From the windswept wilds of the Scottish coast to the beautiful hills and dales of the Peak District; the wild ponies of the picturesque New Forest to the stunning waters of the Lake District, the British countryside is packed with places to explore on a cycling holiday.

Forget carbon-guzzling flights abroad, holidays in the British countryside can be the perfect way to relax and get away from it all. Those who like their breaks to be a bit more action-packed are spoiled for choice too – the varied terrain of the UK means that adrenaline junkies can take their pick from any number of activities, from white water rafting and kayaking to abseiling and rock climbing. Cycling holidays don’t just have to be about cycling. Use your bike to get from one exciting place to another, stopping off at interesting locations along the way.

Those who want to get their feet even further off the ground can even try paragliding, hangliding or parachute jumping. A less nerve wracking way to get a bird’s eye view of the beautiful British countryside is to take a hot air balloon ride – many of Britain’s rural beauty spots can be seen from the air in this way thanks to a growing number of companies specialising in hot air ballooning.

Historic monuments, nature reserves, national parks, mansion houses set in stunning parks and gardens, not to mention some of the world’s most breathtaking views – all are available to visitors taking advantage of holidays in the British Countryside. With an excellent rail network, Britain is easily explored by those who wish to leave the car behind, and some good rail pass offers are available, making travelling in the British countryside a good option for holidaymakers on a budget.

Lake District

One of the British countryside’s most spectacular spots is the Lake District, a spot that offers endless potential for outdoor pursuits ranging from gentle walks and rambles to extreme sports. Visitors flock here from across the world to take in the views, breathe in the clean country air and get back to nature, and the abundant hotels, guest houses and campsites of areas such as Keswick, Ambleside and Windermere mean that visitors are spoiled for choice when it comes to finding somewhere to stay. Sailing, running (the Windermere marathon is keenly anticipated each year by serious runners), canoeing and kayaking, rock climbing and mountain biking are all popular activities in the area, whilst the Lake District is also a favourite destination for couples looking for a romantic break with breathtaking scenery.

Peak District

The North of England is also home to the beautiful Peak District, with its dramatic hills and dales, along with caves, caverns and disused mines just calling out to be explored. Welcoming guest houses, well equipped campsites and self-catered cottages are all available to visitors exploring this part of the country, and the Peak District is a favourite destination for fans of hill walking as well as those of a more adventurous nature who want to try their hand at scaling some of the districts many challenging rock faces.

Cycling in Scotland

Further North still, visitors can really escape the rat race with a trip to the rugged, windswept islands that surround Scotland. Here, holidaymakers can get back to nature and spot wildlife such as puffins and seals, whilst taking in the dramatic views on nature rambles. Scotland is also famous for its golf, and many of the UK’s most famous courses can be found here. Alongside immaculately maintained courses, keen golfers can enjoy wonderful views as they play a round or two.

Hotels with golf courses, such as the legendary Gleneagles, are ideal countryside retreats for golfers visiting rural Scotland, whilst guesthouses, bed and breakfasts, hostels, self-catered cottages and campsites offer budget friendly options. Although golf is best enjoyed during the summer months, during the winter Scotland attracts thousands of wintersports enthusiasts, heading for mountainous destinations such as the stunning Nevis Range, where skiing and snowboarding are enthusiastically practiced by beginners and experts alike.

English Countryside

The South of the country also has plenty to offer sightseeers and holidaymakers. Blessed with more sunshine than most of the country, Devon and Cornwall boast miles and miles of spectacular beaches and are key destinations for surfers and partiers as well as those wanting to get away from it all. Ruined castles, beautiful hill walks, cream teas in countryside cafes, excellent seafood by the beach, all are available to holidaymakers visiting the pretty towns and villages of these beautiful counties. Cornwall has also established itself as something of a party capital amongst the UK’s young surfer set, with a lively nightlife scene and an abundance of hostels and campsites catering to budget travellers. Nature lovers, meanwhile, flock to the beautiful New Forest, famous for the wild ponies that roam the fields and woods of this lovely location. Once again, the countless hotels, bed and breakfasts, campsites and backpacker hostels make visiting this part of the county a breeze for holidaymakers on any budget.