Biking in England with kids.....

Oct 31st, 2010, 10:57 AM
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Biking in England with kids.....

We are going to England in April and staying in London. We want to make several day trips outside of London since we have been to London before. We have 2 boys, ages 13 and 17 and thought it would be fun to actually do active things with them. Since they both like biking here at home, we were wondering if anyone as ideas of good places to rent bikes for the 4 of us, (2 kids, me and my husband) and bike around seeing the sites. I, personally don't want to go too far, (meaning over 20 miles roundtrip, hear me huffing and puffing). Something easy, great town or villages, nice pub, some shops, etc.....
Jhstubbs is offline  
Oct 31st, 2010, 11:04 AM
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OK - it sounds wonderful. But in practice not so much.

There are some places one could safely ride -- but in 'general' you would have to deal w/ narrow or VERY narrow roads, no bike lanes, and having to remember the rules of the road on the fly. Everything one knows/senses about where the cars are coming from will be upside down.

There is a fat tyre bike tour in London which stays mostly in and around parks
janisj is online now  
Oct 31st, 2010, 11:10 AM
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While I agree with Janis about cycling on English roads, there might be something on this site that would be a lot safer and perhaps as interesting.
ron is offline  
Oct 31st, 2010, 11:40 AM
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Good link Ron, there are 100s and 100s of miles of cycle routes all across the UK, you can hire bikes and have a great time. The Sustrans site will give you lots of info about routes and attractions nearby.
alihutch is offline  
Oct 31st, 2010, 12:43 PM
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in theory AND in practice it is nice...

go to the new forest...which despite the name does have many villages, pubs, etc. you can take the train there from london and there are MANY bike hire shops and off-road bicycle trails. bicycling on the roads tends to be safe also as drivers are used to looking out for bicyclists and the free running wild horses that inhabit the forest (of course an interesting point for visitors as well). it's also fairly flat and you can do many 10-20 mile rides.

on page 2 of this brochure you'll see a good map with all on and off road bicycle trails marked. you can also see tour buses with bike trailers. page 1 describes the attractions...$FILE/new-forest-cycle-code.pdf

other areas include great windsor park where you can bicycle within the crown estate, including to windsor castle...
walkinaround is online now  
Oct 31st, 2010, 02:01 PM
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Nice, walkinaround. Thanks.
stokebailey is offline  
Oct 31st, 2010, 02:12 PM
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actually walkinaround - the New Forest was one area I also thought might be a good option - mainly because of the more open/visible roads w/o hedgerows and such. But not really day trip-doable,

The Great Park would be though . . .
janisj is online now  
Oct 31st, 2010, 02:59 PM
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But not really day trip-doable,

very doable without pushing yourself too's 1.5 hours by train to the heart of the new forest...just past southampton. many people do this commute every single day. you can hire bikes directly adjacent to the railway station at brockenhurst and be on your way immediately when you get there.

leave at 8am and be on your bike before 10am. ride leisurely for 6 hours and be home for an early dinner at 6pm.
walkinaround is online now  
Oct 31st, 2010, 04:15 PM
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3 hours on the train and a 4-6 hours of bike riding -- and miss everything else in the area. The New Forest is one of my favorite places in England - but to try it as a day trip bike ride would be pretty rushed/hectic.

The Great Park is much better IMO -- 2 hours less train time for one thing.
janisj is online now  
Nov 1st, 2010, 01:56 AM
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Good advice above, you can also add canal tow paths as a general safe place. Unfortunatly UK is not such a safe bike world as say Holland (Uber safe) but sustrans is doing its bit
bilboburgler is offline  
Nov 1st, 2010, 02:29 AM
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These might be helpful for some riding within London:
PatrickLondon is offline  
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