Parts & Accessories

Cycling in the UK

24th September 2021 | Marcus Leach
Caravans and motorhomes can combine beautifully with a cycling holiday. A caravan or motorhome allows you to travel to different places that you'd like to experience on two wheels, and then provides a comfortable base to come back to after a great day's cycling. Marcus Leach talks us through some of his favourite UK cycling locations.

It was Ernest Hemingway that once said ‘it is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best’, a sentiment I wholeheartedly agree with. For those that follow our family adventures you will know that a key component of them is my passion for exploring the areas we visit on two wheels, even if some of the contours Hemingway references are considerably more challenging than others.

Cycling allows us to go faster and see more of our beautiful world than walking, but not so fast that we fail to submerge ourselves in the landscapes we find ourselves in. It’s not just the sights we see, but the smells and sounds that arouse our senses and add texture to experiences that become etched into our minds in ways simply not possible when passing through in a vehicle. We see colours more vividly and we feel the beat and rhythm of life around us more intensely when on two wheels.

Whilst the UK might not have mountains on the same scale as the Alps, Pyrenees or Dolomites, we are blessed with a wide variety of landscapes that showcase ‘our green and pleasant lands’. And what’s more, you don’t have to be super fit, or ride long distances, to enjoy all that the UK has to offer on two wheels. As with most other areas of life, having children has slowly changed my perspective on cycling.

Whilst I still love heading off for long jaunts on my own, there is no greater joy than heading out riding as a family, even if that does mean a little extra weight pulling Dorothy in a trailer behind me, and there’s no better combination than a motorhome and bikes….well apparently there is according to Harrison; apple pie with custard and ice cream, but only after a good ride to work up an appetite.

Here’s some of our favourite cycling locations in the UK.

Applecross Peninsula

Those familiar with the West Coast of Scotland will know that it is, without doubt, one of the most strikingly beautiful parts of the UK. The marriage of rugged coastal roads and quintessential highland landscapes makes for dramatic riding, with the added bonus of the challenging climb of Bealach na Ba for those who like heading upwards on their rides. The Peninsula forms part of the famous North Coast 500 and should be on every cyclists – and motorhome drivers – bucket list.

Camel Trail

Cornwall is not only blessed with seemingly endless miles of stunning coastline, but also one of the country’s best family-friendly cycling trails. The Camel Trail, which runs from the quaint seaside town of Padstow to the foot of Bodmin Moor is perfect for riders of all ages and abilities. The route, an old disused railway line, runs through some of Cornwall’s most breath-taking countryside, and is a ride of contrasts with ever-changing scenery. Rocky shores and golden sandbanks give way to enchanting woodlands before morphing into granite-studded moors, all the while offering numerous places to stop for one of Cornwall’s finest ice-creams.

New Forest

The delightful and gently undulating landscape of the New Forest National Park is best enjoyed on the network of off-road cycle routes that criss-cross the forest. With over 100 miles of well signed traffic-free trails there are few better locations for a family-friendly cycling holiday, as well as being plenty on offer for those looking for a more strenuous challenge. Brockenhurst, regarded as one of the region’s most picturesque villages, has an independent bike shop where you can hire all manner of bikes, and stock up on any supplies you might need before setting out to lose yourself (figuratively speaking) amongst the trees and wildlife.

Lake District

My first introduction to cycling in the Lake District came one Sunday morning in 2016 when I agreed to join friends to take on the Fred Whitton Memorial Ride, which sounded fairly innocuous. Little did I know it is regarded as one of the hardest rides in the UK, taking in the region’s most revered, and feared, climbs. As tough as it was that one day ignited my passion for riding in this majestic corner of the world. Despite being known for it’s mountainous routes there are also several family-friendly options available, so don’t be put off by the contours on the map.

Kielder Forest

Kielder is arguably the perfect cycling destination, given that it offers something for everyone, even those members of the group who are not cyclists. From short leisurely rides with the little ones, either towing them in a trailer or on their first bikes, through to black run mountain bike trails, it has it all. What’s more it is totally traffic free with a myriad of trails and forestry commission tracks opening up a vast area for exploration. Home to northern Europe’s largest man-made lake and miles of unspoilt forest there are any number of activities for those not keen on cycling.

Isle of Wight

Although not an obvious destination for cycling, the Isle of Wight should not be overlooked. It might be small but it packs a punch and is home to some of the UK’s most varied landscapes, with half of the island listed as an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The combination of quiet roads (so long as you avoid the peak summer months), pristine trails and stunning views of the famed white chalk cliffs make it a must-visit for families and keen cyclists alike. One of the most popular routes is the full loop of the island, totalling 65 miles, although there are many shorter alternatives.


Whilst I love just heading out and seeing where the road, or trail, takes me sometimes we all need a route to maximise our time, and ensure we see the best of the area we are visiting. In my opinion there is no better mapping service than Komoot, which combines state-of-the-art technology with user generated recommendations to allow you to plan the perfect ride.