To celebrate National Bike Week (13–21 June) and to encourage people to get involved, Forestry Commission England is highlighting its top ten family cycling sites on offer around the country. Cycling is not only an excellent way to experience the outdoors but a fantastic activity that can be enjoyed by the whole family. The variety of family routes allows you to experience the benefits of cycling within beautiful Forestry Commission woodlands. Here is the selection of the top sites for a family cycling day out:
- Kielder Water and Forest Park in Northumberland which has spectacular views on offer on the easy/moderate blue trails.
- Hamsterley Forest in Durham has challenging but worthwhile trails ideal for family groups.
- Dalby Forest in Yorkshire includes a relaxing two mile trail with access to a wildlife hide.
- Cannock Chase in Stafford allows you to take in the picturesque Sherbrook Valley.
- Hicks Lodge Cycle Centre, National Forest in the Midlands a site particularly suited to families with eight miles of off-road trails.
- Delamere in the Midlands offers smooth shady tracks with only a few hills and is perfect for an easy ride.
- Alice Holt in Surrey includes a three mile winding trail with picnic spots along the route.
- Bedgebury Forest, South East England has perfect surroundings for a gentle family ride.
- Thetford Forest in the East of England boasts literally hundreds of miles of singletrack ideal for all level of cyclists.
- Haldon Forest near Exeter caters to all abilities and includes the Discovery Trail with fun features along the route for children.
Pam Warhurst, Forestry Commission Chair, said, “Cycling is a healthy and fun way to explore and enjoy England's beautiful woods and forests. Whatever people's fitness or ability, we want to get everyone out cycling in our woodlands and are delighted to offer such a large selection of trails for families. So let's hope for some lovely weather this summer and come and experience our forest routes. In addition to over 1,000km of trails, all our cycle sites have bike shops where you can pick up all essential safety equipment and cafes to wind down in after a rewarding ride.
Forestry Commission England is the government department responsible for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment. Forestry makes a real contribution to sustainable development, providing social and environmental benefits arising from planting and managing attractive, as well as productive, woodlands. Forestry Commission England supports the UN’s International Year of Forests and Love Forests – www.loveforests.com.