The Old Military Road (Inversnaid to Trossach Pier), with views of Ben Lomond, numerous picturesque picnic spots and no fewer than three lochs, will delight all the family. To add to the excitement, it starts and finishes with a ride on the waterbus across Loch Lomond.
Located within the National Trust’s picturesque demesne of Castle Ward, on the shores of Strangford Lough, this family-friendly trail centre boasts three easy-going green trails for younger and/or less experienced riders as well as a fast, flowing blue trail which opens up some stunning views of the surrounding countryside. There is also a specific Game of Thrones Film Location Cycle trail on the Estate!
Journey along the beautiful 21km walking and cycling trail from Clonmel to Carrick-on-Suir. It is the perfect way for all the family to sample Ireland’s beautiful countryside and rich cultural heritage. The route is divided into four stages, so you can pick a distance. Try Carey's Slip to Kilsheelan (7km), or Kilsheelan to Carrick (11.5km).
Create Your Own Map Art
If you want to create your own ride and get technical then how about a little map art? Creating route art is great fun and it doesn’t matter how far you go, you can draw pictures over any distance. Head over to the Ordnance Survey’s Get Outside campaign to learn more.
If you prefer to plan your bike ride around your favourite treat (Ice Cream) then you need to read this blog post from Sustrans listing their favourite ice cream shops along with the National Cycle Network!
We were not able to list all of the fantastic family-friendly routes across the country, so if we haven’t suggested a route close to your home then take a look at the Sustrans suggestions and these great route options from Cycling with the kids.