Spring Equinox, 2022 has just past on the 20th March, so for us spring is officially here, WOO!
Who doesn’t love spring?! Flowers are blooming, the trees are beginning to grow, increased daylight and everyone is just generally happier to be outdoors!
We love to be outside in the spring and enjoy a lovely walk so we thought it would be great to ask some of our property owner’s to suggest a few ‘wheel friendly’ walks they have right from their doorsteps of their property stays. When we say ‘wheel friendly’ this is targeting families that like a bike ride or have a little bubba they need to wheel in the push chair.
We go wheeling in the UK, France & even Lanzarote, take a little peek:
La Garenne – Charente, France
A collection of family-friendly gites located in a beautiful rural part of France. Surrounded by countryside with many opportunites for walks and bike rides on country lanes, paths and even in the forest. The walks and rides are literally from the gate of the complex and can be anything from 500 to as far as guests would like to adventure.
Families when staying at La Garenne love a 3km walk through the vin yard into a very small forest where some bee hives can be spotted, and passed the vineyards and fields with sunflowers, corn and corn on the cob. It is only a path walk and only passing is a tractor on his way to work.
The families that like a short walk can enjoy a 1km route around the complex, where they pass fields with more sunflowers and corn, the neighbours horses. If visiting in August, guests can enjoy some black berry picking.
At La Garenne, they have bikes all sizes for guests to borrow. From balance bikes to adults mountain bikes, there are also child sears and a baby carrier to attached to an adult bike.
A bike ride can be enjoyed through a larger forest or families can take the country lanes to a small campsite and stop for ice cream before turning back home.
Lastly, guests like to have a stroll just over the road to the local vineyard where they can purchase some wine, pineau, grapefruit/raisin juice.
Beach Holiday In France – Vendee, France
To get the most out of staying at these two fav villas, there is no better way than by cycling or walking. Longeville-sur-Mer has got 74 cycle routes to explore. Discover many hidden treasures within the vast network of cycle tracks specifically designated for families with kids as they have been designed for riding in complete safety while taking in the natural attractions. Of the 210km of cycling trails that extend along the coast, over 60% are reserved for cyclists.
The ‘Loire a Velo’ is sign-posted cycle paths where you can ride through stunning Loire countryside, passing though villages, vineyards, visit Chateaux and Abbeys (you can pink up cycle paths straight from the villas from doors) and explore the diverse landscapes of the Vendee region: dunes, forests, wetlands and rocky coastline. guests can discover excellent picnic areas along the route for relaxing and refreshing with the tots.
The local cycle routes offer beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean from the rocky coast to the docks harbours passing by dunes, forest, resort towns and wild coves. This Vendee cycling path is one of the most pleasant rides along with the Vendee coast where kite surfers and surfboarders can be spotted. This part of the French coast is a hotspot for all types of water sports.
Bikes can be delivered/collected free to Beau Rivage and Le Mimosa with free helmets, locks and tool kits, Bike hire.
La Croix Gites – Charentes, France
A mini gites complex with only five cottages with 18 acres of grounds and an array of fantastic facilities for the whole family.
There are bridleways and cycle paths going past the doors to the cottages and guests cannot hear any cars whizzing by, it’s simple sounds of nature all around.
The nearest beach ‘Plage de La Guerlie’ is only a 3 minute drive or a 25 minute walk with pushchairs or only a 10 minute cycle. At Plage de La Guerlie there are play facilities, bike hire, a large variety of water sports, large fixed inflatables in the summer, safe protected paddling and swimming areas (lifeguard supervision in summer and water tested daily for cleanliness and safety).
Guests can choose to walk/cycle on quiet country lanes or completely off road on cycle tracks and bridleways to the lakes, around the lakes, the lakeside bars and restaurants for some ice creams, a glass of refreshing wine or beer and even family meals.
They are local tourist maps of the Lacs de Haute Charente showing how close we are to the lakes (I have marked an X by La Croix Gites which is next to ‘Lac Lavaud’). There are literally bridleways and cycle paths going past the doors to the cottages and you cannot hear cars etc! it is simply the sounds of nature all around.
Beaches, bar/restaurants, play parks, water sports, pony trekking on another side of Lac Lavaude, ‘Plage de Videix, this is a 45 minute walk, 25 minute cycle or a 6 minute drive.
Further around the lake there are dedicated places for nature with an Observatoire for bird watchers, picnic spots, play parks and pretty villages to walk through and pick up fresh local produce for picnics and BBQS..
Lastly, there is the other large Lake ‘Lac de Mas Chaban’ which is a 10 min drive away. This lake also has plenty of picnic spots and play parks. The adventure park (acrobranche parc) has a zip wire going across the lake and as well as the Cycle and Bridleways there are numerous nature walks around, focusing on the cattle of the Charente Limousin, with information panels and games for children to follow as they explore the lakes.
The whole area is dedicated to the enjoyment of nature and is a bit like the Lake District in the UK.
North Bradbury Farm – Devon, UK
a cute little farm-stay with just two cottages that can be hired out separately or together with their adjoining door. Farm activities throughout guests stay.
Close to North Bradbury Farm, the lane is suitable for buggies. Guests can use one of their off road ‘farm’ buggies to walk down and see the Geese and Alpaca’s in the field at the bottom of the lane. One day, a previous toddler guest decided she wanted to be pushed down the lane in the wheel barrow – well it had wheels! The farm buggies can also be used instead of back packs for the feed run for Farmer Chris’s small helpers.
Quite a few families like to walk to their local pub, The Bell in Chittlehampton, it is just 3 miles and takes about an hour but then families can stay their all afternoon before taking a stroll back. The buggies are usually taken for the younger children in the family.
By far the best place to use wheels of any sort is The Tarka Trail. Fortunately they are lucky enough to live near the Tarka Trail which is the old railway line, that has a tarmac surface perfect for buggies and bikes. It has been made into a series of footpaths and cycle paths around North Devon, that follow the route taken by the fictional Tarka the Otter in the book of that name. It covers 180 miles in a figure-of-eight route. Enjoy the beautiful scenery in complete safety, along rivers , estuaries and beaches – depending which part you decide to use. The Tarka Trail is peppered with much needed picnic spots, cafés and pubs for refuelling and bribery along along the way! Numerous cycle hire outlets hiring bikes, child’s seats, tag-a-longs and baby carts.
Glynn Barton – Cornwall, UK
Another fabulous farm-stay with 8 beautiful cottages and a couple of glamping tents which were new in 2021 to join the farm. Daily farm activities throughout the week to keep everyone entertained.
Glynn Barton is lucky to be surrounded by 13 acres of woods as well as Laneskin Woods to stride through. There are lots of trees for an epic game of Hide and Seek and at Glynn Barton they offer walking backpacks for the littlest of legs too.
Direct from the doorstep, is the beautiful Laneskin Woods. Whether it’s the wheel friendly track you are after or the wiggly paths through the trees to explore, there are plenty of adventures to be had. Stumble across a whole host of dens created by our Guests and even build your own too. On this little adventure you must keep an eye out for the deer!
Within a 10 minute drive is Cardinham Woods. It is a perfect spot for cycling and walking, They have a number of trails to choose from, all for varying leg lengths, wheel sizes and adventures. There are steams, paddle areas, BBQ stations, a playpark and this year follow the Superworm trail for all sorts of fun and activities.
Superworm trail is 2.5km long
Flat easy routes 2.75km
Medium routes with hills- 4 km
Lanhydrock House, their local National Trust house is a short drive away with walks and cycling aplenty. There is a lovely walk over Respryn bridge along the river which is perfect for a game of hide and seek. For cycling they have short trails, hilly trails, a skills track and a little balance bike track too. It can accommodate absolutely everyone especially in September when you can stop for blackberries along the way. They have cycles to hire for both adults and children too. When you have cycled your socks off finish off with tea and cake at the café whilst the kids burn off any extra energy in the adventure park.
Cycle Routes range from 1km- 3km and can all be interlinked to make them longer.
Walking trails wise the Respryn bridge walk is about an hour in length with a hill along the way.
Finca de Arrieta – Lanzarote
A eco-friendly finca (holiday village), offering a selection of self-catering accommodations such as yurts, cottages and villas.
The track to the beach, which only takes 5 minutes is so fine for a buggy or bike. Sandy beautiful beach where there are two restaurants and for a sundowner a mojito VW Van bar!
Stroll into the village, there are a few steps to navigate but its definitely doable. In the fishing village of Arrieta, there is a supermarket, a number of seafront restaurants, surf shop and some nice gift shops offering local products. There is a sheltered beach only a 15 minute walk, this is ideal for little ones. The walk can carry on going ahead to the next village of Punta Mujeres along the tranquil coaster paved promenade, passing a wonderful restaurant El Lago and in the village of Punta Mujeres you will find a number of natural sea pools and tapas bars. the snorkelling is wonderful in its volcanic rock and turquoise waters.