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You’ll Look Sweet Upon the Seat of a Bicycle Made for Two

With the Tour de France over here earlier in the year the interest in cycling has increased and several of our partners across the UK have been working with organisations to promote cycling in their local areas.  One has been collaborating with Sustrans in Birmingham to create a permanent Trail with clue boards along the route.  Another is very active in Yorkshire with lost sheep in pink jerseys and yellow bikes!

Lots of the Trails in our catalogue are suitable for cycling if you are happy to cycle along roads (some of them reasonably busy) and the best way to identify which are by heading to the home page of the website and clicking on the Buy a Trail tab and then ticking the cycling box! This will bring up almost 50 options.  Several of those can be driven too and of course there is nothing to stop you walking them if you are feeling energetic!

For this post though, we are focusing on a few that are dedicated cycling Trails where you can be confident there is limited (if any) traffic.

You’ll Look Sweet Upon the Seat of a Bicycle Made for TwoFor an easy ride

Head to Wales to try the Cardiff Bay Cycle Trail which follows the existing 10km cycle route. The route is mostly on the dedicated cycle path although there are a couple of road crossing to negotiate. Half way round is Mermaid Quay with its great atmosphere and large choice of food and drink places to stop and rest. On sunny days, there is no better place to be.

Or head to the South East to enjoy a cycle ride with a difference from Worthing to Shoreham. This is a leisurely Trail with no steep sections that follows the seafront cycle path east of the Pier on to the Widewater Lagoon Nature Reserve. I feel a picnic coming on!

Going from A to B

Some of our cycling Trails are not circular and the clues are only along one way, which means of course that once you’ve gone from A to B, you can enjoy the bike ride back to the start without worrying whodunnit!

The Portland to Bowleaze Cove Trail in Dorset heads along the Beach Road, part of Chesil Beach, and past the National Sailing Centre which was the venue for the 2012 Olympics. This is an ideal Trail for keen cyclists along the track bed of the old Weymouth to Portland railway and the cycle path through The Swanary, Lodmoor Country Park along The Promenade to Bowleaze Cove. But, be aware, it is not a circular Trail so you will need to make your way back to the start in Victoria Square Portland.

Or head to Cambridge to do the River Cam, the Middle River Trail which will take you to many famous landmarks on route, including the Mill Pond, The Backs, Trinity Street and Trinity College, All Saints Garden, St John’s College, Jesus Green Bridge and Lock, and Victoria Bridge. It follows a well-maintained cycle route along the River Cam. The terrain is mostly flat and there are no hills to negotiate, but again it is not circular although the round trip is only about 4 miles.

No bike? Hire one! 

Cycles with locks are available to hire from Parkcycle at Roehampton Gate close to the start of the Richmond Cycle Trail. The Trail is 7.5 miles long and you would be really unlucky not to see the deer in Richmond Park. There are also some great views including a view of St Paul’s Cathedral which is 10 miles away in Central London.  At one point you will need to park your cycle(s) and find a few clues on foot, so you will need to take a D-lock or similar to secure them.

You’ll Look Sweet Upon the Seat of a Bicycle Made for Two - Completing the Great Cumbrae Island Cycling Trail
Completing the Great Cumbrae Island Cycling Trail

There are also bikes available for hire at the start of the Fishy Tales at Chasewater Trail in Staffordshire. The going is mostly flat and firm although can become muddy in poor weather. Sounds like some racing terms!

Scarborough has several bicycle hire shops including Let’s Bike who will deliver bikes to your door. The Cinder Track Trail from Scarborough to Ravenscar follows an old railway line and the terrain is a paved, gravel or occasionally rocky, cycle path. Termed ‘Mild Mountain Biking’ due to some uneven sections; road bikes and very young riders may find parts heavy going. There are a few very short sections of quiet road. Oh and this route is on a slight incline too! Eek…

Totally off road

The Dartmoor Granite Way Trail follows the line of the former Southern railway from Okehampton towards Lydford via Meldon Quarry and Lake Viaduct. It combines spectacular views of rural Devon, with the ruggedness of Dartmoor, and provides a glimpse into industrial life on the moor through the ages. At one point, you can even see Exmoor in the far distance!  It is entirely on designated cycle routes or cycle paths, which are level, even and well-maintained, with one small section on a narrow unmade path.

Staying Safe

We recommend cycle safety clothing, such as a cycle helmet and gloves and possibly a pair of sunglasses when the sun is bright and make sure you stop for refreshments too. Bright reflective clothing is recommended even in daylight.

There are lots more cycling TreasureTrails all over the UK so hopefully, we’ve inspired you to dig out the bike and go out for a ride! If we have, do tell us about your experiences.

 

17th September 2014

Posted In: Family Fun

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A Great Day Out and So Say All of Them!

Treasure Trails are very lucky to be an activity that is reviewed on occasions by customers on their own blogs; on Trip Advisor; Twitter and Facebook. And whilst we don’t usually blow our own trumpet we do want to share some of the reviews we have had in recent weeks:

Blogs

Rachel from the North West says in her blog post “I really do love doing these treasure trails, you get to see a town/city in a different way, we saw sights of Manchester that we wouldn’t normally go to and they were like hidden gems”.

We loved this comment from Jen from Manchester “I’m not going to lie, it was a little embarrassing walking around like a tourist following paper directions, but it was worth it by the end when we solved the case and finished up with ice cream on the beach. So I’d recommend these trails for something different to do. We got pretty into it and it was a nice way to see the town”

Sandy in Dorset was reviewing the The Gardens at Minterne House where there are three Treasure Trails and commented  “I am a fan of Treasure Trails, and have enjoyed solving clues to complete these all over Dorset”

And Sarah Ann in Glasgow is another Treasure Trails fan.  She has done three so far in her home town and has reviewed them all on her blog. Read about Glasgow West end and Glasgow Cathedral Murder Mystery Trails by clicking on the Trail names.

 

A Great Day Out and So Say All of Them! - Four cousins starting the Petersfield Trail
Four cousins starting the Petersfield Trail

Twitter

Tweets are an interesting source of quick 140 character reviews. What follows is a small selection of recent relevant tweets.

Jade-Louise Edwards ‏@jadeedwards83 tweeted “I’m addicted to @TreasureTrails, so much fun and a great day out with the family seeing places you wouldn’t necessarily normally see”

Morag ‏@mc_iona  commented “thanks to the very efficient people @TreasureTrails for swift delivery of 2 trails – entertainment for holidays sorted!”

Sarah Trethowan ‏@sarahatTRAC  sent us a photo and said “Taking a break from @TreasureTrails in St Mawes yesterday. Tricky but we got there in the end! Great value family fun”

Paul Shaw @paulshaw tweeted “learning local history for next clue. Education and exercise wrapped up in fun #treasurehunt Thanks @Teasuretrails”

 

A Great Day Out and So Say All of Them! - Celebrating a birthday by exploring Bakewell!
Celebrating a birthday by exploring Bakewell!

Facebook

And we also get messages on Facebook too.  Katie said “Myself and my husband love doing your Treasure Trails. They are a great way to explore a place” and Jon sent a message telling us “Had a great day out with the family on Chester the east gate clock trail! We completed the trail but got stuck on one clue! We couldn’t find the rhinoceros with red hot toes!” We were delighted to hear from Janet who said “Hi tried one of your trails today in Delph, Lancashire for the first time, it was fantastic and can’t wait to buy and try more will keep my eyes peeled for more around here” and we loved Lorna’s message “Hello. Very much enjoyed our first Treasure Trail, around Mevagissy. Can’t wait to do another Treasure Trail, even though we are both grown adults!”

Trip Advisor

Very gratifying are the public reviews on Trip Advisor which we are so delighted about. Recent comments are from couples, families, friends and work teams.

“Excellent way to spend a few hours – My husband and I have done several of these trails around the country and have found them to be very enjoyable. They are not too difficult nor too easy and I think they are such good value for money. You can get one for virtually any part of the country – I would thoroughly recommend to families, couples and groups of friends.”

“Wandering around Westminster – We were looking for something to do with 6 girlies ranging from 6 to 53 before seeing singalong Frozen . This trail fitted the bill beautifully. We stopped for a picnic in Green Park and ice cream on the mall where we also saw a parade. We got stuck twice but the text worked and we were able to carry on. The length was just right and we solved the mystery before heading to the theatre.  Thank you for a great day out.”

“Always great fun – Three friends and myself have completed several trails in different parts of the country including; Fareham, Gosport, Petersfield and Chichester down South and Worcester and Tewkesbury in the Midlands. We’ve also completed the drive and walk one around the Malvern Hills. We are all, well three of us anyway, retired ladies and have such fun while completing them. There are always great places to stop for coffee or lunch on the way round – in Petersfield, a pub called the Black Sheep has a range of platters to share. We had the Spanish one between the 4 of us and it was fantastic. The trails also take you to places that are quite off the beaten track. I lived in Tewkesbury for 3 years in the 90s but didn’t know about half the places. There is no rush to finish a trail and if you want a leisurely look round, ie Chichester Cathedral then you can and continue on the trail afterward. There are always places to have a picnic if the weather is going to be good or to just sit and watch the world go by. Treasure Trails are really great value for money, giving you a couple of hours, at least, of entertainment and some exercise to boot. I would thoroughly recommend you to have a go if you haven’t tried one already. My first one was a gift from a friend and that led to all the others I have tried.

“Pendle Witch & Glasson Docks – We have now done 2 trails & love them, myself, husband & 13 year old daughter. I feel that they allow you have “walks” with something to do. We are already looking for our next one.”

“A great team building activity – We were looking for a good value activity for small teams and purchased the two Winchester trails. It’s always difficult to find activities for mixed groups of different ages and interests but this went down really well. I’d recommend for team building (plenty of pubs and coffee shops en route which helps!). Having read other reviews I may now try some trails with family & friends and lots of my colleagues have said they will too. Highly recommended!”

Thanks so much to everyone who contributed and if you have something to say, we’d love to hear from you.

 

3rd September 2014

Posted In: Ideas

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