Beautiful beaches, rustic countrysides, quiet backcountry trails, picturesque mountains and bustling cities: there are so many places that families can enjoy cycling while taking in new sights and sounds.
Our top 5 picks are all in Europe. They all provide fun and easy cycling routes that are very kid-friendly.
How far you plan to cycle depends on how old your kids are and how they’ll be enjoying the ride. If they are young and have their own bikes, you’ll be restricted to short bicycle trips.
If you are using a kid’s bike seat or bike trailer, you can enjoy longer cross-country rides. If you have older kids (7+ years), you can plan a longer cycling trip with frequent stopovers.
Here are our most favourite family cycling holiday destinations
On some of these routes, you can book a self-guided or guided tour from a holiday company. Perks of booking a tour include discounted accommodation, bike hires (including electric bikes) and transportation to and from cycling routes.
But you can also plan your own route (Google Maps is perfect for that), book your own accommodation in advance and decide which sights you want to see along the way.
1. Morecambe Bay
If you are looking for a local family cycling destination, Morecambe Bay is one of the best. It’s beautiful and there are a lot of sights and activities to enjoy along the way.
The entire trail along this stretch of coastline is called the Bay Cycle Way and it’s 81-miles (130km) long. You can cycle part of it or take more days to cover the entire stretch, averaging 10-20 miles a day.
The trail features some historic sites your kids will love, stunning views (and sounds) of the ocean as well as small villages and towns. There are also lots of great foods to sample along the way.
2. London to Brighton
If you have your mind set on a countryside road trip, the roughly 60-mile stretch between London and Brighton is perfect.
It’s the same route taken during the British Heart Foundation annual bike ride. You don’t have to follow the exact same route since you won’t have the benefit of road closures.
But there are many back roads and quiet lanes that are safe for your family.
Here’s a handy stage by stage guide to help you plan your trip.
The route is mostly easy on your feet with a gentle undulating landscape most of the way. But there are a few hilly areas where you might prefer to push your bikes.
If you don’t want to go all the way, there are shorter stretches that pass through farms and small towns. They have less traffic and plenty to feast your eyes on.
3. The Strawberry Line
If you want an easy, short and traffic-free destination, try the 10-mile Strawberry Line in Somerset.
It starts in Yatton, goes through Cheddar, Wells and ends in Dulcote. Plans are underway to extend it to a 30-mile line for cyclists, runners and families.
The line takes you through wildlife-rich areas, beautiful orchards and secluded woodlands. It is mostly flat and is ideal for all kinds of bikes.
Here’s a complete map of the line (pdf).
If you are looking for a designation a bit further from home, try the cycling path that runs along the iconic Danube river.
There are plenty of trails in Germany, Hungary, Austria and Slovakia. This website does a great job outlining all the best cycling trails and paths along the Danube river in different countries along with the best hotels to spend your nights.
There are also many attractions to enjoy along the way and a wide variety of culture and food to partake.
5. Black Forest, Germany
The Black Forest Cycle Route is an excellent choice for families that want an easy kid-friendly cycling destination.
This is a dedicated cycling trail so you don’t have to worry about traffic. It’s mostly flat, making it perfect even for kids in bike trailers.
The entire route is 248km. It’s a circuitous route that starts and ends at Freiburg. Of course, you don’t have to cover all of it. You can travel by train on parts of it.