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Active Holidays: Cycling

Cycling in the Yorkshire Dales at the Malham Tarn Estate © Ben Selway

Cycling in the Yorkshire Dales at the Malham Tarn Estate © Ben Selway


What with Britain’s cycling successes in recent years, bike hire schemes springing up in the nation’s cities and now is the perfect time to explore the country on two wheels.

And many National Trust estates are the ideal places to do just that. With hard-surfaced tracks through rolling parkland, trails and off-road routes through forests and across moors and minimal traffic to bother you, you’ll find many of our special places bike friendly.

So whether you head off on holiday with the whole family’s bikes strapped to the car, or are just looking to hire some for a fun day out, we’ve got plenty of holiday cottages in wonderful locations for pedal-powered adventures.

There’s specially-designed family cycling routes, through woodlands, alongside beaches and around lakes. These gentle trails are perfect for little legs, and offer a great chance for your kids to tick ‘Go on a really long bike ride’ off their list of ’50 things to do before you’re 11 3/4 ‘. Some ideal bases for family cycling trips include Gardens House in Ickworth, Suffolk and The Potter’s Cottage in Castle Ward, Northern Ireland: both estates offer cycle hire.

For those in search of a challenge, we’ve some tough, off-road routes just made for mountain biking. You could stay at White Edge Lodge in the Peak District and test yourself exploring the high country of the Edale Valley. Or head for Rose Castle Cottage in Cumbria for some spectacular cycling around Coniston.

Check out our activities page for a whole range of routes to suit all abilities, and details of which National Trust places offer cycle hire.

Our selection

  • The exterior of The Dairy House, Blickling, Aylsham, Norfolk © Mike Henton

    The Dairy House

    nr Aylsham , Norfolk

    This is a cottage with masses of character and a particularly welcoming feel to it.

  • The exterior of Rose Castle Cottage, Coniston, Lake District, Cumbria © Sarah Anderson

    Rose Castle Cottage

    Coniston, Lake District , Cumbria

    Delightful C19th Grade II listed cottage set in one of the most picturesque Lake District locations.

  • The exterior of White Edge Lodge, nr Sheffield, Derbyshire © Mike Henton

    White Edge Lodge

    nr Sheffield , Derbyshire

    A wonderful location for an interesting and historic cottage with open views.

  • The exterior of Gardens House, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk © Mike Henton

    Gardens House

    Bury St Edmunds , Suffolk

    The Gardens House is situated on the Ickworth House, Park and Gardens estate in Suffolk

  • The exterior of Carpenters Cottage, Ickworth, Suffolk © Mike Henton

    Carpenter's Cottage

    Bury St Edmunds , Suffolk

    This is a spacious Victorian farm cottage within parkland on the Ickworth Estate.

  • The exterior of Killerton Park Cottage, Killerton, Devon  © National Trust

    Killerton Park Cottage

    nr Exeter , Devon

    A former 1920's estate lodge on the edge of Killerton Parkland