How To Organise Your Cycling Holiday On The Isle Of Wight
It isn’t uncommon for holidaymakers to come to the Isle of Wight when they’re wanting a slightly more adventurous holiday that doesn’t involve lazing around. Not only are there a number of brilliant outdoor Isle of Wight activities that you can undertake, come rain or shine, but the unspoilt downland is also very popular amongst walkers and cyclists too.
There is a comprehensive network of footpaths and bridleways on the Island and arguably, they are the best way to see everything that the Isle of Wight has to offer, from its rolling downs to its sandy beaches. There are miles of cycling routes too, along with many bicycle hire shops, and the 65 mile ‘Round the Island’ cycle course is famous amongst experienced cyclists.
If you’re interested in coming to the Isle of Wight for a cycling holiday and you’re unsure where to even start when planning something like this, keep reading today. Below are some of our top tips for organising a trip whereby you can explore the Island by bike.
Book your bicycle hire in advance
When wanting to hire a bike for your cycling holiday, be sure to do your research and book in advance. Whilst there are a number of hire shops, they do get very busy, especially during the summer months. If you’re bringing your own bike, they are allowed on all car ferries, however, it is important to note that whilst any push bikes are allowed on Wightlink’s FastCat and Hovertravel services, Red Funnel’s Red Jet only allows fold-up bikes.
Keep an eye on the weather
Whilst the Isle of Wight is a brilliant place to visit all year round, if you’re going to be spending most of your time cycling, you may want to consider visiting from late spring to early autumn, this will help you to avoid the harsher weather conditions. Many of the Isle of Wight beach’s coastal roads and cycle paths are very exposed, so you do need to be careful if it is windy outside and you may want to change your route if windy weather is predicted.
Choose your accommodation location wisely
If you’re planning on doing a number of different cycle routes throughout your holiday, be sure to think carefully about your base location. Finding central accommodation is usually advisable, then you will be able to branch out to all areas of the Island to find different cycling routes. Due to the size of the Island, there is nothing stopping you from exploring numerous different parts of it all in one holiday and the perfect base location will help to make this possible.
Of course, it is always important to check that the accommodation you book is ‘bike-friendly’ too. Most places are and many will offer cycle storage, but it is always worth asking just in case.
Research a route before taking it
With 200 miles of cycle tracks, byways and bridleways for you to investigate, you will be spoilt for choice when deciding where you’re going to cycle. However, not all routes are family-friendly and you should do more than just check the mileage before setting off. Some of the routes can be very hilly, especially if you’re exploring the countryside rather than the coastal paths, making them more challenging than a simple leisurely cycle.
Double-check your pre-planned stops
More often than not, when setting off on a long cycle ride, many will pre-plan different places to stop for a drink or some food. When doing so, it is so important to double-check things such as opening and closing times. Remember, that because the Island is a popular tourist destination, some places are only open in high-season too and the last thing you want is to arrive at a cafe or a pub for a rest and some fuel to find out they’re not open.
Organising a cycling holiday on the Isle of Wight
It is fair to say that regardless of whether you’re an amateur or experienced cyclist, there really are a number of brilliant cycling routes for you to explore on the Isle of Wight and it is undeniably the perfect place for a cycling holiday. Hopefully, the tips and information above will be beneficial to you when organising your active holiday and you can now ensure that the whole trip goes as smoothly as possible.
When you’re organising a cycling holiday to the Island, be sure to take a look at the rest of our site. We have a number of helpful visitor guides for you to browse through and we can point you in the right direction of the Tourist Information Points around the Island, which will supply you with maps, guides and general information. Of course, if you’re interested in any of the other popular Isle of Wight activities, then you can find out all about these as well.