The Heritage Trail
The Heritage Trail
EBike Tour 9
Explore the diverse historical past of the National Forest on this gentle E-Bike tour. Cycling through gorgeous countryside, your cycling holiday will take you to some of the historical highlights of the area. A visit to the National Trust properties of Stoneywell and Calke Abbey, together with a trip to the 1620's house, will provide an insight into life in the area at different times in history. Find out more about transport in days gone by at 2 heritage steam railway lines and boating life on the Ashby Canal. Jump straight into the modern day with a trip to the world's largest collection of Grand Prix cars at Castle Donington. Burton upon Trent has always been key to the UK's brewing industry. A visit to the National Brewery Museum offers an opportunity to learn about the history of beer – and of course a tasting! Guests on this electric bike holiday can also explore England's less peaceful past, with visits to Ashby Castle, Bosworth Battlefield and the National Memorial Arboretum.
This route uses small independent hotels
Bed and breakfast
Electric bike hire, accommodation on a b&b basis, luggage transfer each day, car parking, detailed self-guide route to follow at your own pace, helmets. We're on hand to offer local support when required
Travel to your holiday starting point. Entry to attractions. Single supplement. Dinners. Extra nights. Travel insurance
From £767 per person
Start your holiday in the quinticential English countryside around Quorn. We will meet you at your first hotel and ensure that the bikes are fitted to you and answer any questions. Enjoy an evening ride through Bradgate Park and to one of the many lovely pubs in the area.
Start your E-Bike tour with a visit to the Quorn and Woodhouse heritage station. The station is part of the Great Central Railway, which is the only double track heritage railway in the UK and the only place in the world where you can see steam locomotives pass each other. The station has been restored to it's 1940s heyday, giving a feel of life in wartime Britain. Much of today's cycling is along an old railway line, which brings you to the peaceful market town of Melbourne, where you will stay tonight. We recommend a visit to Melbourne Hall Gardens, where you will find some magnificent examples of old yew hedges. The Hall is also home to a number of independent craftspeople. Melbourne Hall was home to the 2nd Viscount Melbourne, William Lamb, after whom the Australian city of Melbourne is named. You'll find a wonderful choice of places to eat, including several lovely gardens for warm summer evenings.
Much of today will be spent exploring the magnificent grounds of National Trust property Calke Abbey. Set in acres of gentle English parkland the house is billed as the “unstately” home. When the National Trust inherited the house, they found it full of weird and wonderful treasures. Many were tucked away or crammed on top of each other. Rather than create order, the Trust has simply repaired the house and displays everything as found. It's a fascinating building to wander around. The gardens at Calke Abbey are equally spectacular. Again, the National Trust has left the potting sheds as they found them – full of old implements and tools. They have however restored the borders to their former glory and the garden is a riot of colour throughout the summer. Visitors can grab a deckchair and sit back to enjoy the sight. A short stroll through the grounds brings you to the particularly large ice house, close to the lakeside. Having explored the house and gardens on foot, it's back to your bike to enjoy the parkland around the Abbey. From here it's a downhill cycle ride to the Derbyshire village of Repton and your hotel for the evening. Sitting on the banks of the River Trent, Repton was the ancient capital of Mercia and one of the few places in England where a Viking winter camp was found. The church crypt, which dates from the 8th Century is one of the oldest examples of Anglo-Saxon architecture and was the burial site for 2 Mercian Kings. Today, Repton is home to the famous Repton School. It's a charming village to wander around and home to a number of excellent pubs and restaurants. Your overnight stop is in a lovely microbrewery, which is also famous for it's delicious food.
First stop today is Burton upon Trent, the home of brewing. The town is home to the National Brewery Museum, where you can learn about the history of beer making and why Burton upon Trent was perfectly placed to become world known for its beers. After a tasting, you will follow the Trent and Mersey Canal to the picturesque Barton Marina. Here you will find a wide range of small independent shops, cafes and restaurants, built around the canal marina. It's a bustling little place, just perfect for people watching. Tonight you will stay in the neighbouring village of Barton under Needwood. Alternatively, football or spa lovers may enjoy the treat of an overnight stop at the Hilton St George's Park, the training home of the English football team.
Your first stop today is the National Memorial Arboretum, which has been created as a place to celebrate the memories of those that have died serving the country. It's a serene and fascinating place, with a diverse collection of memorials. Volunteers are on hand to explain more about the stories behind the memorials. Your ebike ride continues along quiet lanes following the River Trent and taking you past the grand Catton Hall. Coffee and cake lovers will enjoy a rest at the Honeypot Cafe, a mecca for cyclists and always offering a wide range of delicious homemade cakes. Next stop is Sharpes Pottery Museum, set amidst old pottery kilns. Here you can learn more about the potteries of South Derbyshire and also visit their unique toilet exhibition! Tracks and quiet lanes will take you to Ashby de la Zouch, in the heart of the National Forest. This bustling market town is home to a ruined castle, cared for by English Heritage and featured in Sir Walter Scott's novel, Ivanhoe. It's a lovely place to explore at the end of your day's cycling.
First stop this morning is the tiny Measham Museum, where you can learn about the unique Meashamware canal pottery. The painted pottery was coveted by barge people and often featured family mottos or references. Special pieces would often be handed down through the generations. An Alpaca farm in the neighbouring village of Snarestone is the perfect place to stop and enjoy a coffee, before continuing with your journey. The countryside is flat and crisscrossed by the canal and the Battlefield Line Steam Railway, which is your next stop. This lovely little railway runs from tiny Shackerstone to Market Bosworth. Rail lovers will enjoy looking round the engines, which are in various states of restoration. You could even treat yourself to a trip on the railway to the Bosworth Battlefield Visitor Centre. The Centre tells the amazing story of Richard III and his death at the Battle of Bosworth. Learn how they found his remains under a car park in Leicester and how the exact site of the battlefield was identified. Tonight's hotel is located close by and borders the Ashby Canal. Take a peaceful walk along the towpath as you watch the sun go down.
It's a lovely cycle ride through the tiny lanes to the 1620's House and Gardens in Donington le Heath. The building gives you a glimpse of life in 17th Century England and guides recount the history of the house. Garden lovers will enjoy the traditional gardens, which include a herb garden and a maze. The cafe is the perfect place for a drink, before the last part of your ebike holiday. A cycle ride past Thornton Reservoir will bring you to the National Trust property of Stoneywell. This lovely Arts and Crafts cottage is tucked away in a dell and surrounded by woodland. The final leg of your e-bike tour passes a second station on the Great Central Railway, where you will find a heritage centre and small railway museum.