Motorhome travel: 10 of the best campsites for cycling
If you're looking for an active trip away in your campervan, you'll love this selection of campsites. These ten UK sites are perfect for cycling, from the breathtaking beauty of the Devon Coast to Coast Cycle Route, to mountain biking in the Brecon Beacons, a tranquil route on the Isle of Wight and more.
Smytham Holiday Park, Devon
Little Torrington, Devon, EX38 8PU
Open: 14 March – 2 November
Set in 23 acres of parkland adjoining the old manor house. Pitches are spread in various areas across the grounds and range from standard pitches to those with electric, water and waste connections, and even luxurious en suite pitches with a private shower, toilet and sink in a cedar-clad cabin.
The site has private access onto the Tarka Trail. This is one of the country's longest continuous traffic-free paths, and forms part of the Devon Coast to Coast Cycle Route. The section that can be accessed from the site runs from Braunton to Meeth – a total of 32 miles. This can be broken up into smaller sections visiting towns such as Bideford and Great Torrington. The trail is surfaced throughout, along estuary sides and through wooded valleys.
Facilities at Smytham include a heated amenity block, an outdoor pool with sun terrace, shop, bar, games room and play area.
Teversal Camping and Caravanning Club Site, Nottinghamshire
Silverhill Lane, Teversal, Nottinghamshire, NG17 3JJ
Open: All year
Set in six acres of countryside, the Teversal Club site ticks all the boxes for an action-packed escape. 126 pitches are spread across the site, which also boasts top-notch facilities. These include auto sensor power showers, individual washrooms, parent and child facilities,
a laundry, playground and a shower for dogs. The site shop is well stocked and daily papers are available.
Opposite, the Silverhill Wood Country Park offers direct access to the Teversal Trails – you can walk straight off the site and onto these trails. Further afield, the Derbyshire Dales and Peak District offer more challenges through ever-changing scenery. You can hire a range of Boardman bikes on site with prices from £6 per hour to £15 per day.
Other must-dos in the area include Chatsworth House, Hardwick Hall, Bolsover Castle and the minster town of Southwell. For adventure and family fun, you can visit Robin Hoods Wheelgate theme park and waterpark, just 15 minutes away.
Erwlon Caravan & Camping Park, Carmarthenshire
Brecon Road, Llandovery, Carmarthenshire, SA20 0RD
Open: All year
(picture courtesy of Bike Park Wales/Andy Lloyd Photography)
Erwlon is a family-run site with modern facilities, family rooms and fully serviced super pitches, within walking distance of Llandovery and at the foothills of the Brecon Beacons.
BikePark Wales is the UK’s first full-scale mountain bike park in the south Wales valleys, making mountain biking accessible to all. It’s a 45-minute drive from Erwlon, across the scenic Beacons.
On offer are a variety of trails from beginner to pro, through and around Gethin Woods near Merthyr Tydfil. Green trails are great for an introduction to mountain biking and are ideal for families, the red ‘advanced’ trails require more technical knowledge and ability, and the top level ‘pro trails’ are for elite riders only, featuring steep downhill riding, jumps and obstacles.
For those who prefer their bike rides more on the genteel side then the country lanes around Erwlon are ideal. The campsite can even arrange bike hire if needed, along with storage and cleaning.
Wheathill Touring Park, Shropshire
Wheathill, nr Bridgnorth, Shropshire, WV16 6QT
Open: 15 March-15 December
Whether you’re looking for a gentle cycle ride or more challenging routes, the Shropshire Hills are a great place to be on a bike. Off the road there is a choice of cross-country routes, or you can take on the challenge of some top-quality mountain biking trails. A searchable directory of cycle routes in Shropshire is available at shropshiresgreatoutdoors.co.uk/cycling
One good route close to Wheathill Touring Park is The Lady Halton Loop – a family-friendly, seven-mile circular ride along quiet lanes exploring the countryside around Ludlow. A park and ride service operates from the east of the town if you don’t want to cycle the eight miles from the site into Ludlow.
Wheathill is an adults-only site with country pub next door. All pitches are super pitches with electric, water, grey waste and brown waste disposal. The facilities are modern and luxurious.
Ninham Country Holidays, Isle of Wight
Ninham Farm, Shanklin, Isle of Wight PO36
Open: May – September
Surrounded by mature woodland and rolling countryside, Ninham Country Holidays is an award-winning site in a tranquil and idyllic location on the Isle of Wight. The site places an emphasis on nature and there is a lot of green, open space to enjoy here. There are pitches catering for all types of unit and electric hook-up is available. On site are toilets and showers, a heated outdoor pool, a play area and a games room.
It’s just a short cycle ride from the site to the sandy beach and attractions of Shanklin. In fact, since the island itself is only 23 miles long, it is easy to explore the whole island by bike! You can head to the most easterly point near Bembridge, the famous Needles stacks and lighthouse, or the sailing town of Cowes to the north of the island. The total area of the Isle of Wight is roughly 147 square miles and almost half of this has been designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Ashbourne Camping and Caravanning Club Site, Derbyshire
Belper Road (A517), Hullwand Ward, Nr Ashbourne, Derbyshire DE6 3EN
Open: 1 April – 3 November
Sitting in rural Derbyshire, this Club site occupies a gorgeous spot known as the Gateway to Dovedale. Ashbourne C&CC site has 70 pitches spread over three fields, two of which have hardstanding pitches and there’s electric hook-up. There are toilet and shower facilities, a washing-up area, laundry and motorhome service point.
The pretty town of Ashbourne is four miles away and this is the start of the Tissington Trail. The trail is one of several traffic-free and family-friendly walking and cycling trails in the area. The Trail runs for 13 miles from Parsley Hay in the north of the Peak District National Park down to Ashbourne. Carsington Water is also close by offering walking, cycling and watersports.
Rutland Caravan and Camping, Rutland
Greetham, Oakham, Rutland, LE15 7FN
Open: All year
(picture courtesy of VisitEngland/Discover Rutland)
A Caravan and Motorhome Club Affiliated Site with pitches set in two areas – one for families and one for adults only. The site is close to the Viking Way and other footpath networks, with the village of Greetham a five-minute walk away.
The site is just five miles from Rutland Water – a cyclist’s paradise. There is a 25-mile or 17-mile circular trail to follow or you can simply pedal as little or as much as you like around the reservoir and open countryside. There are many rest stops along the route to have a break in a country pub, café or picnic spot. You can take your own bikes or use the cycle hire and cycle shop that is located there.
Rutland Caravan and Camping’s facilities include heated amenities, hardstandings, grass and super pitches, with electric available. There is a 2½-acre dog walking area, a play area, games room and indoor swimming pool all on site.
Highfield Farm Touring Park, Cambridgeshire
Long Road, Comberton, Cambridge CB23 7DG
20 March – 31 October
Cambridge is the cycling capital of the country, with more bikes per head of population than any other city in the UK. Transport policies that favour pedal power over private cars in the city are part of the reason, but the distinct lack of hills in the surrounding countryside also makes cycling around here a delight.
There is an extensive route network for all ages and abilities to enjoy. The city boasts over 80 miles of cycle lanes and routes and offers an excellent way to admire the open spaces and beautiful architecture. There’s even a cycle hire company in the city!
Highfield Farm Touring Park is five miles from Cambridge and there’s a park and ride service nearby. The site is set in peaceful countryside and covers eight acres. Surrounded by hedging and trees, the site is divided up into smaller pitching areas and facilities include toilets, showers and a laundry.
Minnows Touring Park, Devon
Sampford Peverekk, Tiverton, Devon EX16 7EN
4 March – 4 November
Minnows is an adults-only site (well, people over 14 years of age), situated alongside the Grand Western Canal in Devon. The canal towpath is ideal for cycling and is part of the Sustrans National Cycle Network that provides traffic-free lanes and quiet on-road routes across the UK. The canal is famed for its horse-drawn barge, which takes passengers on cruises along the water and there’s also a nature reserve, pub and café bar along the cycle route.
The campsite has electric pitches, with some being fully serviced. The modern shower block has accessible facilities along with a laundry and washing-up area. The site has its own landing stage on the canal for canoes and there is a nearby slipway for launching boats.
The village of Sampford Peverell is within walking distance with a couple of pubs, shops and nine-hole golf course.
This feature was originally published in the May 2019 issue of Campervan magazine - buy a digital copy of that here.
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