Tarvin - an amazing place for cycling!

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When talking to friends new to the area, the question of good places to go for a bike ride came up. We are living in the middle of beautiful countryside that just cries out to be explored. There are many lanes close to Tarvin, but they do seem to carry lots of traffic, some of it very fast — hardly ideal for a gentle afternoon jaunt!

We had two suggestions for them. Firstly, we have enjoyed the ride along the Millennium Greenway, that takes you right through the centre of Chester. This is a former railway track, recently extended to start now almost in Mickle Trafford on the road from Guilden Sutton. It can then take you out through Blacon and over to the river crossing at Shotton, from where it is possible to ride back to Chester along the bank of the River Dee. We have been amazed that such a cycle route and footpath is able to take you right through the middle of town without you ever feeling that you aren't in the countryside and, of course, being an old track bed, it's almost level wherever you are — ideal for introducing children to cycling. Our friends tried it and really enjoyed it — especially the fact that there is now a café which serves excellent food within 100metres of the start. For people who intend to eat there after the ride, you may even be allowed to park while you enjoy your jaunt!

Our second suggestion for them was to use the towpath of the Shropshire Union canal, beginning at Waverton. The surface has been improved on the stretch that goes right through Chester and then out past the zoo and over to the Boat Museum at Ellesmere Port. It may take a little more care and concentration than the track bed — after all, going off-course could result in an early bath! -but the scenery is always peaceful and, especially on a sunny day, it makes a glorious ride.

Having tried both of these suggestions, our friends went further afield and explored another old railway line, now a country park, running down the Wirral and best accessed at Hadlow Road station in Willaston.

Bitten by the bug, they next searched the web and came up with a site full of downloadable routes all around Chester — click here.
These have been designed with all members of the family in mind and use quiet lanes, established cycle routes and canal tow paths wherever possible (except for some occasional short sections on busier roads). While the routes have been based on Chester, they are all accessible from Tarvin and are between 7 and 20 miles in length. Importantly, they are suitable for families with children either riding their own bikes or riding on a trailer bike. Some of the rides also include short off-road sections.

So, getting a little gentle exercise out in the countryside with the family can be done simply and safely without going far from Tarvin. Perhaps the late Autumn and Winter may not be the best time to begin exploring but, come the spring, there's lots of healthy (and FREE) fun to be had on two wheels within easy distance of Tarvin!