Planning An Overnight Adventure
If there was ever a time to go on an adventure, it would be now! Long summer days, perfect weather and all kinds of outlandish events provide unlimited inspiration. However, for the majority of us, family responsibilities and work pressures mean that a full-blown multi-day bikepacking trip isn’t always on the cards. If you still want to satisfy that sense of adventure, all hope is not lost!
The overnighter is nothing new but has seen somewhat of a resurgence in recent times, and we’re all for it! Get a taste of bikepacking and experience your local countryside from a new perspective without dedicating too much time – what’s not to like? Regardless of experience, an overnighter is something that anyone can have a crack at, so here’s our guide to planning an overnight adventure that everyone can enjoy!
Why separate family time and adventures on two wheels? With the summer holidays in full swing, getting the family involved is a great way to mix things up and have fun together, and it doesn’t need to be complicated. Take the opportunity to get your kids used to adventuring outdoors – the accessible nature of an overnighter means that anyone can give it a go, even a toddler!
Local parks (in our case Richmond Park!) are full of fun routes: whether it’s paved or off the beaten path, there’s plenty to work with! Jump on your bikes and explore the outdoors, take some time to look around, stop for a picnic and enjoy the sunshine.
To give your kids the full bikepacking experience, pitching up a tent in the garden is a great way to start – after all, who doesn’t love a garden campout?! Not only is it fun, but makes things manageable for you; hungry children are much easier to appease in the comfort of your own home! If the camping stove is playing up, just head inside and use the oven, or if the weather takes a turn for the worse there’s always a bailout option.
Nothing says romance more than a couple’s bikepacking trip. Okay, that might be a stretch but nonetheless, if you’re the only cycling enthusiast in your household, an overnighter is a low barrier to entry option that you could get your significant other involved in. Who knows, it could lead to bigger and better bikepacking adventures in the future together!
Destination: Knepp Rewilding. This is a perfect spot for an introductory adventure, as it’s an accessible area with all the amenities you need to enjoy your overnight stay stress-free. If you’re starting out in Richmond, hop on the train to Guildford, and from there you can ride along the Downs Link all the way to Knepp Estate, quiet and traffic-free!
Upon arrival, you could either set up camp on the various pitches dotted around, or if your partner isn’t too keen on camping then there are plenty of huts and yurts that can be hired out for a more comfortable night’s sleep. Gruelling endurance isn’t the goal here, a trip like this is all about packing light – nothing too strenuous but still providing that sense of adventure!
For the solo enthusiast, you may be looking for something that’s a bit more ambitious – we’ve got you covered! The Ridgeway is Britain’s oldest road, dating all the way back to prehistoric times, and takes in some of the finest views that the British countryside has to offer.
Exploring the Chilterns and North Wessex Downs, this roughly 100 mile stretch consists of mostly off-road tracks but nothing too serious, ideal gravel bike territory. Starting out in Richmond, jump on the train down to Oxford, ride onto the Ridgeway and explore to your heart’s content!
Since you’ll be packing light, exploring each half of the Ridgeway should be well within the realms of possibility over your 24hr trip, offering up some challenge along the way without being too strenuous! When you’re done for the day, set up camp and split up the adventure with a pleasant night under the stars. The sunrise will get you up nice and early so you can complete the rest of your journey, and the best part is, you’ll be back in time for lunch!
Feeling inspired? Kit up for the adventure ahead – check out some of our best bikepacking kit here.