Friday 11 April 2014

#CountryKids Cycling to Wray Castle

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

I have been struggling to get us out as a family cycling happily due to the contrasting levels of confidence and ability that a 3 year age gap makes. Having to watch one shoot off into the distance whilst the other constantly stops is a nightmare. So I was very happy to acquire a second hand tag a long yesterday to try and make cycling more enjoyable. We took advice from the Go Lakes web site on cycling in Cumbria and headed over on the ferry to the western shore of Windermere:

Waiting at Ferry Nab

It adds to the fun to take the ferry and at £4.30 for a car its cheaper than the car park! Once over the water we made use of our National Trust membership to park for free at Harrowslack. Then my daughter and I assembled my son's new mode of transport:

Tag a long on adult bike

My daughter looked very professional in her cycling gear:

Junior cyclist

Then we set off (slightly wobbly!) on the cycle path. It starts off fairly flat but once deep into the woods along the shoreline there was a pretty steep hill:

My son was not too keen on the thought of cycling up it:

"No way am I cycling up that hill"

Of course there was a nice free wheel down the other side... although I was pretty cautious and had the brakes on most of the way down! There were a few more climbs but much of the route is pretty level with a couple of cattle grids for interesting vibrations. We did all have to dismount to get through a gate too:

dismounted cyclist

My son decided that as there was a stile he was going to use it and not use the gate:

over the squeeze stile

Then he held the gate open for us to wheel the bikes through:

holding open the gate like a gentleman

As we were back in open country there were lovely views across Windermere (just wish I'd been able to stop and capture the Viking longship we saw...):

view across Windermere

We timed our arrival at Wray Castle quite nicely as we still had time to grab a drink in the cafe and then explore our favourite parts of the building. For my children this was the dressing up and sword fighting section:

"sword heaven"

They did let me have a little time to check out the views through the windows:

view through Wray Castle window

My daughter has been studying the Victorians at school so she loved this maid dress up:

"Victorian" maid

Then the castle closed at 5 so we headed back outside. I did pause to take in the view towards the Langdales:

Langdales from Wray Castle

and the mock medieval entrance:

Wray Castle, Cumbria

My daughter had a quick practice at using a bike pump as some of our tyres were a bit flat:

learning how to pump bike tyres

The castle is well set up for cyclists with plenty of bike racks:

Wray Castle bike racks

There is also a little park and some of the 50 things to do before you are 11 3/4 activities. My 2 loved the tyre swing:

extra safety precautions on the Wray Castle tyre swing

My son needed his big sister to help him back out on his turn:

helpful big sister with the tyre swing

Eventually we saddled back up and headed back south along the path:

West Shore footpath sign

My son really loved his tag a long so its proved a good purchase:

I am really hoping that it boosts his confidence this summer so that we all get out on our own bikes having fun. My daughter needs to invest in some decent cycling shorts/trousers as got very uncomfortable on the return leg! We look forward to exploring more of the family friendly cycle routes and having fun getting fit in the fresh air of Cumbria.


  1. Lovely views - we got the trail angel instead of the tag along but it's not that stable as the bracket moves - did you have any issues with the tag along?

  2. Adventures in Homeschooling12 April 2014 at 00:22

    It looks as though you had a great time. The castle is brilliant and I think my boys would really live the swords!

  3. This dd feel wobbly but that may be as I am out of practice!

  4. Most boys would - and lots of girls ;-)

  5. The tag along looks like a good solution. Must keep my eye out for a second hand one. A very successful first cycle outing for the year. Never seen so many wooden swords in one pile! #CountryKids

  6. The tag along was such a great solution. My son does not like to peddle. I wish he would ride his bike. Your pictures are beautiful. Love the ones of the water and fields. Thanks for sharing your cycling adventure. I hopped over from Country Kids.

  7. Sara (@mumturnedmom)12 April 2014 at 03:47

    I'm glad the tag along worked out, hopefully it will continue to be a good solution. Your day out looks fab! #CountryKids

  8. Merlinda Little12 April 2014 at 07:29

    A guy is selling a membership of national trust yesterday!This is a good example of how to use it. But it is still a bit steep for us tho. #countrykids

  9. Hopefully just needed for one summer! The castle were surprised at sword numbers ;-)

  10. He loved pedalling eventually! Thank you

  11. It's one we love but now with added bike!

  12. We more than get our money's worth of ours but one adult so cheaper...

  13. This will be my eldest next year! *gulp* why do they grow up so fast?! I hope your daughter finds the perfect school for her x

  14. What a fantastic day out!!
    The tag along looks great!

  15. What a gorgeous place to be, perfect for bike rides! #countrykids

  16. Looks like a brilliant day out. I can't wait for my son to be old enough so we can go cycling! #countykids

  17. I can't wait until we can all go out on a bike ride together. Wonderful day out.

  18. it was a nice feeling - must do it more often

  19. I love the idea of a Tagalong. I just looked them up though, and it seems the largest one is for 4-9 year olds - my nine year old is the size of an eleven year old! I'll just have to get him more confident on his bike, I guess! Looks like you had fun - I got talking to a family on the Hawkshead ferry last time we were staying in Bowness, who were doing the cycle route you did!

  20. Oh my. We are not far behind you with our eldest. It all seems to go so fast!
    x x

  21. my 7 yo size of 9 yo so just small enough! 85lb limit on ours. Just had to get my son happy on a bike was a nightmare before

  22. wow she gets to choose! there was none of that when I left primary school. I got told which shcool I had to go too and hated every second of it! wishing her the best of luck x

  23. Gailann Houston14 April 2014 at 11:10

    Looks like a great day out with lots of beautiful scenery x


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