As our family gets older and our children move on from the ‘little children’ stage we now have a whole range of new activities and days out that we can now spend our time doing.
We can all ride bikes and have been on bike rides near to our house but these are all relatively short or can include some steep hills. We decided to venture to York after a good friend recommended a trip cycling through space!
Just outside York on the old East Coast main railway line is a 10km cycle trail alongside a scale model of the solar system. Every 100m on the cycle trail is equivalent to 57 million miles in space and the speed that you cycle along it is about 10 times the speed of light!
We invested in a bike rack for the car although finding one for 4 bikes was a bit tricky. We parked our car at the site of the old Escrick station a little way from the village of Escrick. The station is not there anymore just a car park on the left of the road which is not sign posted and we drove past it at first.
Escrick is a little way into the trail and we cycled towards York. The planets along the way are not only to scale in the distance between them but also in the size of the planet itself.
At first the planets are quite spaced out but the closer to York you get the more frequent they become. It was excellent motivation to keep cycling and my girls kept peddling on in an attempt to be the first one to find the next planet!
There are a couple of pubs on the route which serve food but we stopped at the old Naburn station where they serve giant slices of really good cake along with sandwiches and coffee. I also took snacks with us in case our girls or us ran low on energy. The secret to keeping my younger daughter happy is keeping her energy topped up!
After we reached the sun which is a huge golden sphere suspended above the trail we turned round and cycled back towards the car. Between Mars and Jupiter there is Brunswick Organic Nursery which has a little shop selling ice creams along with organic produce and plants.
If you are looking for your first family cycle out or a trail which is on the flat the Solar System Cycle is fun, educational and a lovely day in the countryside.