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Four cycle friendly hostels for winter

cyclists by a river in winter

Bright light and cold days can make for beautiful winter rides.

table and chairs in front of an open fire

Hartington Hall is a cosy place to rest after a long ride.

adult and child on a bike, both dressed as Santa

Christmas is a great time for longer rides - as long as you don't have other commitments.

The Youth Hostels Association (YHA) have an abundance of cycle friendly hostels for adventurous winter cyclists, which are ideally situated along some of our routes and provide perfect accommodation for those who are planning longer rides.

Winter can provide a great opportunity to explore picturesque new cycling terrain and discover unique scenery.

That said, the shorter days can make planning cycling trips a little trickier and routes often need to be broken up across a number of days. That makes these bike-friendly YHA accommodations invaluable. The YHA have invested £269,000 in improvements to cycling facilities at a number of their flagship hostels, so we’ve singled out four that are great for weary winter cyclists.

Hartington Hall

Peak District, Route 549

Set within a majestic 17th century manor house, this converted hostel is located among the beautiful rolling hills of the Peak District and will provide a great base for those who are keen to explore the National Park. After you finish your ride the hostel makes for an alluring retreat from the chilly winter evenings. 

Bike facilities at the hostel:

  • repair station
  • lockable cycle sheds
  • bike wash kits
  • tyre pumps 

Things to see and do

When it comes to routes in the area cyclists are really spoilt for choice with the scenic Manifold, Monsal and Tissington trails just a short distance away and lots of beautiful landscapes and varied terrain.

Hartington is also home to a few circular routes known as the flower trails. These trails radiate outwards from their base at Hartington Hall with each 24-33 mile route forming a distinct “petal” of the flower. 

YHA Conwy

North Wales, Route 5

YHA Conwy is a great place for biking on a budget during the winter months. Perched on a hill outside the historic walls of the town, the hostel provides panoramic views of Conwy’s medieval castle and the snow peaked mountains and valleys which surround them.

Bike facilities at the hostel:

  • indoor and outdoor bicycle storage
  • maintenance station
  • bike washing facilities
  • spare parts shop

Things to see and do

Conwy is situated near some of the most stunning cycling routes in Wales and is a good base for all kinds of cyclists, but especially for off-road mountain bikers.

The Gwydyr Forest is just 10 miles south of the hostel and offers stunning scenery when the snow begins to fall. The forest contains the classic Marin Trail, which is ideal for experienced mountain bikers and will give riders a relatively challenging two to four hour loop to tackle.

For less experienced riders there are a range of family friendly routes just a few miles from the hostel including the tarmacked Llandudno Promenade and sections of National Cycle Network Route 5 which stretches along the coastline towards Penmaenmawr beach and beyond. 

YHA Keswick

Lake District, Route 71

In December 2015 this area was very badly hit by flooding and several roads and sections of the Network were badly damaged. Some are still being repaired and there are diversions in place.

The Lake District website has information about closures and diversions. We would not recommend travelling in this area without first checking the state of the route.

The hostel was recommended by Rough Guides in 2012 and holds one of YHA’s prestigious ‘Cyclists Welcome’ badges for its excellent location and facilities. The building lies in the heart of Keswick and will provide a great rest spot or base for all kinds of cycling groups. It even has a diner onsite to cater for any post cycling feasts.

Bike facilities at the hostel:

  • lockable cycle sheds
  • cleaning facilities
  • tools to repair common cycling ailments

Things to see and do

YHA Keswick has excellent access to the North Lakes Fells and is well placed for long distance UK routes such as the Sea to Sea and End to EndThe Old Railway & Castlerigg Stone Circle route is ideal for novice and family groups as it brings together a variety of quiet roads and woodland areas which are ideal for winter riding.

YHA South Downs

East Sussex, Route 2

A renovated Sussex farmhouse surrounded by cosy barn buildings, YHA South Downs is situated in an enviable location right on the South Downs Way. After a recent £3 million refurbishment, the hostel is now fully equipped to deal with all your winter cycling needs.

Bike facilities at the hostel:

  • laundry and drying rooms
  • maintenance stations
  • bike washing facilities for bikes

Things to see and do

With a combination of woodland and coastal routes and trails, the South Downs is particularly scenic on days when the winter sun lights its way through the trees. The entire 100 mile length of the South Downs Way is accessible for cyclists and right from the hostel’s front door too.

For experienced cyclists, the entire route can be completed in a day, but we would recommend taking two or three days to tackle the route just so you can take in all the beautiful views and pace yourself along some of the tricky inclines.

Read about some of our best long distance rides.

Read about our best Boxing Day walks and rides.