The National Trust has long been a favourite for experiencing the great outdoors. Whilst much focus is on their historic houses and gardens, they also have many activities at their sites in the countryside and along Britain’s coast.
This year they are holding a cycling festival with many events across the country. Furthermore, there’s all year round cycling routes and even bike hire available at some National Trust places.
National Trust Cycling Festival
The National Trust cycling festival runs between 16 and 24 July 2011 and is a great way to experience and enjoy the beautiful countryside. There’s something for everyone with family, children’s, off road, pub, mountain bike and other cycling events.
Cycling Festival events are occurring at the following National Trust sites.
- Wicken Fen, Cambridgeshire
- Scotney Castle, Kent
- Alfriston Clergy House, East Sussex
- High Peak Estate, Peak District
- Devil’s Dyke – West Sussex
- Ashridge Estate, Hertfordshire
- Reigate Hill & Gatton Park, Surrey
- Killerton, Devon
- East Riddlesden Hall, Yorkshire
- Yorkshire Dales
- Gibside, Tyne & Wear
- Fountain Abbey, Yorkshire
- Studland, Dorset
- Malham Tarn, Yorkshire
- Salcombe, Devon
- Long Mynd, Shropshire
- Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire
For those seeking more of a challenge, the National Trust are also running Sportives from July to October. These have been designed to appeal to both experience cyclists but accessible for first time entrants. These are being held at the following venues.
- Illam, Peak District
- Kingston Lacy, Dorset
- Dunstable Downs, Bedfordshire
- Wimpole, Cambridgeshire
- Park Estate, Devon
- Sizergh Castle, Cumbria
For more information and dates for the Cycling Festival and Sportives, go to the National Trust website.
National Trust cycling routes
If you can’t make the cycling festival, rest assured that the National Trust has all year round activities on two wheels.
The charity now has a list of cycle rides that are available on it’s properties. These range from rides along Britain’s famous rivers, around their estates, through woodlands and more challenging hilly rides. Some of them link up to the National Cycling Network, so you can get the best of both worlds.
To make it easier to plan in advance, they have provided downloadable guides so you can plan your route. More will be added to the National Trust website in the future.
Bike hire at National Trust sites
As well as the events being planned for the cycling festival and the cycle route leaflets, the National Trust is also making cycling more accessible. Bike hire is available at an increasing amount of their venues including.
- Blickling Estate, Norfolk – shared use cycling on bridleways with route maps available
- Castle Ward, County Down – new cycling path with trail maps
- Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire – available all week in the summer and weekends in winter
- Dunstable Downs, Bedfordshire – shared use cycling on bridleways. Route is part of the Icknield Way Trail
- Dark Peak, Derbyshire – circular cycle path and bridleways
- Ickworth, Suffolk – family cycle route
- Killerton, Devon – national cycle network route
- Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve, Cambridgeshire – cycle routes at the Wicken Vision project area
We suggest you take a look at the National Trust cycling events page to find out more about their cycle hire availability.
To get easy access to cycling and free admission to all properties, check out our article on the latest deals on National Trust membership. Alternatively, to find out more about the National Trust, please visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk.