8 Tips for Cycling with Kids - and Great Places to Do It
Cycling is not just one of the best and most fun means of getting around. It’s also a great way of spending time together as a family - it’s free or generally very inexpensive and gets kids out in the fresh air and away from screens. They tend to sleep brilliantly if they’ve been out on two wheels too…
Luxury Family Hotels has free bikes for guests’ use at The Ickworth in Suffolk and, from Easter 2016, at New Park Manor in the New Forest (they can be hired there in the meantime). Bike rental is also available at the Polurrian Bay Hotel in Cornwall. If you’re new to cycling with kids, we’ve put our heads together to bring you out tips for making the most of your outings.
• Pick off-road trails whenever you can. Sustrans is a good source of information on child-friendly routes for all levels, searchable by area.
• Choose routes with things to stop off and see along the way - play areas, for instance, or riverbanks to explore and streams to paddle in.
• Look for a venue with free or inexpensive bike hire - taking your own can be tricky and cumbersome, especially if there’s several of you and you have other luggage too.
• Take a picnic with you so you don’t have to spend lots of money while you’re out or come home before you’re ready, plus plenty of water.
• Sign your child up for a bike ability (‘cycling proficiency’) course so they have road skills.
• Try to incorporate cycling into your daily life - or if that’s not feasible, then aim for weekly outings.
• Get babies and toddlers used to biking and encourage a future interest in it by taking them out in baby seats, trailers or tagalongs.
• Consider using a bike handle rather than stabilisers to train kids to ride bikes - it can take longer to break away from stabilisers because they often give kids a false sense of security.
Great Routes Handy for Luxury Family Hotels
• Ickworth Park
Our Ickworth Hotel is part of this National Trust estate, meaning guests can use our free bikes to explore the glorious grounds. Read our blog 10 Things Not to Miss with Kids on the Ickworth Estate.
• New Forest
New Park Manor Hotel is in the heart of this National Park, with a whole host of fairly flat cycle paths on the doorstep (staff will be happy to guide you).
• The Lizard
This peninsula’s quiet lanes are good for those venturing out from the Polurrian Bay Hotel, or head to the National Trust’s Penrose for trails for all levels, from smooth toddler-friendly paths to challenging woodland sections.
Read more about family holidays and breaks at Luxury Family Hotels.