Cycling families of all levels of expertise would enjoy the Isle of Wight, as word is spreading of the Isle's bike-friendly nature and various routes available.
The Sunshine Trail – so called because the trail circles an area which has one of the highest amounts of sunshine in the country - is a signposted 12-mile circular route on the south of the Island, passing through beautiful countryside along bridleways, cycleways and quiet roads.
Based around Shanklin, Lake and Sandown Island Line railway stations, this largely flat trail also has a challenging off road mountain bike section which offers a variety of surfaces. A downloadable trail can be found here.
If you’re feeling more ambitious, you can tackle the 62-mile Round the Island route through some of the Island’s best scenery, which is clearly signposted and can be completed in a day or at a more leisurely pace in stages. For those looking for something shorter, there are West and East Wight loops at 15 and 16 miles respectively.
For the beginner crowd, there’s a traffic-free, mostly flat cycle path following the disused railway from Cowes to Newport, and then from the other side of Newport all the way to Sandown.
Hand-carved picnic benches along the route make it the perfect place to take a rest and enjoy the wildflowers.
For more information, visit www.iwight.com.