As you might be able to tell from the title of my blog, we love to adventure. We’ve travelled around the world, we’ve explored far flung countries, we’ve taken our baby up a mountain. But one thing we always say when we come back from our overseas adventures is that we want to do more of our own country. There’s so much to see and do in the UK and some beautiful places right on our doorstep that we haven’t explored before.
When we said to our children, 5 and 3, that they could choose what we did on a recent (very hot) sunny Sunday they asked to go on a bike ride in the woods…who were we to say no! We weren’t going to let a little thing like the fact that they don’t actually own bikes get in the way of this adventure!
Having heard about the PlusBike tool from National Rail I had a look on their app to see the kinds of service it offered. My husband is a keen cyclist and had often seen people take bikes on the train with them, which was great to be able to get bikes to the place you want to go in the absence of a bike rack – something that we don’t own either! But the issue of not having our own bikes to take on a train was a bigger problem.
We decided where we wanted to go – not too far to travel, not too open (it was set to reach 30 degrees) and somewhere we hadn’t been before – and had landed on Brockenhurst in the New Forest – it was a short journey of around 30 minutes and affordable for us all to travel especially by using the Group Save discount (George went free!). But the best bit was when we looked further into the station details on the app it gave detailed information of a bike hire service right next to the station, with a link through to Cyclexperience Bicycle Hire to order our bikes for the day. It really couldn’t be simpler and I was surprised at myself that we hadn’t done this before!
Off on the train we went, the boys were full of excitement, it was so easy just to jump on the train and not have to worry about logistics of getting the bikes there, what the parking would be like and how we would get to the forest. A short while later we arrived at the station and I was surprised to see just how close the hire shop was that we had found on the PlusBike tool. We picked up our bikes, helmets, map and chain and off we went.
Now, I’m going to gloss over the fact that I am not renowned for my cycling or indeed any fitness attributes at this stage! I’ll focus on the fact that together, the four of us had a brilliant day on our bike ride, adventuring around the New Forest. The boys’ imagination blossomed, and we loved watching them playing explorers and dinosaur hunters while we had a break.
We enjoyed a lovely stop over at the Turf Cutters pub mid way through our adventure and listened to a band play while eating some lunch to refuel and basking in the warmth of the day.
We returned to the cycle hire place and gave everything back before hopping back on our train home. Our adventure couldn’t have been easier, and I was so pleased that we got to take the boys somewhere totally different that we wouldn’t normally have done because of not having bikes or not being able to get bikes where we wanted to go. I’d definitely recommend it to other families or individuals wanting to go on an adventure any time soon! If you’re traveling on National Rail trains they’re also giving away 2-4-1 tickets for hundreds of attractions which is a great way of saving money.
If you want to see a video of how we got on during our PlusBike adventure, then have a look at my channel to see more!
This post was sponsored by National Rail, all opinions are my own.