RAY RUDDICK's TOURS
'Great Tours of London, Britain & Ireland'
moderately easy bike tours
These tours are for group sizes of up to 8 persons. Novices should go for the easier GREEN TOURS, which involve only two to three hours gentle riding each day; more experienced riders can take the moderately ambitious BROWN TOURS, which involve three to four hours cycling each day, and include some strenuous bits which will leave you out of breath and red in the face! Our most demanding rides are the challenging RED TOURS*, coming later in 2005, designed specially for those with experience of long-distance cycling over varied terrains. Red tours will include challenging hill climbs, occasional off-road riding, and will cover much greater distances - up to five hours in the saddle each day.
No matter which tour you choose to take - and whether you think you're experienced or not - we start with a bike handling and road-safety session before anyone gets into the saddle! Our bikes are multi-purpose modern machines with 15 or more gears, good tyres and brakes, carefully maintained and individually checked before each day's ride. Any punctures or minor repairs along the way will be handled by you if you are capable, or if not your rider-guide will be happy to help. (Our back-up minivan/bike trailer carries all basic spares, etc.) A safety helmet is provided to each rider and we must insist that it is worn when riding. PLEASE NOTE: Bike riders are charged £15 per person per riding day for bike hire. Please also check with us regarding your travel insurance cover at the time of booking.
Difficulty level code:
1 - Very easy. Anyone of any age who can ride a bike and is reasonably healthy can do it.
2 - Easy. With occasional small hills.
3 - Harder. Some hill climbing and longer distances.
4 - Quite strenuous in places. Fairly good bike-riding ability required.
5 - For experienced riders only. Very strenuous in places, with some steep hills which require caution.
BROWN TOUR A - Difficulty level - 3/4 - Moderate.
A lovely 3-day tour of the Countryside, Gardens, Castles and Sea shores of Sussex and Kent's '1066 Country'
Day 1: 15 miles
We leave London and drive for a little under two hours to the lovely county of Kent. After a safety briefing we head off on our bikes along the quiet lanes towards our lunch destination - an old village with bags of character and a fine inn, where really good food is on offer. We've a fine castle / gardens visit this afternoon before we reach our destination and base for the next two nights: bed and breakfast at the charming little town of Rye, in East Sussex. There's a variety of choices of places to stay in or near Paul McCartney's local town, you can discuss these with us when making your booking enquiry - it all really depends on your accommodation budget.
Day 2: 13 miles
We drive first, to an ancient little town, Winchelsea, then on to Hastings, before reaching historic Battle, this morning. The 'theme' is 'The Battle of Hastings, 1066', and some of the sites connected with it. After lunch at Battle, we'll take to our bikes and ride the quiet country lanes back to Rye again for tonight.
Day 3: 6 miles
We leave our accommodation after breakfast and drive away from the coast and deep into the Kentish Countryside. We'll ride through some charming villages, visit a castle and take lunch at a historic home/gardens before putting away the bikes and driving back to London, arriving early evening.
BROWN TOUR B - Difficulty level - 4
A fabulous tour of Yorkshire's Wolds, Moors and Dales, plus Castle Howard and historic York City
Day 1: 8 miles
Begins by making an early start and heading north in our driver-guided mini-van towing our bike trailer for a four and a half-hour motorway drive to York. We'll take lunch here and see the main city sights. Around mid-afternoon we'll head out of the city and pause at the village of Malton where we'll swap four wheels for two and take a 1.5 hour ride to our destination, a fine country house hotel, our base for the next three nights. The facilities are excellent and include indoor heated pool, snooker room, gardens and a fine restaurant and bar. In fact, there's a danger of getting just a tad too comfortable!
Day 2: 15 miles
We set off today to explore a little of the North York Moors National Park - part by van, part by bike - you'll understand why when you've seen some of the hills! A bracing day which also includes riding across the wild and remote Grouse moors followed by lunch at a lonely inn, right on top of the moors. Feels like you're at the top of the world! By way of contrast we'll end by taking a wonderful long all-downhill ride from the high moors into the charming market town of Pickering. We'll drive back to our hotel after a wander around the town with an opportunity for souvenir-hunters to indulge.
Day 3: 10 miles
Begins with a visit to one of Britain's most famous stately homes, Castle Howard. Then we drive into the Yorkshire Dales National Park to enjoy a ride through one of the loveliest areas in Britain. We'll see a Castle, and tour the Wensleydale Cheese Factory, and explore some of the countryside which was made famous by the stories of the Veterinary surgeon, 'James Heriot': "All Creatures Great and Small", "It Shouldn't Happen To A Vet", and so on. We get home by van again and enjoy a chance to relax and perhaps party a little on our last night in Yorkshire. (See our warning about celebrations!)
(Non-riding day). This is a nice easy day of being driven by your driver-guide! There are various choices for the group to decide how we make our way back towards London today. Either: (a) via Hardwick House or Chatsworth House in the morning - including a lunch break at either location, then Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire, then motorway to London; (b) Warwick Castle and Stratford-on-Avon, then motorway to London; (c) Cambridgeshire - the American Cemetery, Cambridge City then London; (d) George Washington's Ancestral Home, Oxford city and University, then London. Whichever you choose, we'll arrive in the London area around early evening.
OTHER BIKE TOURS:
GREEN TOUR A: Difficulty level 1
A satisfying three-day tour of old villages, pleasant countryside, plus the historic University City of Cambridge.
GREEN TOUR B - Difficulty level 2/3
A great four-day tour of Oxfordshire, the Cotswolds, many hidden treasures and one or two famous sights
RED TOUR A - Difficulty level 5:
The English Lake District Grand Tour - to be announced later
RED TOUR B - Difficulty level 5:
The West of England Coastal Tour - to be announced later
IMPORTANT! If you wish to book this tour please check availability with us first BEFORE paying your deposit. CONTACT US HERE
You pay just £450 per day, to cover the cost of your Minivan, your driver/rider-guide and all miles ridden/driven. The fee also includes the rider/driver-guides hotel/subsistence expenses, but not your own. We can arrange bed and breakfast/guest house/inn/hotel accommodations from £70 per twin or double room, £90 a family room per night including breakfast. You can see that this is the best way to go for a group on a budget, as the cost of the vehicle and guide is shared by your group (which can be up to 8 persons), and you pay what you wish to pay for accommodations and meals. A bike rental fee of £15 per day is charged for each bike rider.
Please note that meals, entry fees to the sites visited and gratuities (discretionary) are not included.
Total luggage handling throughout.