As the buzz of Christmas day settles, it can be tempting to stay in and enjoy a movie marathon on Boxing Day. But if you’re looking for a little family adventure, why not check out our best rides. After all, it’s better to be out and about than at ho-ho-home!
Monsal Trail, Bakewell, Derbyshire
Calling all Thomas The Tank Engine fans! This unique cycle route is as sweet as it sounds.
Enjoy an 8 mile ride along the former Midland Railway Line; The Monsal Trail in the Peak District is a fantastic route that takes you through disused railway tunnels. The path is flat and you can go as far as you want, great if you have children who might want a slightly longer bike ride. For younger riders, you can simply double back when little legs start getting tired…and enjoy the railway tunnel again!
Christmas Pie Trail, Farnham to Guildford, Surrey
Fun for all the family, take the Christmas Pie trail from Farnham to Guildford in Surrey. The 8.5-mile route, which is open all year round, is signed all the way (complete with Christmas pudding logos!) and mostly runs along country paths and quiet lanes.
There’s just one section that crosses a busy road, so take care if you’re with younger kids.
Swinley Forest, near Bracknell, Berkshire
Part of the Crown Estate, Swinley Forest is perfect for toddlers and teenagers alike.
For more experienced cyclists, there are a range of mountain bike tracks, and for littler legs, there’s a one-mile gentle route. (Also ideal for parents exhausted after Christmas Day!)
Hop off and you’ll find a fantastic play area with a for for your kids to try out before jumping back on their bikes! And for the more adventurous, there’s a Go Ape with a zip wire and even the chance to try out a Segway.
Hicks Lodge Forest, Leicestershire
From toddlers getting their first taste of cycling to young teens perfecting their skills, Hicks Lodge Forest is the perfect place for a Boxing Day bike ride.
A former coal-mining site, it’s been totally transformed into a fantastic place to visit with your family.
If your child has a BMX or mountain bike, then they’ll LOVE the Shell Brook Trail, which takes you around the whole site through mixed woodlands and includes loads of jumps and bumps. And when you’ve explored the tracks, pop to the cosy cafe for a hot chocolate!
Richmond Park, London
What could be more festive than a family bike ride in London’s stunning Richmond Park?
Cycling on the park’s Tamsin Trail is great for families and even passes where the famous deer are usually grazing. There are around 300 red deer and 350 fallow deer in the park, but just remember not to cycle too close to them.
Visiting the park is a magical experience, especially if it’s been snowing – make sure you take your camera for some stunning winter wonderland shots!
And if you park in the Kingston Gate car park, you can head to the Kingston Gate playground after your bike ride. You’ll find a fairy pergola, along with a tractor and trailer – ideal for the little ones.
Loughgall Country Park, Loughgall, Armagh
The beautiful surroundings of orchards, mixed woodland, trails and traffic-free roads mean Loughgall Country Park is the perfect place for your child’s first cycle on their new bike.
And depending on how energetic you and your family are feeling, you can choose between the 2.7-mile Lakeside route, the 2-mile Orchard route or the slightly longer 3.7-mile Bridle route.
There’s plenty to see along the way, including a gorgeous Walled Garden and an old lime kiln.
If your kids still have energy at the end of their bike ride, they can try out the junior adventure trail, complete with Swinging Steps and a Chain Walk.
Solar System cycle ride, York
This bike ride is out of this world! In need of a little ‘space’ this Boxing Day? The Solar System Cycle ride in York is a brilliant scale model of all the planets in our solar system, meaning you can test your children’s astronomical knowledge…as well as their cycling skills!
Feeling a little lethargic after Christmas dinner? The route goes along the old East Coast main railway line and is just over six miles long; the perfect distance for a post-roast ride.