7 of the best UK family bike rides

You can’t beat cycling for an adventurous family day out, but where in the world can you take your little ones and their wheels? Here are 7 of the best family-friendly bike rides the UK has to offer (with a few extra surprises thrown in!).

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Get on yer bike for a fabulous family day out!

Get on yer bike for a fabulous family day out!

The Clay Trails, Cornwall

Cornwall’s china clay mining area is criss-crossed with footpaths and cycling tracks that are just perfect for families. In between the working pits, the turquoise lakes and the tall china clay tips known as the ‘Cornish Alps’, you’ll find miles of trails to explore (and plenty of bike shops too). Plus, pick the right route and you could finish up your thoroughly Cornish day out with a pasty at the iconic Eden Project.

The Troll Trail, Isle of Wight

If you’re holidaying with children on the Isle of Wight, the Troll Trail should definitely be on your list. Hire a bike in Cowes and head off towards Sandown – the child-friendly trail will allow you to take in some beautiful views, and see lots of plants and wildlife. Even better, local artists have put sculptures of trolls and fun nature facts along the route for your kids to find!

  • Distance: 2.5 miles
  • Difficulty: Easy to moderate
  • Highlight: See the troll sculptures
  • Visit the Gift to Nature website for more information.
Canal towpaths make excellent, flat cycle trails

Canal towpaths make excellent, flat cycle trails

Canal towpaths make excellent, flat cycle trails

Pontypool / Blaenavon Route, South Wales

This steady route takes you past canals and through woodland, giving you a true taste of the beautiful Welsh countryside. If you’re lucky you might spot some ponies and you could even stop for lunch in a barge cafe! Once you’ve reached the end of this scenic trail, hop off your bike and take a visit to the Big Pit Coal Museum, where you and your little ones can go underground and experience the life of a miner.

Union Canal, Scotland

This smooth, flat canal trail is free from traffic, making it an ideal route for families with young children. You can expect to cross an aqueduct over the River Avon, travel through spooky canal tunnels and even spot a barge or two! There’s plenty for kids to love on this trail and lots of places to stop and have a picnic en route.

  • Distance: 7 miles
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Highlight: See the canals and barges
  • Visit the Scottish Sport website for more information.
The scenery of the Lake District makes a striking backdrop to any cycle ride

The scenery of the Lake District makes a striking backdrop to any cycle ride

The scenery of the Lake District makes a striking backdrop to any cycle ride

Eskdale Trail, Cumbria

Start with a trip on an old-fashioned steam train up to the foot of the Scafell range, then hop on your bike for a gentle cycle back down to the coast. As well as taking in the Lake District’s absolutely stunning scenery and dodging the mud in country lanes, you can tell your kids to keep their eyes peeled for the elusive red squirrel.

Ecos Trail, Northern Ireland

Experience nature in all its glory as you cycle from Ballymena to Glenarm, and take in the parkland surrounding the Ecos Environmental Centre. The land around the Centre is home to rabbits, hedgehogs, foxes and even otters, so make sure your family keep an eye out as they ride. Feeling energetic? Take a detour on your way to Glenarm and cycle to the base of Slemish, then jump off and hike to the top of this ancient volcanic plug.

  • Distance: 17 miles
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Highlight: Experience nature
  • Visit the Sustrans website for more information.
Woodland, canals, even mountains - your family can tackle it all!

Woodland, canals, even mountains – your family can tackle it all!

Woodland, canals, even mountains – your family can tackle it all!

The North Wiltshire Rivers Route, Wiltshire

One to tackle with older kids, you can do as much of the route from Melksham to Avebury as you like. Strap on your helmet for a day’s cycling through beautiful countryside and next to rivers, or shorten your trip and take in the highlights. You could visit the Cherhill White Horse or the ancient Avebury Stones on this route, but we reckon your kids will really want to stop at Lacock Abbey – two of the Harry Potter films were shot there!

  • Distance: The whole route is 25 miles, but you can shorten it
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Highlight: See a Harry Potter film location
  • Visit the GPS Routes website for more information.

Do you have any recommendations for more family-friendly bike rides? Share them with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!