Places to stay, things to do, good food and drink
A new guide for 2016 – The Forest of Dean & Wye Valley Cycling Guide – provides leisure cyclists, families and those wanting more adventurous rides with everything they need to enjoy great days out exploring a fabulous area by bike.
The Forest of Dean and neighbouring Wye Valley have a wealth of ancient tracks, byways and forest trails. However, beyond some well-known rides such as the popular Family Trail it has been difficult to unravel this maze of routes – until now.
The Forest of Dean & Wye Valley Cycling Guide has been produced by Cycling Guides, a small publishing house run by experienced cyclist and dad of two, Ben Searle. Whether out with the kids or wanting a challenge, Ben knows how to make a ride a success.
Ben has spent many months riding all possible routes to come up with seven thoroughly researched and checked rides within the area – totalling 118 miles. There are also many more miles of
alternative loops, links and return options. Each ride is described in easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions and these and the alternative routes clearly shown with colour-coding on detailed 1:25,000 Ordnance Survey Explorer mapping.
Trail and road conditions, details of any difficult sections and stage distances help you plan your day ahead and pace yourself. Information on cafes, pubs, tourist attractions and things to do mean you can plan a thoroughly enjoyable day out with minimal effort. There is also a wealth of additional information shown such as all campsites, shops for snacks, and toilets.
The Forest of Dean & Wye Valley Cycling Guide has been cleverly designed so that the route instructions and relevant section of the map stay close together when it is folded – keeping it neat, tidy and manageable. It has even been printed on tough waterproof and tear-proof plastic (which feels like high-quality paper) so that it can be used time and time again.
“We want to make cycling easy! We believe bike rides should be all about enjoying the ride, enjoying sites and attractions along the way and stopping for treats at local tea shops – rather than poring over maps and getting lost,” Ben explains. The Forest of Dean is a complex area as there are just so many tracks and trails – many not rideable or approved – but we have done all the hard work for you so you can enjoy the best the area has to offer by bike with minimal effort.
We love cycling with our children and have provided all the information parents and carers need to plan both easy and more adventurous rides with confidence. Whatever your ability, there is plenty to choose from, including more challenging rides.”
The guide is primarily aimed at cyclists, however the wealth of detail and competitive price also make it very attractive to walkers.
To complement the guide, Cycling Guides has produced a series of GPS routes (currently available free of charge) that can be downloaded to a smartphone via the Viewranger app. These can be followed on the same map base, so you will always know exactly where you are.
The guide has been part-funded by the Forest of Dean District Council Economic Development Fund with the aim of encouraging more people to visit the area and to stay longer.
The Forest of Dean & Wye Valley Cycling Guide costs £4.95 and is available from http://www.cyclingguides.com and from selected retailers in the Forest of Dean area.