UK Self Guided Bike Tour/Holiday Help

Old Jan 15th, 2024, 03:10 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2023
Posts: 6
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
UK Self Guided Bike Tour/Holiday Help

Hi All,
My wife and I are planning on visiting The UK in September and we want to do a 5-7 day self guided bike tour at some point (preferably using a company that moves your luggage every day). We are in our early 50's and while reasonably fit, we have graduated to E-bikes to make it it bit easier on the body. If anyone has any information, or opinions, on where to ride and who to use, it would be much appreciated. We do have some experience with these tours having ridden in Czechia and France recently but we need some help this time particularly on where to ride - initially we considered Scotland but are open to England and/or Ireland as well. I look forward to any help the Fodor community can provide.
In addition to the above, we will be in the UK for 3 weeks so any other itinerary tips would also be welcome.
AJ8001 is offline  
Old Jan 16th, 2024, 05:49 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 345
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Surprised nobody has piped up. In other locations, we have used Headwaters and Exodus with satisfaction. Macs Adventures also well regarded, I understand.

It would not be so very difficult to put together your own tour, particularly as you plan a longer stay in the UK. Rent bikes with panniers and take along just enough for your overnights . Do a circle route from a hotel that bookends your trip, and ask them to store your extra suitcase(s) for the 5-7 days. Did this on the Rhone from Lyon.

With e bikes you could even brave the Lake District with its 1:7 gradients on some passes. Or the Yorkshire Dales, or Hadrian’s Wall, or the Welsh border. Easier but with much historical and natural interest, the Norfolk fens.
FTOttawa is online now  
Old Jan 16th, 2024, 06:16 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 18,110
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I expect bilbo will be along shortly, he is the UK cyclist.

Have a look at the Sustrans site. They have lots of information on cycle routes in the UK, and ideas for trips.
https://www.sustrans.org.uk/national-cycle-network/

One route which appeals to me, but can't be done by trike sadly is the Hebridean Way.

You could also use a place like York as a base and do several rides out from there.
https://www.getcycling.org.uk/hire/

there are other companies of course, as a search will show, and I have no experience of them, but I like the name of this one which offers tours and luggage transfer:
https://www.wheelywonderfulcycling.co.uk/
Edit: looks like they are winding down a bit for 2024, but as I said a quick search will show up others.
hetismij2 is offline  
Old Jan 16th, 2024, 08:29 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Nov 2023
Posts: 47
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Saddle Skedaddle are one of the best companies for this sort of trip. I can't as yet post a url for you but they are easily googled.
JohnEW2912 is offline  
Old Jan 16th, 2024, 10:04 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 18,110
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
And another one: https://www.cycling-for-softies.co.u...uided-tours/uk

Plenty out there, and I am sure bilbo will add his comments soon.
hetismij2 is offline  
Old Jan 17th, 2024, 12:08 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 25,784
Received 4 Likes on 4 Posts
Ah, I commented privately earlier in response to a message

"Hi, I'd by looking at https://www.sustrans.org.uk/national-cycle-network Sustrans which is a charity managing all the zero car traffic or low car traffic recommended cycle lanes. A fantastic resource and businesses that benefit from access have migrated there so you will find bike shops etc nearby.

I'd like to say that the UK is great for cycle riding but I'd be lying. But the Sustrans routes are very good and where there are high density of cyclists it is pretty good. So depending on the state of your knees I can recommend cycling around East Anglia (the bit that sticks out like a stomach facing east) or further north you will find you can cycle across the country https://cycle.travel/route/c2c.

Taking bikes on trains is a little harder but possible look at seat61.com for best advice.

Finally you will find local towns tourist offices may promote cycling routes in their region."

Don't forget that taxis will shift your luggage for you.
bilboburgler is online now  
Old Jan 17th, 2024, 12:21 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2023
Posts: 6
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks everyone for your suggestions - I've had a look at some of the companies suggested and it seems the Cotswold's and Shropshire are popular place to tour but some are fairly pricey so I will definitely consider mapping our own route and using taxis for luggage. I would like to know if anyone has done the coast to coast across England or the ride along the English/Scottish border and up the east coast of Scotland to Edinburgh? I assume the weather/wind will be a constant companion even in Aug/Sept?
AJ8001 is offline  
Old Jan 17th, 2024, 01:33 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 25,784
Received 4 Likes on 4 Posts
I've done the C2C as the coast to coast trip is called. Do it west to east absolutely (wind as you say), book rooms early as there are not many on the way. You come into Sunderland through a less than pleasant housing estate so keep a good eye for broken glass on the track. Oh, there is one humongous hill on the west side with a cafe half way up.

Not cycled those bits in Scotland

Not cycled the Cotswolds but have walked and run bits of it, a nice area but rather ruined by tourists in 4x4s driving stupidly so try and use local sustrans routes. There is the Fossway, an ancient road that passes through the area, still driven too fast.
bilboburgler is online now  
Old Jan 17th, 2024, 05:51 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 72,955
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
OK -- Bilbo is the expert on this subject and I'm not a cyclist (took me 3 years to get off training wheels ) but my observations as a very frequent driver in the UK are that things like the C2C and others that are mostly on dedicated cycle paths are the only routes I'd consider. Cycling on rural roads is difficult to dangerous.. The roads are narrow to very narrow and many/most have no hard shoulders. Sharing a narrow lane with local buses, Moms on the school run, and Range/Land Rovers can be hair raising. And your muscle memory/quick evasive reactions are likely all based on traveling on the other side of the road.

Bilbo can tell you if my comments are more fear mongering than accurate
janisj is online now  
Old Jan 18th, 2024, 12:28 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 25,784
Received 4 Likes on 4 Posts
Originally Posted by janisj
OK -- Bilbo is the expert on this subject and I'm not a cyclist (took me 3 years to get off training wheels ) but my observations as a very frequent driver in the UK are that things like the C2C and others that are mostly on dedicated cycle paths are the only routes I'd consider. Cycling on rural roads is difficult to dangerous.. The roads are narrow to very narrow and many/most have no hard shoulders. Sharing a narrow lane with local buses, Moms on the school run, and Range/Land Rovers can be hair raising. And your muscle memory/quick evasive reactions are likely all based on traveling on the other side of the road.

Bilbo can tell you if my comments are more fear mongering than accurate
I think it depends, if you are cycling on the "main roads" between villages then yes, avoid, but the back roads are fine. Luckily the police report on bike accidents around the country they record it on this map https://bikedata.cyclestreets.net/co...3.9027/-1.6392 (focused on my town at the moment). So have a look where you want to go.

I don't find moving left hand to right hand on the road that difficult for cyclist.

thanks for the kind words
bilboburgler is online now  
Old Jan 18th, 2024, 05:23 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 18,110
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I think most self guided tour organisations pick routes which are low traffic as much as possible. They also usually indicate how good a cyclist you need to be for the tour.
It is true that some UK drivers can be aggressive around cyclists, but that is true in most countries.
My 74 year old brother and his wife regularly ride from their village near York over great swathes of the countryside, on normal bikes, no e-assist for them.
I ride a three wheeler so take up more space, and I am not sure I would ride that on the roads in the UK. We did look at renting from the place in York but I chickened out.

That is an interesting site bilbo.
hetismij2 is offline  
Old Jan 21st, 2024, 03:59 PM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2023
Posts: 6
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks again for everyone's input. I think we have narrowed it down to either Scotland (from Newcastle to Edinburgh or the highlands) or the Cotswolds (starting from Oxford). Completely different I know but that seems to be where most tours are centered which will also make it easier to construct our own route, as suggested by Bilbo, if we decide to do it that way. Either way we are excited to be coming over for the first time. Thanks again everyone.
AJ8001 is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
PDersch
Europe
11
Nov 27th, 2016 10:12 AM
danandclaire
Europe
7
Jun 11th, 2012 12:08 PM
amamax2
United States
10
Jun 5th, 2009 03:23 AM
newesttraveler
Europe
13
Jan 22nd, 2005 06:47 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -