Mini tours from London

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  • Looking for 1 or 2 night tours or bikepacking trips from the city.


    1. Train from London. Bike > train > bike to get around.
    2. Walking distance to a great pub.
    3. Simple campsites welcome, a field will do.
    4. A little off the beaten track.
    5. Suitable for novice or more casual riders.

    I'll start with the Square and Compass, Worth Matravers.
    South Western Train to Bournemouth, cycle along the sea front, cross on the chain ferry and cycle on to Worth Matravers.
    Camping at Weston dairy campsite (not been open since COVID) or one of the other open field campsites.
    Drinking local cider under the stars at the Square and Compass pub.
    The sea in nearly all directions. Winspit quarry, Dancing Ledge, Chapman's pool & loads more if you jump on the bike.

    Do love it, have been dropping in for nearly 15 years but want to find other places with similar characteristics for a little variety.

  • Clicked the thread to recommend the Square and Compass! Went there a couple of weeks ago on the Purbeck Bimble route (v good!). Extra tip though: if you don't want to take a tent, Tom's Field campsite has a "walkers' barn" which is £14 a night, and I had the place to myself on a Friday night.

  • Different tip though is the Environment Agency's lock island campsites along the Thames. Closest one is at Cookham, just past Maidenhead, and faces onto the grounds of Cliveden House. The Bounty along the river from there is a weird but cool pub, and there are a few good food spots in Cookham.

    Not sure if the campsites are open again - they were closed most of last year.

  • Clicked the thread to recommend the Square and Compass!

    It is so good, it is almost a curse :)

    I'd always been put off Tom's Field by the set pitches but had no idea about the "walkers' barn", that's a great tip!

  • Just back from Alde Garden, Sweffling, Suffolk. Pub is attached to very small friendly eco-campsite. Train to Ipswich, ride to Sweffling, then close to Dunwich Beach or ride up coast/through Suffolk

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  • Just back from Alde Garden, Sweffling, Suffolk. Pub is attached to very small friendly eco-campsite. Train to Ipswich, ride to Sweffling, then close to Dunwich Beach or ride up coast/through Suffolk

    Thanks, this nails the criteria. May have to pencil in as an idea for next year, it's a popular place!

  • Maybe a little too close to home this one - but for my gf who just bought her first roadbike, and hadn't 'bikepacked' before, it was perfect.

    Friday night after work - 35km or grav' North on the canal from Hackney to the Almost Wild - Lee Valley Campsite. Quiet enough space and really close to Broxbourne for picnic supplies and or pubs.

    Next morning it's 10km to Ware for breakfast, and then 4k West along the river to Hartham Common for a wild swim.

    Leaving you either a 50ishkm ride home down the canal, or an hour on the train from Ware.

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  • Adding a few recent beginner friendly mini tours. My photos don't do them any justice.

    Bristol/Bath & Tuckers Grave Inn

    Pub: Tuckers Grave Inn
    Campsite: Also Tuckers Grave Inn
    Old and quirky cider pub, popular with the locals. Campsite is attached. When in the pub, find a seat in the small room with the fireplace.
    Train: Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads, < 2 hours with GWR. Need to book bikes.

    The ride is either segregated shared path on an old rail route or quiet lanes. There is 1 hill to deal with on the way out. Plenty of stops for coffee/cake. Recommend the Bakehouse which is near the start of the route. You can ride directly back from the pub or ride the full loop.

    Did this in November so it was nice and quiet. Imagine the pub is busy in the summer, along with the Bristol/Bath cycle way.

  • Buxton tap room

    Pub: Buxton Brewery tap room,­/brewery
    Campsite: Staden Grange [0.3 miles from the brewery]
    Train: St Pancras International > Cromford via Derby. 2 hours mid-week, 3 hours 30 at the weekend. You need to email EMR to book on bikes.

    The ride is mostly on light gravel or country lanes, there was one section across a field that required lifting bikes over gates. There are some hard climbs but as most of the route is on old railway, it's flat for the area.

    We did this in December so it was very quiet and drizzly. Imagine the old railway trails are rammed in the summer with walkers. Taproom is decent and if they don't have a food truck outside, you can order in takeaway.

  • These are great thanks for sharing.

    I'll try remember to share / report back when I go on these little trips outta town.

  • Pushing the criteria a little with this one.

    Scotland mini-tour from Fort William

    Train: Caledonian sleeper. Euston > Fort William. Booking bikes is easy, get a cabin, it is spendy but consider it a nights sleep/accomodation. You do have to wake up at Edinburgh to move your bike onto a different storage carriage as the train is split in 3.
    Mostly quiet roads and a section of NCN 78 which has some great infastructure. The road between Fort William and Corran is not ideal and depending on day of the week, you can get a ferry to the other side at Fort William and avoid this.

    I'd also consider riding this route clock wise. Best done outside of school holidays and peak caravan seasons.

    We did this leaving london Wed night and arriving back on Monday morning (going straight to the office) but it could be done quicker. I think leaving Thur night, returning Sunday night would be possible but check ahead for ferry times. The komoot total distance includes ferries.

    Purpose built switchbacks on NCN 78, Fort William > Oban.

    Night skies over Acharacle.

    Ferry at Ardgour. This one is free for cyclists.

  • This thread is the inspiration I need right now!

  • Gonna bump this to get people to dig through their memories and share some nice mini-tours from London that they’ve done over the summer. I’d contribute if I had anything to add…

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Mini tours from London

Posted by Avatar for spinnnout @spinnnout