family bike ride

After a full day of eating and present unwrapping, Boxing Day is the perfect day to get outside and embrace the crisp winter air on a family bike ride.

Kids can try out their new bikes, parents can test their new winter-warming cycle wear and the photographer in your family can get snappy while you all pedal through the snow.

As long as the weather plays ball, there is no shortage of fantastic locations for family friendly bike rides. A national park, canal path, pretty forest or a coastal cycle path are just a few of the quintessentially English places in which families can enjoy Boxing Day bike rides.

Just remember to wrap up warm, don a Christmas jumper and pack a thermos of hot chocolate and you'll be good to go.

Here's some of our favourite family rides.

feeding ducks

All kids love feeding the ducks no matter what their age and with so much leftover food lying around on Boxing Day, you certainly won't miss a loaf of bread from the larder.

If you live near a canal or a large pond you've found the perfect destination for your Boxing Day bike ride. Map out your route from your house to the water and take a slow pedal there to ensure that everyone can keep up and no one develops a stitch from all of the Brandy butter consumed the day before.

Take some time out at the water's side to feed the ducks and, if you're along a canal, to spot all of the Rosie and Jim style boats docked up along the side.

You might want to continue the bike ride down the canal a little way or around the pond to find a cosy tea room or country pub to stop for a spot of tea or some lunch before heading home to get stuck into one of our bike themed Christmas activities.

new forest poss

A classic English forest or woodland on a winter's morning is one of the most beautiful sites imaginable. This Boxing Day grab the family, load the bikes into the car and set off for your nearest winter wonderland.

The New Forest in Hampshire is an idyllic example of where to ride, complete with numerous mapped out bike trails as well as plenty of other routes you can create yourselves; the whole family will have hours of fun spotting deer, squirrels and other wildlife as they cycle along the frosty tracks.

When toes and noses start to get a bit too chilly and the kids start wanting to go inside, you're certain never to be too far from a warm country pub where a roaring fire and glass of mulled wine awaits you.

white cliffs

For many, Boxing Day just wouldn't be Boxing Day without a 26th December dip in the sea. For us at TWC, we prefer to stay dry and go for a bike ride along the coastline instead. But, hey, we don't judge.

Sustrans have an incredibly picturesque route mapped out, called the Chalk and Channel Way, which takes cyclists along a cycle and walking path in the South East of England affording them unbeatable views of the White Cliffs and the English Channel.

The North East also have some fantastic coastal cycling routes (and many an opportunity to laugh at those swimming in the ice cold sea), as does Brighton, Blackpool and Cornwall.

Wherever you decide to go for your seaside cycle, make sure you work up an appetite and tuck into a greasy portion of fish and chips on the pebbles before the pedal home.


For many of us Boxing Day is filled with visits to all of the friends and relatives that we weren't able to see on either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. This, though, could be the perfect opportunity for a family bike ride.

If you live in the same town as the people you need to visit then forget about the car -who wants to de-ice it anyway- and cycle to everyone's houses instead.

There's no doubt that for every person you visit you'll feel under pressure to devour at least one more mince pie and another plate of cheese and biscuits so at least by cycling rather than driving you're burning off a couple of the calories! It's also a great excuse to avoid drinking lots of alcohol and having another hangover the following day.


Of course there's also every opportunity that by Boxing Day you will be fed up of socialising and want nothing more than to escape into the middle of the countryside with only your absolute nearest and dearest (or no one at all) and that's perfectly acceptable too.

English moorland is the perfect terrain for a family bike ride as there's not too many hills or technical bits to overcome and there are plenty of picnic spots for tucking into those turkey and stuffing sandwiches too.

The Yorkshire Dales is a beautiful location for your countryside ride, but any country spot will be equally as fun for a family ride.

lake district

The English Lake District is a magical place at any time of year but especially around Christmas time and it makes for the most idyllic wintery Boxing Day bike ride setting.

Grab your partner, kids and parents, get everyone to wrap up in their warmest winter wear and set out with panniers packed with picnic style treats.

Depending on your family's cycling power (and energy levels post-Christmas Day pig out) you could choose a more leisurely cycle around Lake Windermere and through the pretty villages, road-cycle to Beatrix Potter's pretty little cottage or work up a cold sweat mountain biking to the peak of any one of the area's monstrous mountains.

To plan a route, find out about bike hire and see if any events are going on soon, check out the cycling section of the official Lake District National Park website.

hyde park

If you're spending Christmas in the capital this year, there are still plenty of stunning locations to enjoy a family bike ride in. From cycling down The Thames or the Regent's Canal to pedalling through a frost-covered Hyde Park and stopping by Winter Wonderland for a spot of ice-skating and hot cider drinking.

One of the largest parks in London, Hyde Park is a 142 hectares in size and has plenty of paths that you can cycle down to escape from the Christmas throng too.

Elsewhere across the capital, both Regent's Park and Richmond Park make for great bike riding destinations too.


Shakespeare's Stratford-upon-Avon is the most English of towns imaginable and the perfect place for a spot of Boxing Day cycling. Light-filled streets, star-topped Christmas trees and the famous year round Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe make the entire town resemble the front of a Christmas card.

A great choice for a family ride, you can follow the Stratford Greenway along a disused railway track for five miles from Long Marston to Stratford-upon-Avon. Completely flat and traffic-free, this is a route that everyone can enjoy before stopping at a classic little tea room or country style pub for one last Christmas-excused treat before the pedal back home.