I enjoy cycling through London parks on a Boris bike, but I’m not brave enough to go onto the roads. I know there are many tours for biking enthusiasts in the UK and around Europe, but do any cater for novices? Joanna, via email
I am with you – cycling should be a relaxing pastime, not a day spent fighting with traffic.
There are a number of cycling trails in the UK which run along old railway lines or dedicated cycle lanes, which mean you can explore on two wheels without the stress of four-wheel traffic.
In fact, Britain is blessed with 10,000 miles of traffic-free cycle routes, so you could hire a bike and go it alone on one of these routes.
Three UK national parks – the Peak District, the Brecon Beacons and the New Forest – boast traffic-free routes and make scenic destinations for a short cycling break.
The Monsal Trail in the Peak District is a former railway line now used by walkers, cyclists and horse riders.
It runs through picturesque villages and dramatic dales, including the pretty village of Bakewell and Monsal Dale.
If you prefer to be part of a tour, CTC Cycling Holidays offers a huge range of trips, including for those with little cycling experience.
Their eight-day New Forest and Isle of Wight trip is at a relaxed pace with plenty of stops in tea shops and cafés! Or try Headwater’s ‘soft cycling holidays’.
Their Heart of Venetian Cycling Trip starts from £759 for seven nights in an Italian farmhouse with independent day cycles to local villages in northern Italy.