With the third stage of the Tour De France threading its way through a county that inspired some of John Constable’s most celebrated works of art on July 7, it’s the perfect excuse for planning a cycling break in the East Anglian county. Ready, set, pedal!
Bordered by fuzzy hedgerows, all 387 acres of Hadleigh County Park are teeming with wildlife. One of its many winding bike paths will take you up to the 700-year-old Hadleigh Castle through a serene mixture of hay meadows, marshland, pastures and woodland. The castle itself formed part of the dower of three of Henry VIII’s ex-wives and the dramatic ruins command spectacular views right across the Thames Estuary.
Inland near Braintree, Great Notley Country Park covers an area of 100 acres with views across open farmland to the west, and a link to over 15 miles of walking and cycling paths along the Flitch Way. With Each have wide-open views of farmland to the west and are dotted with an array of facilities including a visitor centre, sensory trail, play areas and more, making it the perfect place for a cycling break with the little ones.
Follow the route of the Tour De France with a ride through Epping Forest. This emerald of luscious foliage in south west Essex has all the ingredients of a classic short stay cycling holiday. There are almost 50 miles of pathways to explore including nine waymarked trails. The terrain is diverse. There are steep and wooded areas around High Beach and Loughton, and easier flat grassland around the south of the forest near Layton and Wanstead Flats. If you want to find out more, Go Further Cycling is a family-run business specialising in mountain bike hire, guided tours, bike servicing and cycle instruction in Epping Forest.
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