2020 is certainly proving to be different! Spring saw perfect weather for a relaxing EBike cycling holiday – and the UK in Lockdown! But fear not, you can now enjoy a relaxing cycling holiday exploring in and around the National Forest. We're thrilled by the strong demand and everything is in place for a fun EBike holiday. Our favourite accommodation providers, attractions and cafes are open and ready to welcome you. There's even a wonderful new brewery beer garden to discover, with fabulous views of the Derbyshire countryside and a BBQ with meat sourced from the neighbouring farm.
As we open, we want our guests to feel confident that we have taken all possible actions and precautions to minimise the risks of exposure to or contraction of COVID19 during your holiday.
This blog answers questions asked by guests and provides more information on what to expect on your 2020 EBike cycling holiday in the National Forest. You will also find more detail on our COVID 19 2020 Cycling Holidays page on our website. And of course, we're always here to answer any specific questions.
How safe is a cycling holiday?
Keeping active and healthy is more important than ever. Cycling has been recommended by governments worldwide, as an excellent mode of transport and exercise. The potential risk of transmission is much lower than indoors and social distancing is easy on a cycling holiday.
All of our EBike cycling holidays are self-guided, meaning that you only cycle in your own group, rather than with others. Cycle through the beautiful English countryside at your own pace and discover a region that remains largely undiscovered by mass tourism, whilst also benefiting from some exercise and lots of fresh air.
Typically, we use very comfortable small B&Bs and hotels. There will be few, if any, other guests and everyone has their own en suite facilities. Our accommodation providers are selected for their high levels of comfort and hygiene. They will have attained the Visit England or similar COVID 19 Standard.
For guests preferring self-catering, we have some fabulous options available. Please ask for more information.
What is open?
Many of the attractions in the National Forest area are outdoors, with plenty of space to ensure that social distancing is easy. Visitors can enjoy glorious gardens, castles, mills, canals, marinas, parkland, nature and heritage. Advanced booking is required for some attractions. The region also has some fabulous smaller attractions, where often you will share the space with just a handful of other guests. A small number of attractions, such as the the heritage steam railways, are finalising their plans and procedures and expect to open very shortly.
Experiences such as bee keeping, wood turning, rural crafts, canoeing and paddle boarding are all welcoming visitors again and can be added to your EBike cycling holiday.
The area is full of wonderful cafes, pubs and restaurants with large outdoor areas, utilised for much of the year. We love an alfresco coffee or lunch and enjoying an outside coffee on a cycle ride or walk is the norm here. Naturally, we share all our favourites with our guests! Expect canal-side beers and woodland coffees! Bucking the trend, we are delighted to even have a new brewery beer garden to enjoy in the National Forest, with the most fabulous views. We're equally excited by a new takeaway ice cream parlour, situated on a barge on the beautiful Ashby Canal, close to the Battle of Bosworth Heritage Centre.
The National Forest region has some lovely small market towns and retail attractions, where much of the retail is small independent shops. The little city of Lichfield is mainly pedestrianised and visitors will discover an excellent choice of independent shops, cafes and restaurants, spilling out onto traffic free streets around the cathedral. Visitors to the marinas at Mercia and Barton under Needwood will find a range of shops, cafes and bars to explore, with wide boardwalks around the canal marina. Courtyard craft centres in the region are also welcoming back guests looking for artisan treats to take home.
What measures have you taken to keep guests safe?
Looking after our guests is our number one concern and we have done everything possible to minimise potential risks caused by COVID19. Detailed information is available on our website and guests can be confident that we have considered their safety throughout their cycling holiday.
We have attained the Visit England, “Good to Go” tourism industry standard mark. The standard gives tourism businesses a framework to use as they welcome back guests. To achieve this standard, we put in place all necessary measures to meet government and industry COVID-19 guidelines, inducing a thorough COVID 19 Risk Assessment and processes to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing.
We have looked at all parts of your cycling holiday journey, from before your arrive, to the point of departure and identified potential areas of risk. We have then considered what actions we can take, or ask you to take, to minimise risk.
We confess to having a little bit of head start when it comes to cleaning protocols. I worked for a leading manufacturer of professional cleaning products, including Food products for over 25 years. Alan was also involved in the chemical cleaning industry for over 30 years. Not only do we have access to professional products, we also fully understand the methods and protocols required to clean a potentially contaminated surface. As part of our enhanced cleaning protocol:
bikes will be disinfected before and after each holiday. Touch-points will be re-cleaned when the bike is removed from the van at handover and before being loaded back into the van
locks and panniers will be left 48 hours before reuse
our van will be sanitised before and after each luggage transfer, following standard protocol
guests will be provided with an aerosol cleaning product to clean touch-points along the way and when taking bikes into guest accommodation.
GPS screens will be cleaned with a suitable product
Good hand hygiene will always be practiced, including the use of a professional grade hand sanitiser, when soap and water is unavailable.
Guests asked to bring hand sanitiser to use along the way, as required.
For the well being of our guests, accommodation providers, ourselves and other guests, we will be asking you to declare yourself fit to travel, before your cycling holiday. You will then be asked to monitor your health during your cycling holiday and to let ourselves and the accommodation provider know if you fall ill.
Much of our wonderful accommodation is small independently owned B&Bs and hotels, run by passionate owners. The small size of the accommodation means that there will be less people working and staying in the accommodation, thus reducing the chances of transmission. We're ensuring that are accommodation providers have the Visit England "Good to Go" or similar standard in place and are ready to welcome guests safely.
What do I need to bring on my cycling holiday?
As always, our EBike cycling holiday prices include EBike hire, panniers and locks. This summer, we are asking guests to bring their own helmet if required and own water bottle. We also recommend that guests bring hand sanitiser to clean hands whilst out and about and don't forget to bring a selection of appropriate face coverings with you, for use in shops and other venues where this might be a condition of entry.
Will the National Forest be busy?
One of the many delights of the National Forest region is that it remains undiscovered by mass tourism. Unlike some UK regions, most of the countryside is extremely peaceful. Even large, well known attractions, such as the National Memorial Arboretum, have plenty of space to escape to, making special distancing easy.
A few hot spots may be a little busier on a sunny weekend day. But don't worry – we know all the secret hidden treasures, which you can often enjoy all to yourself!
Dry summer days are just perfect for picnics in the woodland or along side a river or canal. Pick up some delicious local produce from one of the villages or small market towns and enjoy a lovely picnic lunch.
Your overnight stays will be at small B&Bs or hotels, in or close to one of the unspoiled market towns in the region. They all offer a choice of safe and delicious places to enjoy a drink and dinner, after your cycling adventures.
Book your perfect EBike cycling holiday
We would love to help find your perfect electric bike holiday and still have some availability for summer 2020. Choose from one of our EBike cycling holidays or contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01530 417482 to discuss your specific requirements. #UKcyclingholiday #EBikeholiday #EBikecyclingholiday #NationalForest