Seeking Adventure Travel on Two Legs or Two Wheels

| November 29, 2012
UK National Cycle Network, Route 8, Wales: Tre...

UK National Cycle Network, Route 8, Wales: Tremadog, Porthmadog, Caernarfon, Criccieth (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is no better way to explore home or abroad than walking and cycling in the great outdoors. From city trails to countryside walks, mountain hikes to cross-country cycle rides travelling on two wheels or two legs can get you back to nature and awaken your sense of adventure.

Enjoy the Great Outdoors

With no better way to get to know a country and its people, both cycling and walking are a budget-friendly way to holiday, but there are a few essentials to get right before you put your knapsack on your back and set off.

First of all you need to choose your holiday destination and the route you want to follow. There is plenty of information on the internet, with details on cycling holidays in the UK or walking routes in the UK and Europe. You can choose to arrange your own holiday or pick one of the many guided or semi-guided holidays available.

Section your chosen route into manageable daily chunks whether walking or riding and arrange places to stay en route. If you’re travelling during the high season, do not leave anything to chance: it’s definitely better to arrange your itinerary in advance.

Always think safety first. If you are cycling check the roads you will be travelling on, take a helmet, wear reflective clothing and carry a puncture repair kit just in case. Cycling shorts are better to wear on a cycle ride whatever the weather, if they get wet they will dry much quicker than trousers and a long-sleeved, high-necked top will protect against both wind chill and sunburn.

Walking holidays in Europe require much the same precautions, with the notable exception that hard-wearing, worn-in walking or hiking boots are essential, as are waterproofs. Remember that in both cases you can only travel with what you can carry in your rucksack or bike panniers.

There used to be very few off-road routes for cycling holidays in the UK, but the development of the National Forest, a Midlands-based regeneration project started in 1990, has opened up new routes. The forest includes 13km of off-road trails and is home to the National Cycle Centre, a  1.5m development with bike hire, a repair shop, caff and play area.

There is also a National Cycle Network route that extends across the country from its start in Whitehaven on the coast of the Irish Sea. The route takes you east through the Lake District, Cumbria and the North Pennines, with cosy B&Bs, inns and hotels en route where you can rest your weary limbs at the end of the day. The route ends in Tynemouth at the edge of the North Sea.

Walking holidays in Europe offer a multitude of varied landscapes, with walking tours to meet all levels of experience, regardless of whether the tours involve mountain treks, forest walks or meandering along coastal routes.

Trek through the mountains of Corsica and the forests, valleys and local villages, or hike along the tough but rewarding route up Mount Blanc, Western Europe’s highest peak. Enjoy some of the wildest and most stunning scenery in Europe while trekking through the Pyrenees, or test yourself in the Dolomites with graded walking routes through the numerous peaks.

You can meander across Evia, Greece’s second largest island, on ancient stone paths through quaint villages, olive trees, citrus groves and Roman ruins, or walk through the rolling landscape of Madeira in Portugal and the famous laurisilva forests.

Peter Smith is a former travel writer and adventurer who has explored, on two wheels, two legs and sometimes four legs, most of Europe, Australia and America. He writes for a number of travel websites, blogs and magazines on topics including cycling holidays in the UK.


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