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Where to go cycle camping

Cyclecamp resource page 008

Britain is brilliant for cycle camping: there are plenty of campsites, the ground is soft enough to get your pegs in and there is a pub in nearly every village. Where do you want to go?

Cyclecamp wants to make a suggestion: set off from your own front door!

Heading off from home is a great way to “shake down” your kit, make sure your bike is comfy and to get ready for the Big Trip - and you will already have had an adventure.

But if you want to cast your net wider, then you are already in one of the best countries in the world for cycle camping: you can take your pick from the hilly areas in the north like the Peak District and the Lake District; you can ride leisurely across the flat plains of East Anglia and Lincolnshire in the east, or you could try the rolling hills of the Cotswolds and the North and South Downs in the south of England.

You have the whole of Wales to choose from and Scotland is easier to cycle camp in than it looks - the roads tend to run along the valleys rather than up and over the mountains!

With low gears and strong legs you can head for the hills

And you don’t need to ignore the less obvious counties like Somerset, Suffolk or Warwickshire. But wherever you choose, you will pass through market towns and villages in a way that is impossible in a car.

What’s more, with cycle camping you don’t have to be limited to one area – a two week holiday could see you travelling about 300 miles – enough to take you from one very different area to another. In between times, you can stop for a day or two and explore an area in more detail.

Cycle camping is very flexible: you can be up and gone in an hour in the morning and most campsites (despite cyclecamp recommending that you do book ahead where advised in July and August) will fit you in if you arrive by bicycle.

And what about those hills? With low gears and strong legs you can head for the hills and not worry. Remember though that Devon and Cornwall are very hilly and very challenging - and you’ll be carrying the equivalent weight of a week’s shopping in your panniers. If you’re new to cycle camping, you may want to try a less hilly area to begin with.

Unless you live in central London (and even then maybe) you can be out into the countryside within a day’s cycling. And when you cycle camp you will see your local area in a completely new way: what is familiar and boring by car becomes detailed and fascinating by bike. You will find lanes and villages you never knew existed, streams that are crossed by little bridges and views that you had never realised were there. And not far away will be a cyclecamp campsite!

The world comes alive when you are on a bicycle - having all your kit with you makes you feel that you are treading in the footsteps of the great explorers without even leaving Surrey! So get the map out and start planning your trip!

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