A Dads Fitness Journey 2024 24/2/2024 – 8/3/2024

Damflask Low Bradfield

I am still finding my groove with these updates and have realised weekly is probably excessive. Consistency is the key so it’s more of the same.  The tumble on my shoulder at football turned into real agony as the weekend went on. I battled through some low-impact body weight exercises however it was uncomfortable; so … Read more

A Dads Fitness Journey 2024 4/2/2024

Bike Fitness

I rolled into the 5th week of my focused fitness journey with a change to our usual schedule as a family. My wife a trained primary school teacher was taking part in her Bikeabilty training to become a qualified instructor. She’d signed up for this via Cycle North in September 2023 but this was the … Read more

How the Lack of Walking and Cycling Infrastructure Fuels Obesity in the UK

UK Obesity Crisis

In recent years, the United Kingdom has witnessed a troubling surge in obesity rates, both among adults and children. A significant contributor to this epidemic is the glaring deficiency in walking and cycling infrastructure across the country. The prevailing car-centric culture, coupled with inadequate active travel opportunities, has set the stage for an alarming rise … Read more

How we use our bikes as a family

Making the transition to riding your bike as a family can be daunting to some. It’s easy to jump in the car and drive to your destination irrespective of how close it is. As a country, we have become heavily dependent upon cars with over 40 million in circulation. Even journeys under 1 mile are now done by car. It’s a frightening statistic.

Biking as a family doesn’t have to be scary though. To start with we have a car and use our car. We only have one but it’s something we couldn’t live without as aspects of our lifestyle are made better by having a car. Visiting family, National Trust sites, driving to the South of France on holiday are all parts of our life we wouldn’t change.

We love our car and arguably the car is actually one of the greatest inventions (behind the bicycle of course) ever created. It’s unfortunately become overused and inefficient as a mode of transport.

Monday – Friday we rarely use our car and opt for walking or cycling as our choice of transportation. We are a family with a 3 and 7 year old and here are some of the ways we use our bikes as a family both as a mode of transport and for fun. 

We hope these will inspire more people to do the same.

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East Riddlesden Hall National Trust Review

East Riddlesden Hall For Families

Nestled in the heart of West Yorkshire, East Riddlesden Hall, a National Trust property, offers a delightful escape for families seeking a day filled with history, outdoor adventures, and natural beauty. Managed by the National Trust, this picturesque estate offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. It’s a hidden oasis on the edge of Keighley, promising a blend of rich history, stunning natural beauty, and a range of family-friendly activities that make it a memorable day out for young families.

As we arrived in March, we took a leisurely stroll around the grounds surrounding the hall. Despite the early spring weather, the proximity of the hall to the Leeds & Liverpool Canal provided a picturesque setting. The kids loved taking in the scenic views, and we were struck by the tranquillity of the area.

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Brimham Rocks National Trust Review

Brimham Rocks For Families

Brimham Rocks is located in the heart of the beautiful North Yorkshire countryside, nestled within the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It’s a fantastic spot for families looking for a blend of adventure and natural splendour, providing both peaceful surroundings and a plethora of activities to engage little explorers. Our children Matilda and Barney loved venturing around Brimham Rocks but if you have kids under the age of 5 it can be challenging to tempt them away from some of the climbing.

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Hardcastle Crags National Trust Review

Hardcastle Crags

Hardcastle Crags, located in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, is a hidden gem for families seeking a wholesome outdoor experience. With over 160 hectares of unspoilt woodland and riverside trails, it offers a breathtaking escape into nature’s embrace. 

The crags are a popular destination for hiking, climbing, and other outdoor activities, and they offer stunning views of the surrounding countryside. But there’s more to Hardcastle Crags than just its beauty. Looked after by the National Trust, this special place has something for everyone. It holds intriguing history, interactive displays for some hands-on fun, and plenty of opportunities to make wonderful memories.

Upon arriving at Hardcastle Crags, we were immediately struck by the beauty of its natural surroundings. The dense woodland, rolling hills, and the soothing sound of water trickling down the Crags all create a tranquil atmosphere that invites families to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Whether you’re an avid hiker, a bird-watching enthusiast, or simply someone who appreciates the outdoors, this place has something for everyone.

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Cycling for Families: UK vs. The Netherlands

As a family, we spent the summer camping in France. We love the great outdoors and the French seem to deliver this in a way which is unrivalled by any other country. As part of our journey home, we wanted to tick off a key bucket list item. Cycling in The Netherlands.

As a family, we love cycling and enjoy this from both a recreation and active travel perspective. The latter in the UK requires careful planning and parental safety guidance at all times. 

The Netherlands is lauded for its cycling infrastructure and Twitter (X) is rife with videos of those from all walks of life and ability levels cycling. These videos tend to however be city orientated where cycling is the primary mode of transport. On our visit we wanted to see other sides of the Netherlands; particularly the suburbs and how cycling was in these locations. 

We spent 5 days in the Netherlands; two of which were spent camping on the fringes of the city of  Valkenburg and two days in the village of Zevenhuizen. We also visited Rotterdam and the city of Delft which has long been on my list of places to visit. I believe this gave us a good grasp of cycling with children in the Netherlands vs. the UK. It’s hard not to be downbeat about what we have in the UK vs. the Netherlands but I also want to be objective. 

If you are in the UK I will say that cycling is a fantastic way to spend time together as a family, enjoy the outdoors, and stay active.

However, the experience is vastly different to the Netherlands and other mainland European countries. Let’s dive into the differences, challenges, and what families can expect when pedalling through these nations.

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Skirlaugh to Hornsea Cycling for families (Trans Pennine Trail)

Trans Pennine Trail Cycling To Hornsea Beach

Skirlaugh is a village and civil parish in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England, in an area known as Holderness. It is situated approximately 7 miles northeast of Hull city centre on the A165 road. Originally a farming community, it is now primarily a commuter village for Hull.

Having stayed last October at Willow Pastures Country Park lodge site we decided to stay again and utilise the proximity to the Trans Pennine Trail.

Last time we took the route from Skirlaugh to Sutton Village (towards the centre of Hull) and we were keen to take the opposite direction to the coastal region of Hornsea. Returning in June meant the weather forecast was great for the weekend and this was perfect beach weather.

I must confess we are not avid beachgoers however adding the 16-mile round trip cycle made it a really exciting prospect for the day. It was the furthest we had pushed out 7-year-old in terms of distance so we were keen to see how she would do. Packed to the rafters with snacks and spades we were raring to go!

You can actually travel in two directions. One is towards Hull City centre (approximately 8 miles) while the other takes you to the coastal region of Hornsea. As you can see from the map below Willow Pastures Country Park is a couple of minutes from the trail. (In the green).

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