Cycling has never been more popular in the UK.
Everywhere you look people are taking to the road to enjoy life on two wheels, inspired by the achievements of GB Cycling and Team Sky, especially Britain’s Tour de France winners Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome.
Whether you are a serious competitor or a weekend MAMIL (middle aged man in lycra) combining a city break with cycling is a great way to unwind and enjoy some relaxing time on the bike.
Sleeperz Hotels has smart and stylish budget hotels in two of Britain’s best cities, Cardiff and Newcastle, and there are no shortage of places to ride in both places.
Watch for out for the new Sleeperz Hotel Dundee opening in 2016 – part of a £1bn waterfront development next to the first satellite of the V&A Museum outside London.
Here’s our handy guide to cycling city breaks with Sleeperz Hotels!
CYCLING IN CARDIFF
Cardiff Bay Cycling Trail
One of the best and safest places to cycle in Cardiff is the easy traffic-free circular trail that runs around Cardiff Bay and across to the seaside town of Penarth via Pont Y Werin.
Its perfect for families and new or returning cyclists and is quite a gentle circuit at only 6.2 miles on tarmac trail.
The trail is a great way to see everything on offer in Cardiff Bay. You can explore vibrant waterfronts cafes, bars, restaurants, famous visitor attractions like The Dr Who Experience or important cultural and heritage sites, such as the Norwegian Church where children’s author Roald Dahl was baptised and the Millennium Centre (national home of Welsh Arts and theatre – from opera to ballet and contemporary dance).
For the more energetic among you stop off at Cardiff Bay’s new International Sports Village, where you can try all sorts of things from whitewater rafting to kayaking and wind surfing.
You may just want to relax and unwind as you cycle across the Barrage taking in the coastal views across the Bay and over to the delightful town of Penarth. If you have young children the playground half way across the barrage offers a great pit stop for a picnic or ice-cream.
For maps and further route information click here
Cycle the Taff Trail
Another great option for cycling in Cardiff is the Taff Trail. This 55-mile (93km) trail connects Cardiff with the famous Brecon Beacons National Park – where the SAS (Special Air Service) hold their selection process for soldiers hoping to join Britain’s most decorated elite military force.
Depending on your fitness you may wish to tackle the whole route or simply dip in and out of the 8-mile stretch through Cardiff that winds through beautiful green spaces, parks, alongside the River and passes by unmissable landmarks and visitor attractions.
If you cycle the Taff Trail in Cardiff you’ll start at Cardiff Bay – Europe’s largest waterfront development – and then cycle through the city centre to Tongwynlais.
CYCLE HIRE AND TOURS IN CARDIFF
If you are travelling by air or rail to Cardiff and simply can’t bring your own bike then there are a great selection of places to hire bikes or book an organised cycle tour.
Cardiff Pedal Power is a charity that encourages adults and childrens from all backgrounds to get cycling and it operates bike hire services suitable for all abilities and needs, including toddler trailers, tandems and novelty hires (go-karts and pedal cars).
Hire prices start from £7 an hour to £20 a day for an adult mountain bike, prices vary for children and concessions, please check its website for full details.
If you’d prefer to join a cycle tour and freewheel along with an expert guide, then Cardiff Cycle Tours operates 3-hour guided tours around Cardiff Bay and the Taff Corridor for £20 per person, check website for times and details.
CYCLING IN NEWCASTLE
While Newcastle is well known for its nightlife and the effervescent Geordies, known for being among the friendliest people in Britain, a quick explore reveals a thriving cycling scene and a host of fun routes to discover unlikely and interesting places.
We’ve teamed up with Cycle Hub, a brilliant social enterprise and Newcastle’s #1 cycling café, to bring you the lowdown on how to get the most from a two-wheeled break on the Tyne.
Look out at the end of this blog-post for a chance to win a 2-night Cycling City Break in Newcastle with some great goodies and bike hire from the folks at Cycle Hub.
Not too long ago, Newcastle’s Quayside was a place of industrial endeavour, grease and grime, where the iconic Swan Hunter shipyard was the main cog in the city’s economy.
Now, a cultural renaissance and dedicated regeneration has transformed the banks of the Tyne into a perfect place to cycle and explore one of the finest cityscapes in Britain.
Sights like the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, a restored flour mill turned Turner Prize host art gallery, the “winking eye” Millennium Bridge and Sage Gateshead – the futuristic silver music concert hall – make NewcastleGateshead a vibrant and inspiring place to ride.
Cycle Hub has mapped out a series of brilliant routes for every ability level, from the 16 mile Tyne Bridges Trail, gentle Parks and Posh Shops tootle, to the gruelling Hell of the North East 62-mile road trail.
The famous C2C (Coast to Coast) cycle route dissects Newcastle and there is an excellent section where you can ride from the city centre to the gorgeous seaside town of Tynemouth, with its trendy bars, arty café’s, local chocolatier and yummy bakeries.
If you do bring your own bike with you to Newcastle, Sleeperz Hotel Newcastle has safe and secure cycle storage and bicycle parking facilities.
Win a Cycling Break for Two with Sleeperz Hotels and Cycle Hub
Sleeperz Hotels and Cycle Hub have teamed up to offer two lucky winners a two-night city break in Newcastle (B&B), cycle hire for two days and lunch at the Cycle Hub Café on one of the days.
All you have to do to win this prize is log onto our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/sleeperzhotels, like our page, share our competition post and then write a cool caption for our cycling picture.
The best caption for the picture will be chosen as the winner!
The winner of the competition will be selected at random by Sleeperz Hotels Newcastle. No employee, or relative of any Sleeperz Hotels employee, is permitted to enter this contest.
The closing date of the competition is September 15th 2014.
The competition prize is valid for one year until September 15, 2015 and can be redeemed, subject to availability, at a time of your choosing via arrangement direct with the hotel.
By entering this comeptition you agree to allow Sleeperz Hotels Ltd to contact you for future marketing purposes with e-mail communications. Your data will not be shared with any other third party and will only be used by Sleeperz Hotels Ltd to notify you of upcoming news and special offers.