Cycling as a family is a free and fun way to spend some quality time together. With a touch of togetherness and a dash of the great outdoors, cycling with the kids keeps everyone active and enjoying all that nature has to offer.
The little ones: to the local park
Choosing the right location when cycling with little ones can be a challenge, particularly if they are in the process of learning to ride a bike. If your little one has just got their first balance bike, or they’re still a little on the wobbly side of needing a stabiliser bike, then the park is the best place to start.
With a nice soft area of grass for those inevitable bumps and falls, and a path to follow as their confidence grows, you can guarantee the best of both worlds for your little learners. What’s more, when their legs start to tire and attention fades, chances are there’ll be a playground to explore to keep them occupied!
The tweens: to a National Park
Tweens are a notoriously hard-to-please age group, so it’s important to choose a cycling route that has a taste of adventure as they start to seek independence. To make the most of family time with the tweens, load up the bike rack and head to your local national park! What’s more fun than an endless outdoor playground with hundreds of trails to explore?
Find those extra thrills for when they’re all grown up, with many a hill to conquer and loads of rough terrain to make each twist and turn more exciting than the next.
If you’re looking to lure them in with a new set of wheels, we’ve got a great selection of kids’ bikes, including mountain bikes, hybrid bikes and BMX bikes.
The big kids: to town
For the ones who’ve embraced independence and only appear when they need to do their washing or grab a snack, give them an extra reason to stick around this weekend with a cycle into your nearest town. Getting your big kids out on the bikes with you may seem like a challenge but you can make it worth their while with the promise of a lazy lunch and a little retail therapy!
It’s often the case that there might be a longer route you wouldn’t normally take on your bike, so take them on a detour for a sneaky way to spend a little more time together.
The whole family: the perfect family-friendly cycle routes
When you’ve got a mixed bunch with different ages to please, finding the perfect cycling route can be tricky. You’ll need somewhere short enough in length to please little legs, but long enough and with enough interest for the older members of your family. If that’s the case, we’ve chosen five of the best family cycle routes in the UK, so stack the bike rack and hit the road!
1. Hicks Lodge Forest, Leicestershire
Hicks Lodge is a former coal mining site that has been totally transformed by new plantings and creating exciting new trails for you to enjoy. From tearaway toddlers getting their first taste of cycling to young teens perfecting their skills or families walking the dog, we’ve got a great day out just waiting for you…
2. Loughgall Country Park, Loughgall, Armagh
Loughgall Country Park is a rural haven of relaxation and recreation. A diverse spectrum of activities ranging from golf to walking, fishing to tennis make this spacious complex a mecca for families, sports enthusiasts and those merely in search of a helping of tranquillity. The emphasis, indeed, is very much on family pursuits. Walking, cycling, a children’s play area, golf, fishing, an adventure trail, trim trail, football pitch and tennis courts are just some of the amenities on offer….
3. Swinley Forest, Berkshire
Situated in more than 1,000 hectares of Crown Estate woodland, The Look Out Discovery Centre is the perfect starting point for a wide variety of walks, trails and bike rides suitable for adults and children of all ages and abilities.
Loch Katrine is surrounded by stunning natural beauty, with plenty of routes to explore together as a family. You can even hire tandems to add an extra element of fun to the day! So, whether you fancy a short adventure or a full day of cycling, there’s something to suit everyone.
Located in the South Wales Valleys, the Three Parks Trail is a pleasant ride spanning 13 miles. All traffic-free, it is a safe and easy route for family cycling with plenty of surprises along the way including the amazing Wheel of Drams sculpture created from old coal carts.
If you’re looking for some further inspiration, then check out our Discovery Hub where you’ll find a whole host of other cycle and scooter routes for families across the UK. Have fun and enjoy your time together!