They say that you should never work with children and animals and to be honest, in some cases this should be extended to certain forms of transport – think skateboards and Penny Farthings especially. Not so the electric bike, which at first sight (and explanation) might seem a little daunting but after a good thirty seconds, sees you whizzing off into the distance at quite a pace.
Perfect for a girls weekend away, a take your Mum for a treat or for you and your other half to enjoy some together time, The Seaview Hotel not only has wonderfully comfortable rooms, views and a Michelin Bib Gourmand award winning restaurant, but can hire you electric bikes so that you can see the Isle of Wight in all of its glory as part of the Drive Less, See More campaign. The lovely Brian from the hotel will explain all that you need to know about the bikes, provide some jaunty panniers for your bits and pieces, including the all -important map, and you’re off.
If cycling seems intimidating, then an electric bike is exactly what you need. We chose a route from the hotel’s map which didn’t have too many hills, but with available speeds of up to 15mph, even the steepest of the Island hills wouldn’t be terribly difficult. The best thing about an e bike is that you don’t have to do a full on Geraint Thomas. You can get your cardio vascular workout, but when it all gets a bit too much, the battery will click in and off you’ll glide – so no need for sweaty Lycra, you can be sartorially elegant whilst still getting some very pleasurable exercise.
The Isle of Wight has many spectacular views and if you’re feeling particularly energetic then you can, in fact, cycle the whole way around it. You’d have to stop to recharge your battery (bike and personal) from time to time, but with plenty of pubs and cafés en route, that wouldn’t be much of a hardship. There are also some great designated cycle routes to take including the 32 mile Red Squirrel Trail which takes in estuaries, farmland and coastal routes – you may even see a squirrel or two! Or take a route directly from Seaview via Sandown and Shanklin and enjoy an ice cream on the beach.
And after all that effort, come back to the hotel, have a cocktail or a drink in the cosy pub within the hotel , The Pump Bar, before treating yourself to some truly gourmet food. With 2 AA Rosettes and a Michelin Bib Gourmand for creative, affordable food, Head Chef Bryn Edwards uses as much local ‘garden Isle’ produce as possible and his dishes are a real taste of the Wight. Rooms at the Seaview Hotel have fluffy towels, slippers and flat screen TVs so you can repair to your room and relax after a full day’s work out and dinner.
Getting to the Isle of Wight couldn’t be simpler. If you’re bringing the car then the Wightlink ferry from Portsmouth to Fishbourne is your route, but if you want to arrive car free and ready for e bike action then there’s the Wightlink FastCat from Portsmouth to Ryde Pier and Hovertravel from Southsea to Ryde Esplanade. Hop on the number 8 bus to Seaview or take a short taxi ride.
The Seaview Hotel has a cycling 2 night package for £139 per person which includes the Wightlink FastCat to Ryde Station, accommodation in a standard room, use of Axcess 2 Camargue step-through e-bikes and full English breakfast every morning. Or you could opt for bed and breakfast for £95 with optional bike hire for £25 per day.
So go on. Get on your bike and ride!
Words: Amber Beard
Pictures: Christine Taylor