∨ What is the Mileage?
Day 1: 25 miles
Day2: 23 miles (optional 34m route.)
Day3: 17 miles
NB: You could in theory walk it, in the time you have.
Everyone is welcome, and our route is designed to appeal to the majority of people who take regular exercise. Customers over 60 years older do have a great time, but seem to find it a bit more tiring than people in their 20′s and 30′s. So it is worth considering before you book that you will be outside for 3 days straight and physically active on all three days.
∨ Is there an additional charge for bike hire?
The majority of our guests choose to bring their own bike. However, if you would like us to provide a bike for you, we would be delighted to do so.
If you would like to hire a bike from us, it is preferable that you give us at least seven days notice.
If we have less than seven days notice, we may not be able to supply you with a bike.
The bikes we provide are reasonably indestructible Trek Navigators. They’re fairly chunky, and not super light, but the guests who have used them have been very happy with them.
There is a £50 supplement to rent a bike for three days: This price include a helmet, a bike lock which must be used whenever the bike is left unattended, a spare inner tube, pump and tools.
The £50 supplement is to be paid upon arrival in cash at the start of your holiday. You will need to remember to bring your passport with you and this will be kept by Wine Rides for the duration of your bicycle hire and returned to you when the bicycle is returned to us.
∨ Where does the tour start and finish?
Wadhurst train station, south of Royal Tunbridge Wells.
∨ Can I arrive by car?
We encourage all of our tourers to arrive by train. There is ample car parking at Wadhurst station, however if you do bring a car, you will need to arrange your own parking at Wadhurst.
You can purchase parking at: http://www.southeasternparking.co.uk/carpark.asp?station_id=437
Please note that there is no need to bring your own car, there is the option for Wine Rides Ltd to transport any extra wine you buy back to London Waterloo where you can pick it up at a later date at your own convenience.
If you choose to arrive by car, it is your responsibility to arrive by 11 AM at the latest. The main group and accompanying staff need to leave the station on time and it is not possible for us to delay our departure to wait for individuals who have arrived late by car. Please let us know if you are travelling by car and we will arrange for cycling directions to be emailed to you in case you experience travel delay.
∨ Can I start my holiday on a different day?
All of the weekends run from a Friday morning and finish on Sunday afternoon. The only exception is the August Bank Holiday weekend which runs from Saturday-Monday.
If you purchase the Wine Rides Pioneer option, then you can chose to stay for one or two nights, either Friday to Sunday or Saturday to Sunday.
∨ What happens if I get a puncture or have a problem with my bike?
We will lend all cyclists puncture repair kits. If you are bringing your own bike, you may also want to bring a couple of spare inner tubes. If you or your cycling buddies aren’t able to fix the bike, then all you need to do is give us a call and we’ll come and help you out. You will need to get to a pub or a point of interest so we can find you easily, and it may take us some time as we will have to do this around setting up the camp.
∨ Will I have to carry my own luggage?
No, we will collect that for you when you arrive and it will be waiting in your tent each evening. We will also meet you at the station at the end of your last day to return your belongings to you. We recommend that you carry a day bag – either a pannier or rucksack with snacks, a puncture repair kit and pump, suncream and any extra layers.
∨ Why is the first morning guided?
a) To ensure all bikes are running smoothly and to provide guidance to any guests who are enjoying cycle touring for the first time.
b) To understand the speed you wish to cycle and the distances you would like to cover so that we can advise you on which routes you will enjoy most over the coming days, and;
c) To highlight some distinguishing features of the Wealden Landscape which Alex has picked up working with Ray Mears on the series Wild Britain.
∨ What is the difficulty rating, how many routes are there?
The route is designed so that anyone who takes regular, moderate exercise will not struggle.
It is hilly, but by no means as steep as the West Country, or as big as hills found in the majority of European cycling locations. Some guests who don’t do much cycling have found the first day is quite hilly, however the majority adjust completely and find our second and third days very enjoyable.
This is why we cycle with you until lunch on the first day. Depending on how much of a challenge you want, Alex can advise on alternative routes on the second and third days of the tour.
As a guide:
In our experience, if you are under 55 years of age, have a slight or medium build and do at least two hours moderate exercise a week (an activity that leaves you short of breath, to the point where speech becomes disrupted, or you sweat visibly) then you should find this trip challenging and enjoyable, but not too difficult.
If like Alex you are bigger, (have a BMI over 30) you may find it harder unless you do around five hours moderate activity a week.
Food and Wine
∨ Is wine provided with the evening meal?
You will need to purchase wine for the evening meal, either during your wine tasting before dinner or at the table.
The wine tasting before dinner is included in the price.
∨ What meals are included in the price of the holiday?
For guests opting for the Modern or Bell tent all inclusive packages we provide lunch on Friday (Day 1) and snacks on days 2 and 3. Dinner is provided on Friday and Saturday night, and breakfast on Saturday and Sunday mornings. So your only additional cost will be your lunch on Days 2 and 3, and any additional snacks you may purchase en route.
∨ Do you cater for different diets?
Yes, with pleasure. We always plan a meat and a vegetarian option as part of our all-inclusive packages. If you are a vegetarian, please do let us know before the trip. To avoid waste if we don’t know that we have a vegetarian on board, we won’t necessarily cook a veggie option. If you are vegan, or have any other dietary requirements, please just let us know ahead of time and we’ll do our best to accommodate you.
∨ What do you mean by ‘modern tent’?
Rather than a canvas bell tent, these are dome shaped tents made from synthetic material, normally polyester with fibreglass poles. Our tents are four man tents, so plenty of space for singles and couples.
∨ What is included in the price?
Please refer to our Prices page for different tent options.
Wine Rides Pioneers
For guests bringing their own tents and camping equipment, the price of your trip includes full luggage transfers, exclusive camping on the vineyard with use of our camping showers and toilets. You will also receive a complimentary wine tasting. We also provide you with route maps and directions, and advice on which routes you may wish to take, with a guided tour on day 1. All of our routes are road routes.
All inclusive packages
- Modern tents: If you are a seasoned camper, you will feel right at home in our large modern tents. All we ask is that you provide your own sleeping bag.
- Bell tents: For those of you looking for something extra special, we offer bell tents – which are a bit more spacious and we will provide all of your bedding (let us know if you’d prefer a duvet to sleeping bags), and some cool camping decoration to add some fun and colour to your home for the weekend.
Whichever tent you chose, our prices are fully inclusive of the following:
- Wine tasting and tours on your arrival at both Sedlescombe and Carr Taylor vineyards
- Three course meal each evening
- Tent, with an air bed and pillows
- Camping toilets and shower facilities
- A guided tour on Day 1
- Picnic lunch on Day 1
- Snacks for your cycle tours
- Luggage transfers
- Route guidance and maps
∨ Do you offer financial protection?
For your financial protection Wine Rides Ltd is a member of Trust My Travel and our membership number is TMT0312. All client money, whether by bank transfer or card payment is paid into an independently managed Trust Account held at Barclays Bank in the UK. This means in the unlikely event of our financial failure you will receive a refund for the services you have paid for. Money is not received by us until all suppliers have been paid and you have completed your trip. Trust My Travel is Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Services Authority under the PSR 2009: No. 569641. For more information about how your payments are protected please visit www.trustmytravel.com/logos/ for more information.
∨ What should I pack?
Please download Kit list for Wine Rides. If you are in one of our modern tents (not a bell tent) then please don’t forget your sleeping bag. Our kit list has been designed for guests booking one of our all inclusive packages. If you are a Wine Rides Pioneer, we assume you are seasoned campers and know that you will also need to bring a tent (unless you fancy a night under the stars!), sleeping bags, sleeping mat and cooking equipment.
∨ Can I bring my kids or pets?
This is an adult only holiday (over 18s). We ask you to leave your pets at home, goldfish bowls on a bicycle never end well.
∨ What is the shower situation?
Our showers are located in a spacious, dedicated tent, with room to change once you have had a hot shower. We fill the shower with hot water, and pump it to pressurise it for you. This then gives you a great, hot, 7 minute shower.
Feedback from a guest on what they are like:
Q: If someone who was interested in coming on the holiday asked you about it, what would you tell them about the overall shower experience?
A: Showers were excellent, those big shower tents surrounding the actual shower were key. Again, classy details like jug and bowl on table in the shower tent felt very plush.
∨ What is the loo situation?
The loo is a portable camping toilet.
∨ What is the bed situation?
For guests staying in a Modern Tent or Bell Tent, the beds are air beds. Don’t worry we will pump them up for you and they will be made up with a sheet and pillows. A duvet or sleeping bags are provided for guests sleeping in one of our bell tents.