• 20Apr

    Scotland is heaven for those who like to travel on two wheels. Whether you are a family looking for a fun trail for an afternoon or are looking for a full-on, long-distance mountain bike challenge’, this beautiful country can deliver exactly what you are looking for. Here are five of the very best cycling trails in Scotland:

    Round Loch Leven, Perthshire: (Easy)

    This cycle ride around Loch Leven is perfect for families or those who are not up for a mammoth amount of effort. This is a mostly flat ride of around 12 miles around Loch Leven on the Loch Leven Heritage Trail. It is excellent for anyone interested in history or in birdwatching. The castle on the island was where Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned for a time, and there is an RSPB bird hide half way round the route that is the perfect place to stop for a break.

    Aviemore to Glenmore, the Old Logging Way: (Easy)

    Another gentle and easy cycle for families that will take you into the heart of some fantastic cycling country in the Cairngorms National Park, so you can do as much or as little cycling of whatever level of difficulty you like. See Loch Morlich at Glenmore, and the many delightful surprises in the ancient Caledonian Forest around the Rothiemurchus estate.

    North Sea Cycle Route: (Moderate/ Mixed)

    This cycle route actually goes on for 750 miles – and that is just the Scottish Section. But with plenty of varied and picturesque coastal cycling this route could be done in stages or you could just pick a bit that appeals to you. Whatever section you choose to do you are sure to be treated to some beautiful seascapes and plenty of wildlife to watch.

    Mountains and Bikes Long Distance Route: (Moderate-Strenuous)

    If you feel like challenging yourself to a week long cycling holiday then why not catch the train to Glasgow and set off on this cycling adventure across the country to Stonehaven, taking in the awe-inspiring scenery of the Glasgow area, the West Highlands, Perthshire/Angus and Deeside. There are eight circular day rides along the way for you to enjoy. Though there are busy roads, you will mostly be riding on quiet back roads or purpose built cycle tracks. This would work well as a car-supported tour.

    Bealach Mor – Applecross circuit: (Strenuous)

    This route to Applecross on the West Coast might just be one of the most difficult 90 mile cycle routes anywhere in the British Isles. This route may not be as long as some of the challenging Scottish routes but it does go over the 2056m high Bealach Na Ba to Applecross. This route is steep and tough – but rest assured that the views you will get from the top are more than worth the effort and beating this challenge will really leave you feeling proud of your accomplishment.

    So, whether you are looking for a gentle pedal round Perthshire or the Borders, or a serious mountain slog, come to Scotland and see where the cycle routes take you.

  • 14Apr

    The forest of Dean is a section of the county of Gloucestershire known for its scenic beauty and tranquil spots. It is characterised by mixed woodland and is one of the last sections of ancient woodland in the whole of England. There are many accommodation options in the forest of Dean and nearby – something so suit every taste and budget. If you are planning a visit to this idyllic area then here are some of your options:

    - Camping:

    There are many campsites in the Forest of Dean and the neighbouring Wye Valley. One option is the campsite on the edge of the Forest of Dean, Bracelands campsite. Another is Whitemead Forest Park. These are just two of the tranquil, leafy campsites on offer that will bring you up close and personal with the wonderful range of flora and fauna in the ancient forest.

    - Glamping:

    If you cannot quite bring yourself to rough it in a tent in the old-fashioned way, but still want to be out there enjoying the natural splendour of the area then glamping or ‘glamorous camping’ could be the way to go. Stay in ‘The Cider Orchard Yurt’, ‘Mad Dogs and Vintage Vans’ Glamping Arcs at Greenway Farm, or the eco glamping lodges of ‘The Dome Garden’.

    glampingfod

    - B&Bs:

    If you would like the home-away-from-home experience then why not stay in one of the lovely Forest of Dean B&Bs. Try the luxury experience at Pauntley Court or Ferndale House or stay at one of the many rural farms which offer this sort of accommodation.

    - Inns:

    If you like good food and a few ales then you could stay at one of the fine, historic wayside inns that dot the countryside of England. Why not try the Saracen’s Head Inn, pleasantly situated in the Wye Valley Gorge where it meets the Forest of Dean.

    - Self-catering Cottages:

    There are a huge number of self-catering cottages to choose from in and around the Forest of Dean. There is something for everyone, whether you are looking for a chic town pad, a farmhouse or a woodland idyll. Why not try Squirrel Cottage, with a gate from the garden straight into the forest.

    - Hotels:

    If you like a higher level of luxury and extravagance then rest assured, you too can find accommodation in or near the Forest of Dean. The Tudor Farmhouse is one of the many characterful, comfortable and historical hotels on offer in the area.

    So come to the Forest of Dean and explore an ancient landscape of beauty and peace.