Gear up for National Bike Week from June 10-16! Explore St Albans and beyond on two wheels

A cycling paradise, St Albans has routes for all ages and abilities from experienced bikers to leisurely cyclists with plenty of family-friendly trails. Plus, with a remarkable history and reputation with food and drink, there’s a great choice of pubs, cafés and delicious eateries ideal for refuelling.

Jackie Jayawardena, experienced cyclist, and founder of JJ Fitness Personal Training in St Albans says: “Cycling is excellent to boost fitness and well-being plus it’s a low impact sport so suitable for all ages. I go out on my bike as often as possible to explore the pretty villages and stunning countryside I would otherwise miss.  It’s a climate-friendly way to get fit and have a great day out, whether on your own or with friends and family.”

Four Cycle Routes to Try…

  1. The Alban Way stretches 6.3 miles and links Cottonmill Lane, St Albans to Wrestlers Bridge, Hatfield. The route is flat and traffic-free with pretty views, play areas and recreation grounds making it perfect for families and leisure cyclists.

EAT & DRINK: Look for signs to The Plough in Sleapshyde, a pub with a beautiful garden and delicious food and drink and Smallford Farm Shop with fantastic homegrown produce and a café serving incredible lunches, cakes and coffee.

  1. St Albans Green Ring is a 6.5-mile circular route connecting the city’s beautiful green spaces and heritage attractions travelling along pathways and roads, including a section of the Alban Way. Enjoy popular sites as you cycle including St Albans Cathedral, Verulamium Park, the Roman Theatre and Watercress Beds Nature Reserve with its butterfly woodland, wetlands and orchard.

EAT & DRINK: Enjoy tea and cake at Inn on the Park or a friendly pint at Ye Olde Fighting Cocks in Verulamium Park. The Waffle House is a popular stop in St Michaels Village for delicious Belgian waffles or take a short detour along Hatfield Road to Room for Dessert for scrumptious sweet treats.

  1. Wheathampstead Loop More experienced cyclists can enjoy scenic routes to surrounding villages. Stretching 14 miles leave St Albans and head to Porters Wood and Sandridgebury Farm then on to the pretty village of Sandridge. Skirt the edge of the beautiful Heartwood forest to historic Wheathampstead and then cut across to Harpenden before heading back to St Albans past Harpenden Common and through Childwickbury.

EAT & DRINK: The secluded 18th-century Elephant and Castle pub is packed with character and picturesque views while Brewhouse in Wheathampstead is a great family-run coffee shop offering eat-in and takeaway. Harpenden has many fantastic eateries including Silver Palate with delicious, authentic Mediterranean food.

  1. The Ayots Keen cyclists can enjoy a tour of the Ayots on a picturesque 25-mile ride from St Albans. Head out to Sandridge and Coleman Green before reaching Ayot Green with its pretty village green and Ayot St Peter famous for its Arts and Crafts style Victorian church. Head north through Ayot St Lawrence to Codicote and across to Kimpton before heading to Brocket Hall and then south to Wheathampstead. The final stretch leads back through Sandridge before reaching St Albans.

EAT & DRINK: Wonderful Spoke Cycles is perfect for coffee and cake but for a real treat stop at Brocket Hall for lunch. The Queen’s Head, Rose & Crown, and Green Man pubs are ideal to quench your thirst in Sandridge plus cute Heartwood Café & Tearooms serve delicious cakes and refreshments.

Wheely Good Tracks…

St Albans Cycle Hub is a unique community facility with tracks for all cycling styles. The Pump Track is fun for adventurers and daredevils while the Cyclocross Track teaches control and bike handling around a mix of permanent and temporary features. The 406-metre-long Leisure Track winds its way through a field that is perfect for a leisurely cruise. The tracks are free to use and with a café and bike shop this space has all you need.

So, whether you’re an experienced cyclist or an occasional rider, now is the time to hop on your bike and head to St Albans. Brilliantly located just 20 minutes from London and close to the M1, A1 and M25, visit enjoystalbans where you’ll find lots of useful links and tips to make the most of your visit.

Jackie’s Top 3 Tips:

  • Before and after a bike ride, make sure you stretch to avoid injury.
  • Keep your bike in good condition. There are lots of bike shops in St Albans for repairs, maintenance, and servicing.
  • Don’t forget your bike lock or you won’t be able to stop and enjoy all the lovely places on your route!

Where to Stay…

Accommodation ranges from small and intimate bed and breakfasts to large hotels including the White Hart Hotel & Restaurant and the Hilton’s Samuel Ryder Hotel, both in the centre of town, the stunning country style Manor hotel, St Michaels Manor, luxurious Sopwell House and the Victorian Grade II listed Torrington Hall.

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