Get on your bike! Honeymoons on two wheels

Get on your bike! Honeymoons on two wheels

Combine your love of cycling with your love for your partner. We look at the most romantic spots to saddle up for your honeymoon…

1. Mickleton, UK

2014 is Shakespeare's year. It's 450 years since the playwright's birth, so what better way to spend your honeymoon then exploring his famous haunts? A Shakespearean cycling weekend along the 16-mile Mickleton to Honeybourne and Long Marston Loop lets you explore the depths of Will's home town: Stratford-upon-Avon, not to mention miles of picturesque countryside. Ride through the streets he grew up in, traversing the cobbled lanes that inspired great romantic works like Romeo and Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing and The Tempest

2. New Zealand

If it's a mosaic of spectacular scenery, unique cultures and cycle routes in abundance you're seeking, then look no further than New Zealand. Get your fill along the Great Taste Trail, one of Nga Haerenga's 'Great Rides'. Couples can spend between one and four days (38-175km) pedalling next to coastal bays and estuaries - home to the white heron and royal spoonbill - or crossing to Rabbit Island, where a boat ride to Mapua Wharf will offer quaint cottage shops, cafés and restaurants. For more of a challenge, continue the route over the 326m Dovedale Hill - awarded an intermediate difficulty level.

The Great Taste Trail starts at Nelson Airport. For more on this ride and others, see www.nzcycletrail.com

3. France

France and cycling go together like a crusty baguette, crumbling Camembert and a vintage Bordeaux. The country is blessed with a huge variety of beautiful scenery - rolling hills, cool forests, meandering rivers and historic towns. And there are few better places to see it all than on the La Loire à Vélo trail. Broken down into manageable 40km chunks, the course spans 800km in total - covering over half the width of the country. So it goes without saying then, that such a large area offers myriad delights and sights to see: from Sleeping Beauty-style castles like the Château de Langeais, to Nantes, the birthplace of ingenious French writer Jules Verne. Check out the full itinerary at www.cycling-loire.com

4. Germany

Get whisked away along Germany's 400km Romantic Road. Together you and your spouse can explore the foothills of the Alps, discover wild landscapes and cycle through charming villages and medieval towns. This 1950s route begins in Würzburg and finishes in Füssen, taking in sights such as the world-famous Neuschwanstein Castle, the vineyards of Tauber Valley and monasteries aplenty in the Pfaffenwinkel. Get lost in this majestic, historic world with your loved one at your side.

5. Italy

Pedal through world-famous vineyards, navigate sun-drenched hamlets and sample flavoursome foods and fine wines along Piedmont's many gastronomic routes. The rolling hills of this north-western region, blanketed with lush green grass, make for challenging inclines and exhilarating downhill rides. And your reward for a tough day in the saddle? Some of the finest Italian specialties. The region is renowned for its rich and romantic cuisine, boasting exquisite truffles and traditional meat dishes.

6. China

Cycling in the cities of China, amid chaotic rush-hour traffic, is not for faint-hearted couples. But head to the remote region of Urumqi and you'll be transported to the top of the travelling food chain. The 990km route heads for Dunhuang - a major stop on the infamous Silk Road - so you'll be following in the footsteps of explorer Marco Polo as you pass by snow-capped peaks, vast deserts and dense forests, not to mention a cultural highlight: the Great Wall of China.

Whether you choose to cycle all or part of the ten-day trail, you'll also get the chance to delve into the ethnic customs and culture of the people who live in its secluded villages.

7. Northern Ireland

Tread in the footsteps of giants. Although you're travelling on a bicycle, there's still time to unlock the mystery of the Giant's Causeway - a 60 million-year-old World Heritage Site - or seek romantic inspiration from the North Atlantic's wild seas. Riding along the traffic-free Causeway Coast truly is a sight to behold. Go full steam ahead as you pedal past the Bushmills Railway, turn back time when you stop off for a rest at the Victorian Hezlett House, and check out boundless Blue Flag beaches in the seaside towns of Portrush and Portstewart.

For this route, and others that explore Northern Ireland's rugged scenery, see www.discovernorthernireland.com/cycling/

8. San Francisco

High in the clouds above the Golden Gate Bridge, there's something almost ethereal about cycling along this suspended road. And, let's face it, pedalling along the 3.6-mile overpass is a pretty iconic experience too. In fact, avoid San Fran's famously steep hills and you're in for a pleasant - surprisingly flat - biking experience wherever you choose to jump in the saddle. A variety of group rides and cycling events are a great way for you and your partner to meet other, local couples too, while  taking in the city's terraced apartments, vintage tram network and omnipresent fishing culture.

Image courtesy of California Travel and Tourism Commission / Robert Holmes.

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