My kids are now at an age where they can cycle to school, and they are very keen to do so. This is a good thing for the environment, a good and healthy thing for the kids, but, best of all, it is great for me – I have dusted off my old road bike, fixed it up, and now, after cycling the kids to school, I go off on a little adventure of discovery which pretty much always ends up with me having a morning swim in the sea, whether rain or shine, hot or cold.
My favourite route is over to Upper Ventnor, then along the Whitwell Road and down the St. Lawrence Shute to Woody Bay. Now this is a craggy little bay but always deserted. On still mornings the sea is like a millpond and I can swim far, far out, to look back at the Island and its wonderful coastline. On one occasion a school of dolphins swam past, but, sadly, I wasn’t tempting enough from them to come and swim with. The ride back up the Shute I’ve never managed. Halfway up I always have to get off and push. I’d love to hear from anyone who breezes up there! The rest of the ride, though, is fine, and breakfast always tastes so much better when back, after a rigorous ride and calming swim. Particularly if it is a home picked parasol on homemade sourdough bread!
Many guests at The Granary bring their own bikes, or hire them from Wight Cycle Hire, who will deliver them to the door. Cycling is a perfect way to get around the Island and explore all its beaches, villages and nooks. You do need strong thighs for many routes but there are some that stick to the relative flats. And cycling along the Military Road is always a profound joy – The Needles in view in the distance and the amazing beaches along the Back of the Wight just a clamber down the cliffs away.
The Granary itself is positioned perfectly for you to maximise your enjoyment of the cycle routes. If mountain biking is your thing then you can ride straight out of the stable door onto the bridleway and up the hills. If you are a road biker then Wroxall is right on the Cycleway and the Round the Island Route, see here for map and details.
So, leave you car behind, bring your bike, get some fresh sea air, and get your thighs into Chris Hoy shape!
And, of course, some cycling tunes:
…and for going up the St. Lawrence Shute: