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biking vacations in Great Britain... Anybody do it?(7 posts)

biking vacations in Great Britain... Anybody do it?jba
Oct 20, 2001 10:57 PM

My girlfriend and I are considering a bicycle tour across Great Britain sometime next summer.

We'd like it to be a self-guided tour, but with some assistance or guidance as to where to eat, sleep, etc. Particularly important is the eating bit because we are vegetarians.

Do you guys have any words of advice? Know of any good cycle-tour books for Britain, or know of a good bike tour company?

Thanks in advance!

re: biking vacations in Great Britain... Anybody do it?Jofa
Oct 21, 2001 2:21 AM
There have been a few queries about this recently, and some responders gave great, in depth descriptions of some of our best riding terrain. Try a judicious search for UK, Scotland, Wales, Lake District or similar, to find the threads.

The "Rough Guide" series have just published a book on cycling in the UK... I've flipped through it, and it looks to be extremely useful- I don't know if you get the RG travel books in the US, but they have a knack at avoiding the kitsch and twee approach which travel guides often adopt. You could probably try Amazon for this.

FWIW, the UK is pretty small, and you could see Wales, Scotland, Lake District, London (if you fancy playing 'chicken' with White Van Man), and Cornwall (my favourite- I grew up there) all in a couple of weeks. Also think about going over to Ireland, too, while you're here.

Hope all this is useful...

link to earlier thread (search under ENGLAND!) - nmMJ
Oct 21, 2001 4:21 AM
jbrown2036 "England!" 10/15/01 5:45am
Hello from EnglandJohn-d
Oct 21, 2001 7:54 AM
The worst bit will getting away from the airport - Heathrow?

Public transport is possible with bikes but difficult, not all trains take bikes. You need to plan.

We are vegetarians and eating is easy - really easy. Pubs, tea rooms, cafes, B&B, hotels, they all cater for vegetarians.

Sleeping - loads of B&Bs, guest house, hotels. Thats the order of price. Starts at about £20 each.

August is full, June or September are best.

Ordanace survey maps are very detailed and ideal for cycle touring. Hopes that is of use. Contact me if you require any info.
Gatwick vs. HeathrowKerry Irons
Oct 21, 2001 3:13 PM
I think it's quite a bit easier to ride a bike out of Gatwick than Heathrow. In either case, it's best to get either detailed maps or advice from locals to find the best way to ride a bike out of the airport. Alternatively, if you might consider staying near the airport for your first day (recover from jet lag, head into London by train or tube for a little sightseeing). For example, the Corner House B&B near Gatwick will pick you up and drop you off, easing the transport issue. A hotel or B&B might also provide a storage location for your shipping boxes.
re: YesSteveS
Oct 21, 2001 11:34 AM
I have done cycling tours in Britain twice, most recently in September. Having been in the South Downs, Cotswalds, Peak District, lowland Scotland, and now Wales and Yorkshire Dales, my favorite area is Wales. You can get a considerable amount of vegetarian supported tours from Bicycle Beano and their related company, Beics Eryi for Wales. They not doubt have friends of a similar outlook throughout Britain. My experience was that there was no problem finding vegetarian options almost everywhere.

Sustrans (Sustainable Transportation) have made a number of cycling routes throughout Britain, signed, and with excellent maps. You can find their website and I would recommend the Lon Las Cymru route in Wales highly.

Be prepared for cool and rain. Britain has a very thorough process of grading accomodations and from my standpoint a rating of 3 diamonds (b&bs, guesthouses) or 3 stars (hotels) to 5 with "ensuite" facilities (private in room bathroom) would appeal to most Americans. If you are on a restricted budget, you can choose the lower ratings. The British Tourist Authority has info there, plus virtually every region of Britain has websites with accommodations, seek them out.
Good luck.
Oct 22, 2001 6:46 AM
Why not try Ireland.
Beautiful people, beautiful scenery and cycling friendly and the Guinness is the best.
If you want any info on Ireland contact me at