You don't need to head to the continent to see beautiful bays, golden sand, and Provencal-esq lavender fields. We've found picture-perfect ride destinations.
Incredible beaches and fragrant farms teeming with purple blooms.
We recommend fitting a handlebar bag or seat pack, stuff in your flip flops and a small towel or picnic rug, and head for the hills.
Once you're there, slip on your slides, wander around, and soak in views that are just as good as the south of France, or make it a multi-day trip with a campsite or Airbnb stay over.
Lavender blooms in the UK from mid-June to September. The best time to see swathes of purple along a hillside is July and early August when the plant is in full bloom.
The Hop Farm, Sevenoaks
England's largest lavender farm boasts 130 acres of eye-popping purple from mid-June to late July.
A twenty mile ride from Condor's central London store, it is easily accessible by bike. We recommend linking you route to Pilgrim's Way and adding in a ride on Bower Lane. Entry to the lavender viewing area is free; there is bike parking, tours, or you can book a picnic spot in the late evening or refuel with their lavender ice cream.
Address: The Hop Shop, Redmans Lane, Sevenoaks TN14 7UB
Open: The farm shop is open Mon–Sat 9am–5pm and Sundays 10am–5pm.
The Lavender is in bloom from the end of June until late July.
Price: Free; lavender tours are £7.50
Hitchin Lavender, Hertfordshire
We discovered Hitchin Lavender Farm when scouting out the route of our summer festival, hosted near the town of Hitchin. A forty mile ride from Condor, you could easily ride a century on your lavender bloom adventure. Hitchin Lavender is home to 25 miles of lavender that visitors are free to walk among (and pick). There is a cafe on site if you want to grab lunch or take your own and picnic amongst the flowers.
Address: Cadwell Farm, Ickleford, Hitchin, Herts, SG5 3UA
Open: 9.30am–5pm Mon, Wed, Thurs; 9.30am–10pm Tues; 9.30am–6pm Sat, Sun.
Yorkshire Lavender Farm
Once you've photographed the rolling purple hills until your phone battery is nearly flat, head over to the Lavender maze and grab a lavender ice cream at EJ's tea room. There are 60 acres of lavender to explore and entry is £3.50.
Address: Yorkshire Lavender, Terrington, York YO60 6PB
Open: 10am–5pm until Sunday 29 September
Mayfield Lavender Farm
For those regular Surrey-based riders, make sure you extend your loop towards Banstead and take in the view of Mayfield Lavender. If you are heading out to ride from London to Brighton, you may want to include this farm as a quick stop off.
For some unknown reason, there is a red telephone box in the middle of the 25 acre lavender farm. Entry is £4.00 and you can wander about at your leisure, have a lavender cream tea. Picnics aren't allowed.
Address: Mayfield Lavender, 1 Carshalton Road, Banstead, SM7 3JA
Open: 9am–6pm, Monday to Sunday
Secret coves and sandy stretches
Britain's summer sun may be elusive, but these beaches look good and are great for exploring whatever the weather.
Cuckmere Heven, Seaford
A stone's throw from London. Seaford is not as busy as Brighton or Bournemouth, because Cuckmere Haven is a wild beach, with the beach views of the Seven Sisters cliffs from over the coastguard's cottages.
Dunguness, Romney Marsh, Kent
We explored Dunguness on our Villains of Kent ride last summer. Make it part of a two day trip or just follow the coastal path along the bays to Dunguness and beyond. Classified as Britain’s only desert, Dungeness is one of the largest expanses of shingle in Europe and home to two nuclear power stations, a steam train, and featured on the cover of a Pink Floyd album. The beaches are wild. The Fish Hut & Snack Shack serves up refreshments. If you want to explore, turn left into the desert, continue along and eventually you reach a sort of Hobbit-forest of alder. Take a side track for a swim in the Long Pool, a secluded pond.
Durdle Door, Dorset
One of Britain's most famous sites, the limestone arch on the Jurassic Coast separates St Oswald's Bay and Man O'War Cove. Even on the hottest days in the height of summer they won't get overcrowded because you need to climb down hundreds of steps to get to the wind sheltered sand.
Aberforrest Beach, Newport, West Wales
Aberforrest Beach is an unspoilt horseshoe-shaped cove where you may spot a sunbathing seal and pod of dolphins. The beach is made up of shingle and slate. Amenities are sparse, but if you head back towards Fishguard, there are plenty of food spots.
Pedn Vonder Beach, Cornwall
Remote and stunning, the white sandy beaches are a ten-minute ride from the village of Treen. There are neighbouring sandy coves accessible by low tide, too.
Brancaster Beach, Norfolk
The entire stretch of Brancaster Beach has been designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There is no need to jostle for sandcastle space either, as North Norfolk has tons coastline for visitors to enjoy. At low tide, the shipwreck of SS Vina (which the RAF used for target practice during World War II), pokes out of the golden sand. There is also the stunning Cromer and Holkham Beaches all within riding distance.