The countryside has opened up again now that lockdown has eased, enabling us to take long leisurely bike rides ... and with pubs and cafes open again too, what could be better than a day out that features both ...

Berrington Hall and Croft Castle Leisure Cycle Ride

Going north from Leominster station, the route takes in fine country houses and attractive villages.

Yarpole Church Gallery Cafe extended opening hours and sandwiches Thursdays and Fridays now 10.30-4.30!

Near Leominster the route stays in the river valleys, but to the north it is more hilly.

Along the route, you’ll pass the 12th century Priory Church in Leominster (and rare ducking stool); The Balance Inn in Luston, Berrington Hall, Croft Castle.

Moderate, 20 miles.

Take a break: Angel Inn, Kingsland, Corners Inn, The Bell at Yarpole and Orleton Store does tea/coffee/sandwiches. detour) Angel Inn (01568 708355) Corners Inn (01568 708385.

Hay-on-Wye to Llanthony Abbey, via the Gospel Pass

A challenging climb takes you up and up from Hay-on-Wye, finally reaching the spectacular Gospel Pass, followed by the long, steep and gravelly descent to Llanthony Abbey.

Afterwards the route is more gently undulating, on mainly quiet country lanes.

Take a picnic and choose a spot with stunning views to relax and refuel.

Suitable for cyclists with some experience of longer routes.

Wear a helmet, clothing suitable for the weather on the day (it can get very cold up on the pass) and drink, spare tube, pump, lock, cash etc.

The return journey is a popular, and much flatter, one through Dorstone, Peterchurch and Vowchurch and back into Hereford.

A route of between 50 and 65 miles depending on the exact route home.

Take a break: The Mill Restaurant and Bar, just outside Peterchurch - Breakfast Brunch, Friday and Saturday 10.30 – 11.30am.

Hereford to Hay-on-Wye

A favourite destination for book lovers, Hay-on-Wye is also popular with cyclists thanks to its location, surrounded by great cycling country, not to mention a great choice of cafes.

One of the more challenging routes from Hereford sees cyclists travel south via Much Dewchurch and Grosmont before crossing the A465 at Llanvihangel Crucorney and going over Gospel Pass and descending into Hay-on-Wye.

Take a break: Shepherd’s Parlour for the iconic ice-cream and more; Eve’s for tea, coffee, toasties and cakes.

The Peregrine Path

The Peregrine Path is a short, mainly traffic-free ride that straddles the border between England and Wales.

It’s ideal for family days out.

There’s lots to see along this easy trail as it winds alongside the River Wye from Monmouth, the birthplace of Henry V.

The trail winds through the Wye Gorge and past Symonds Yat East.

The area is also the gateway for a steady climb to Symonds Yat Rock where nesting peregrine falcons can be spotted.

Slightly off the beaten track at The Doward you can visit King Arthur’s Cave, said to have been inhabited by humans during Palaeolithic times.

The Kiosk at Symonds Yat Rock for homemade cakes, ice cream and a drink while taking in the spectacular views; The Saracen’s Head, Symonds Yat now fully open

Lady Halton Loop, Ludlow

An eight-and-a-half mile ride including an optional mile and a half extension to Bromfield.

The route is suitable for any sort of bike, but terrain may be rough, muddy or potholed in parts.

Highlights of this route are the Linney Riverside Park on the fields below Ludlow Castle, Oakly Park, part the Earl of Plymouth Estates, which provides the Ludlow Farm Shop with meat and vegetables; Bromfield Church and weir Bromfield Church is dedicated to St Mary and stands on a wooded promontory between the rivers Onny and Teme.

Close to the church is the mid-19th century mill and bakehouse currently being restored with the weir as part of a hydro-electricity generation scheme.

And as you return to Ludlow, you’ll enjoy a dramatic view of the castle, testimony to the commanding position chosen by its Norman builder Roger De Lacy in about 1085.

Food and drink: Ludlow Farmshop, Ludlow Kitchen Café for local, seasonal and handmade food. Csons, The Green Cafe, Linney, is now open inside for dine in breakfast and lunch and Ludlow town centre offers a selection of shops and cafes.

Black and white villages leisure ride

Enjoy delightful historic villages, gentle hills and secluded valleys as you cycle from Pembridge to Weobley, Dilwyn and Eardisland.

All the churches are worth visiting.

The short route is ideal for families, as it avoids the short stretch of the A4112.

It is safest to follow the route anti-clockwise.

The lanes are shared with other vehicles so take care.

Perfect stopping places: The Salutation Inn in Weobley; The Old Forge Tea-room in Hambledon; Jules Café & Restaurant; The Cider Barn, Pembridge

The Deerfold Ride from Orleton

Cycle west up the lane next to the Baker’s Arms.

Take lanes that go up to High Cullis and down to Leinthall Starkes and Aymestrey.

Cycle up the Lugg Valley onto the Deerfold to enjoy some stunning scenery and down to Lingen - at Lower Lye you can either go via Upper Lye or via Cross Of The Tree.

At Lingen head to Bucknell village.

Follow B4367 for two miles before turning right into a very little-used lane to Leintwardine for to visit the Sun Inn.

Then take the lane via Burrington to Elton, looking out for the elaborate Dutch duck house on the left at Elton Hall, then take the lane up over the Goggin and back to Orleton.

Aardvark Books Café in Brampton Bryan, open for drinks and cakes in disposable cups and plates.

No lunches, but picnickers welcome.

Cycle to Ludlow via Stanton Lacy – The Racecourse Rendezvous

Starting in Bromfield at Ludlow Farmshop.

Turn right out of the site following Route 44 sign and cycle over level crossing at the railway.

Cycle through golf course until you meet the B4365, turn left onto the B4365.

Turn right and pass through Stanton Lacy, turn right again, then turn right to enter Ludlow town centre.

Eight miles. Turn right to enter Ludlow town centre.

Stanton Lacy is a small village and parish with an ancient parish church of St Peter’s.

The parish used to boast two schools, four Methodist chapels, shops, pubs and a football team but none of these now remain.

Revive and refuel: Ludlow Farmshop/Ludlow Kitchen Café or Baker’s of Tower Street for a veggie breakfast or a Full English.


A popular ride taking in the most scenic roads in South Herefordshire is known by local cyclists as the Hole-in-the-Wall ride out via Ross-on-Wye.

Starting from Hereford the route takes riders out via the Callow, Little Dewchurch and Hoarwithy to Ross.

The return journey sees cyclists head past Ross-on-Wye, and then out on the scenic route towards Brampton Abbotts and on to Hole-in-the-Wall alongside the River Wye on to How Caple.

Coffee stops in Ross: Caffe Eleganza; Pots and Pieces Teashop & Gift Shop

For inspiration: Cycling for Pleasure in the Marches.

Designed by cyclists for cyclists, a set of five maps covering Shropshire, North Herefordshire and the border of Wales showing a complete network of recommended cycle routes. Each has 20 cycling itineraries (including off road tracks).

Each map overlaps to give a complete map of the area.

Kay Dartnell at Wheely Wonderful Cycling also recommends:

Teme Valley loop in Mortimer Country

A family friendly ride, in the course of which you can enjoy tea at the Lion Hotel or Aardvark Books Cafe, Off road cycling at Hopton Woods Hopton Woods is the home of mountain biking in Shropshire.

Test yourself out on the warm-up loop before heading into the wood on the harder trails.

All the trails at Hopton are largely unsurfaced.

Teas at Leintwardine Lion Hotel, beer at the Sun Inn, pork pies from Griffiths butchers and ice creams from village shop or evening meals at The Baron at Bucknell

Cycle to Wales along the River Teme to Knighton Another family friendly ride that will give you the opportunity to eat at The Clock Tower Tea Shop in Knighton, a favourite with cyclists and walkers

Cycle to Hay-on-Wye from Weobley Cross the river Wye on the old toll bridge (bicycles 10p) at Whitney-on-Wye.

Border tour Kington to Brilley Mountain and Cwmmau farmhouse and back through Pembridge and Presteigne The Workhouse café, Wednesday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm.

Leominster loop to Kingsland Great places to take a break are Kingsland Village Shop, Post Office and Tea Rooms, The Angel and The Corners Inn.

Add on an extra loop to Yarpole, where the community run Gallery Cafe is now open again, and visit Croft Castle.