Tuesday, November 20, 2018
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Family cycling in Stockton-on-Tees
Cycle with kids in Stockton this summer
Getting your family out and about on bikes in Stockton is a great way to spend time together and explore the area, without the worry of car parking and traffic.
Stockton is blessed with fabulous parks, wonderful nature reserves and miles well maintained cycle routes – perfect for kids to practice their cycling skills.
We’ve picked out some of our favourite places to cycle as a family. Find your way using the folded Stockton cycling map, available in hard copy from The Hub in Stockton town centre.
Come with us on one of our FREE guided family cycle rides
- 13 - 15 July - Stockton Cycling Festival, family ride day 3 (come and race on our stand)
- 15 July – Intermediate ride Stockton to Darlington (older teenagers upwards)
- 25 July– Wynyard Teddy Bears Picnic ride
- 8 August– Dinosaur picnic cycle ride, Stockton
- 15 August – Guided holiday ride for kids at Preston Park
- 26 August - Wartime history ride, Stockton (older teenagers upwards)
Tees Barrage and Riverside Ride
Easily reached from central Stockton, this route takes you all along the River Tees to the barrage and on to Middlesbrough. See how much wildlife you can spot along the way – you may even be able to spot the odd seal!
At the Tees Barrage, there are some gentle undulations in the path that are great for budding cyclists, as well as a café and a pub for a drink or a bite to eat.
To get there, just follow the riverside path on either the south side or north side of the river and see how far your adventure takes you!
Wynward Woodland Park and Castle Eden Walkway
Built along a former railway line, Wynward Woodland Park provides a lovely, easy route for cyclists of all ages and abilities. It runs through beautiful woodland with plenty of opportunities to explore amongst the forest. With a café in the old station building, adventure playground and planetarium, there’s enough here to keep you busy all day – and into the night!
Conveniently located on National Cycle Route 1, cycling to Wynyard is simple. Just follow the route from Stockton out towards Thorpe Thewles, from where Wynyard Woodland Park is well signposted.
- Stockton North cycle map (available in hard copy from the Stockton Active Travel Hub)
- National Cycle Route 1
Ropner Park (and on to Preston Park if you're feeling fit)
Ropner Park is a wonderful mixture of formal Victorian gardens, wide open spaces and lakeside paths, with something for everyone. The smooth, flat paths around the formal gardens are the perfect place for young cyclists to hone their skills, with little hills towards the lake for some braking practice. Relax with refreshments from the café and let the kids run off some steam in the children’s play area.
Just across Darlington Road is the Green Link cycle and footpath across Six Fields (photo above) which leads to Preston Park and on to Ingleby Barwick and Yarm. Coming from the north, National Cycle Route number 1 leads down from Bishops Garth and Fairfield to Darlington Road and Hartburn Lane.
A beautiful, landscaped park, Preston Park is a haven for families with children’s playground, café, museum, wide open spaces for picnics and games, rowing boats and cruises and even mini golf during the summer holidays. There are lots of fantastic bike paths and walking routes in around the park. The circular, paved road and track around the main field outside the hall is a great place to practice getting off stabilisers and steady on wheels. Once you’ve mastered the basics, there are lovely routes along the river and through the Quarry Wood nature reserve. For the more adventurous, you can try going off the track into the woods for a gentle introduction to mountain biking.
Getting to the park by bike is easy. There is a very scenic route from Ingleby Barwick over the Preston Farm nature reserve, accessed from the cycle path on Queen Elizabeth Way. If you’re in Stockton you can follow the new Green Link cycle and foot path from Darlington Road (next to the bowling club) which runs parallel to Yarm Road, through the Six Fields all the way to Preston Park. Coming up from Yarm, you can cycle along the off-road path along Yarm Road. Wide pavements are great for kids on bikes and scooters.
If you’re coming from further afield, Eaglescliffe train station is a mere 5-10 minute walk away, with regular services from Bishop Auckland and Saltburn. The number 7 bus stops outside the park.
Tucked behind the Ingleby Barwick Tesco is Romano Park – an exciting play space for children of all ages, including a hill fort, zip wire and climbing walls.
The park is a cinch to get to by bike, as it’s just off the Barwick Lane cycle and foot path for easy, traffic free cycling. If you’re coming from Stockton or Eaglescliffe, the cycle route from Preston Park over the Preston Farm Nature Reserve connects with the Queen Elizabeth Way cycle path all the way down to Barwick Lane. Stop off for well-deserved refreshments at one of the new cafés and restaurants at The Rings
Use these maps to plan your route:
Other places to cycle
There are many more family friendly routes and parks to check out. You can download the north Stockton and south Stockton cycle routes from the Stockton council website, or get hold of a hard copy from the Hub in the town centre to plan your own trips by bike.
A number of pre-planned self-guided routes are available to download, ranging from about 4 to 8 miles in distance – perfect for little legs looking for a big adventure!
Stockton Cycling Festival family day 13-15 July 2018
Three days, two wheels, one amazing festival! Bringing together the National Circuit Championships, the Stockton Sportive and the family festival day, this fabulous event demonstrates the best in cycling at every level and for every age and ability.
Cycle training in Stockton
If you feel your little ones (or big ones) could benefit from some cycle coaching, there are a number of organisations that can help:
- Stockton Wheelers – youth coaching on Saturday mornings at Middlesbrough Cycle Circuit, from ditching the stabilisers to more challenging skills, age 4 to 16
- Wheel Education – offers one to one training for children and adults
- Ingleby Cycle Coaching – term time only, this British Cycling affiliated club offers children’s cycle training at Conyers School on Saturday morning. From balance bikes and beyond!