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Bike tour Britain or Ireland

Old 07-12-14, 09:45 PM
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Bike tour Britain or Ireland

We have never been to the UK, and only briefly to Ireland. We are looking for quintessential UK, ie long narrow roads, pubs, classic estates. Picture book riding. What would be the better option for early September- England or Ireland ? We are from the Rockies where we have excellent MTB , but it's not green, we have no history and the road riding sucks. Thanks for your advice.
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Old 07-13-14, 01:08 AM
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OK. The possibilities are endless, and a lot depends on the sort of terrain you want to encounter. You're from the Rockies, so I'm going to guess that climbing isn't a big problem for you. With that in mind, here's a few suggestions.

South West England. Dorset, Devon, Cornwall. You could fly into Bristol and access these areas directly by bike, you're in pretty open countryside within minutes of leaving the airport. All thhree counties offer the classic picture postcard England experience, from thatched cottages to high hedgerows to open moorland to clifftop paths and fishing villages. Exmoor in North Devon is spectacularly pretty. Be warned, though, the terrain is severe. Nothing is very high but the place is full of short but extremely steep climbs, you're constantly up and down.

The Yorkshire Dales. The Tour de France spent its first two days here last week. Agiain, plenty of climbing but accompanied by very beautiful countryside, lots of little country roads, picturesque villages (no thatch, but old stone-flagged roofs, dry stone walls, all that stuff). To the west of this is the English Lake District, where the climbing gets even more severe but the scenery even more attractive, and to the east is the Vale of York, which is flat and in some ways less interesting, except that York is a wonderful mediaeval city with its 13th/14th century walls pretty much intact.

For less physically demandng touring you could try East Anglia - Norfolk and Suffolk. Pretty much pan-flat, lots of little country roads, lots of history. Norwich wouldn't be a bad base, it's an attractive city with plenty of history. The centre of the city has retained much of the street pattern from the middle ages, but within about twenty minutes on the bike you're in genuinely rural areas, full of small towns and villages that were among the richest places in England when our main export was wool, only about 600 years ago.

As far as Ireland is concerned, I'd steer you towards the West. Plenty of great cycling in Galway, Kerry, Cork. Again, it isn't flat, but lots of it isn't too challenging and you'd find the hospitality, and the craic in the local pubs, terrific. But there are a couple of regular posters here who are more familiar with these areas than I, so I'll give them a chance to comment.

If you want comments on any specific area that catches your interest, I'll be happy to oblige. In general, the further west you choose the more hilly it will be and the greater the possibility of rain, but early September is a good choice, giving you a decent chance of seeing the best of our notoriously unpredictable weather.
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Old 07-14-14, 09:56 PM
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Thanks

Thank you for the quick reply. There are far too many options for riding! Correct, we come from the high, and dry, mountains so climbing isn
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Old 07-15-14, 07:22 AM
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Air, LHR to Dublin.. I rode the west and north coasts of Ireland, then took a Ferry and went up the West coast
and Island hopped the inner Hebrides islands, in Scotland, crossed the Great Glen, then departed from Aberdeen .
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