If you and your family are fans of bike riding and you’re looking for something a little different, why not have a look into family cycle routes in Isle of Wight?
4 Family Cycle Routes In Isle Of Wight
This is a great holiday destination, and one that is super fun to explore on a bike! Here are a few of the best cycle routes you can take.
West Wight Wander
This ride is perfect for beginners to cycling, or those with little ones whose legs tire out quicker than their older peers.
You start in Yarmouth, and follow a disused railway all along the Yar river and down to Freshwater, a distance of 6.3 miles.
This route is traffic free and well shaded from the hot sun, making it ideal for those hot summer days. It’s also pretty flat, so perfect for smaller children.
When you reach Freshwater, you will find cafes to help you get your energy up for the ride back – coffee for you, ice cream for the kids, maybe?
Heading back to Yarmouth, you will take a quiet road to Thorley, then rejoin the railway line again just before you head back into Yarmouth.
This route is great for getting little ones used to riding on the roads, without you having to worry about them being knocked off their bikes by traffic.
It is a great route to look for wildlife and birds, because it is so quiet and the railway is not in use.
There are very few up or down hills too, making the whole experience safer and more fun for the kids – and more fun for you because you won’t have to listen to them wailing that they’re tired!
Red Squirrel Trail
This is a longer route – 32 miles, to be precise – so it is suitable for the older children, or for a trip where you are staying a few days and can break up the ride.
This route travels through the heart of the Isle of Wight, and you will see woodland, coast, estuaries and picturesque farmland.
The trail starts at Cowes, and runs through to Newport following the old railway line. After Newport you will join another railway line which goes all the way to the coast of Sandown.
Cycle alongside some beautiful beaches – and if the weather is nice you’d better pack your beach gear!
After a short on-road section through Shanklin, you reach another railway section to the Wroxhall, on the Sunshine Loop – named because it receives the most amount of sunshine out of anywhere in the country!
After Wroxhall it’s all countryside and bridleways until you rejoin the railway near your starting point at Merstone.
You can hire bikes to do this trail, and find them in all sizes and to suit all abilities. As long as you allow a bit of time to complete it, this trail is even suitable for young riders.
The red squirrel is native to the Isle of Wight, so what better way to try and spot one than on a bike?
Lighthouses And Smugglers
This route actually used to be a road, until it literally dropped off a cliff! Nowadays the track is for walkers and cyclists only, making it perfect for families with young kids.
The trail starts at Ventnor Botanic Gardens and heads all the way to Niton, a distance of 7 miles. It is fully tarmacked, and perfectly flat.
As you pass along the route you will see some beautiful sandy bays, most with a colourful history of smuggling that can catch the interest of little ones.
When you reach Niton, you will head towards the St Catherine’s Lighthouse, one of the first in the world to be powered by electricity. Sadly, it is closed to visitors, but it is still a good landmark – and a wall to lean against and rest your legs after your ride!
Niton boasts a good pub, which you can use to rest and restore your spirits (and buy drinks and snacks for the kids!) before you head back the way you came.
The Isle of Wight has some truly fantastic scenery, and there are always opportunities to spot wildlife and flowers along the way.
If this is not enough, you and your kids can stop off for a beach session at one of the sandy bays.
East Wight Explorer
On the other side of the island from the West Wight Wander (not surprisingly!) this trail is great for a family cycle ride.
It is more suited for the older kids, and for those that have a bit more cycling experience, as it is a little longer and with more up and down hills.
Starting in Ryde, you will head through to Quarr Abbey – this part is all quiet cycle trails, with no traffic and not too difficult.
Then you join a dedicated cycle path, the Wootton-Newport, which has been recently refurbished so should be smooth and comfortable!
From here you head into the centre of Newport, following the river Medina – a great opportunity to spot river wildlife.
Following on from Newport you will head up into the downs, before coming back down again on an off-road track (good news for the mountain bikers among you!) which leads into Havenstreet.
From Havenstreet you will climb up again, then make your way back to Ryde on a quiet bridle path.
This route is great for the experienced cycling family, who are happy to go up hill and down dale without getting too tired out.
There is a great deal to see, and the views of the countryside will be amazing – plus there will be many chances for spotting local wildlife and looking out for the fauna that is unique to the Isle of Wight.
At 17.7 miles long, this trip might take you a little longer than some, but there will be places that you can stop for refreshments, and you can really take your time with it.
The Isle of Wight is a fantastic cycle destination; it even has its own cycling festival! It’s filled with beautiful scenery and loads of lovely places to explore.
If you’re looking for family cycle routes and a way to get your kids interested in cycling, family cycle routes in Isle of Wight is a great place to start. If you’re looking for more family cycle routes, check this guide about Cornwall or this one about New Forest.