Eroica Britannia in The Peak District
UK Family Festival and Bike Ride in the Peak District
Family Cycling Festival
Get your diary out and pencil in the third weekend in June. Book a trip to the Peak District, to the fields and woodland of Friden Grange to experience the wonderful weekend of Eroica Britannia.
Billed as ‘the Great British Adventure’, this three-day family festival is in a league all of its own. Part sportive, part festival, part celebration of vintage cycling, it has been running since 2014 and is modelled on the well-known Italian L’Eroica ride along the Strade Bianchi, the famous unpaved white roads of the Tuscan countryside.
There are three rides of 30, 60 and 100 miles which must all be ridden on pre-1987 bicycles. For many dressing up in retro clothing is just as important as finding the right bike. Sounds mad doesn’t it, but this event is not called ‘the most handsome festival in the UK’ for nothing. For those that are really serious about it there are ten Best in Show awards including best restored bike, best dressed dog and best moustache. Prepare for sartorial splendour!
This is no jaunt in the park though, it is a test of endurance for both riders and bicycles so be sure to match your distance with your ability. But - repeated punctures, slipping gears and hard saddles notwithstanding - it is utter joy: the pain of the hills, the pleasure of the downhills, the home-baked spreads at the feed stations. And, best of all, the finish, where you pedal your final weary revolutions along the straw runway to the rapturous applause of the waiting crowds and a well-earned finisher’s ale.
The rides are not a contest - the last riders home win - and it is definitely most fun when completed with friends; it’s an event to be experienced as a family or families, or with like-minded folk who love a challenge. You can’t help but beam all the way round, feeling the collective goodwill, adventure, heritage and passion that the organisers have successfully instilled.
3 Days of Events
And if you’d prefer something a bit more leisurely but still fancy kitting up and getting on your bike, there are two free self-guided options. There’s the Friday evening ride to the pub, setting off from the festival site and heading 4.5 miles up the High Peak Trail to The Royal Oak at Hurdlow for a refreshing drink. There is also a family-friendly ride leaving from the festival site on the Saturday morning, taking in the High Peak and the Tissington Trails.
It’s not all about the rides though. There’s loads going on across the three days from bands to bars, boutiques to barn dances, big screens to big wheels. You can sample great food at the many eateries (our favourite stall last year was the churros van), squeeze in to the Britannia Arms for a Q&A session with Victoria Pendleton, and take a seat on one of the vintage family fairground rides. There is an Adventure Kids Club too with den building, crafts and camp fires to keep the under 12s smiling.
Book Your Tickets
So, what are you waiting for? Book your tickets and ride into the glorious past!
Peak Venues are delighted to support Eroica Britannia with their accommodation needs throughtout the year.
Stay in the Peak District
Published on May 15, 2018 in