Pamela Albers (on left)- Chateau of the Loire Valley, France, 2023
I was fortunate enough to go on the Chateau of the French Loire River Valley Bike Tour in 2023, and I loved it! We rode alongside rivers, peaceful countryside, vineyards, and sunflower fields. The chateaux were beautiful; my favorite was the Sleeping Beauty castle. We also saw beautiful gardens, cave dwellings, and historic cathedrals. The towns and villages we stopped in were so charming, and I enjoyed learning about the history at the many places we visited. The small group size helped to make the tour special, and Andy had great recommendations for places to sight-see when we arrived in the towns at the end of our rides each day. It was such a great experience to see the countryside of France on a bicycle, I highly recommend this tour, and I hope to be able to go on some of Drew and Andy’s other tours, too.
Carolyn Sanders (2nd from right above, in middle (behind donkey) below)
The France bike tour was everything a great trip should be: Sharing the beauty of the French countryside, with just the right amount of bicycling, with a small group of new and long time friends! This tour included a terrific variety of chateaus, orchards, and vineyards, complete with first class wine tastings. The opportunities to experience French cuisine were abundant, with a nice balance between meals with the group and dining on our own. The dedicated bike path was by far the nicest bike route I’ve ever ridden. The opportunity to select either an e bike or a hybrid bike allowed all riders feel comfortable with the daily pace of the rides. Andy and Drew were first-rate ride leaders, providing an abundance of interesting facts and helpful information along the way. In short, this is one of the most beautiful, fun vacations I’ve ever been on, and I recommend it highly!
Bonnie Johannemann – Garden of England, 2023
The Garden of England Tour was mine and John’s first visit to England, but it won’t be our last. Andy did a wonderful job of picking a variety of sites with both natural and man-made beauty for us to visit during the tour. Some of our favorites were the chalk cliffs of Seven Sisters, Leeds Castle, and Canterbury Cathedral. The food and accommodations were top-notch. But with English breakfast every morning, beer before noon, and cream tea in the afternoons, some of us came back with a few extra pounds (not the English kind).
Andy is very knowledgeable of the areas where we rode and is a great tour guide. There were a variety of cycling abilities, but he was able to get us all where we needed to be. The rental bikes were comfortable. (We chose to bring our own clipless SPD pedals and were glad we did, since there were plenty of hills to climb). If you are looking for a great value for a guided cycling tour in Europe, I would definitely check out Andy’s tours.
Allison Bovee – Garden of England, 2023
The Garden of England Tour is the perfect way to see Sussex and Kent. We loved the small towns and pubs, the small local hotels and inns. The food was great – I miss my creamy tea!! We traveled on quiet country roads for the most part and Andy adeptly guided us along the few busier roads. The group was just the right size. Good value for the money too.
Loralei Oswald and Tyler Englestad – Chateau of the Loire Valley, France 2022 & Garden of England, 2023
Andy’s cycle tours are the best way to see the most beautiful swaths of very picturesque countrysides. We loved the French tour so much in 2022 we decided to try the England tour in 2023–both are absolutely fantastic. Andy does a wonderful job handling all the logistics, from bike rentals, very conscientious directions, to hotel reservations, and overall being very knowledgeable about the sights along the way. We both particularly like the bed&breakfast-style accommodations where you really get to live the European experience. We plan to try the new Germany tour next year!
Joe & Mary Moran – Garden of England 2023
Joe: The Garden of England tour was an amazing adventure. We enjoyed cycling thru small historic towns on various terrains. The weather in England in July was cool and perfect for cycling. The landscape was incredibly lush with tall green hedges and flower gardens. The overnight stops were of particular historic interest. I enjoyed the view from the bottom and Top of the Seven Sisters. Canterbury Cathedral and Leeds Castle and the bell tower Rye are a must-see. Andy did a great job coordinating everything perfectly and was a great tour guide. Love to do it again on his tours.
Mary: The Garden of England tour is the adventure of a lifetime. We traveled on country roads and trails each day visiting a new small town with so much character and history. We loved staying in Leeds Castle and seeing the beautiful seven sisters white cliffs and so much more. I requested an E-bike which made the trip doable for me. For those who are prepared for a hilly route, a hybrid bike may be for you. We are hoping to participate in the France trip next year.
Kathy Oliver – Chateau of the Loire Valley, France 2022
My husband and I were on the Loire Valley bike tour in France. It had been several years since we had biked any distance, so we chose the e-bike option. We had never ridden e-bikes before and we loved them as we glided effortlessly up any hill. This bike tour was the first week of a four week trip throughout France for us and we can both say emphatically that the bike tour was our favorite week of all. Andy is a fabulous (and patient) tour guide and not only arranged unique hotels and B&Bs for us but could also recommend restaurants and sights to see for every town we stayed in. Also included in the tour were stops at fabulous chateaus almost every day as well as a couple of wine tastings. A large part of the tour was biking on the “La Loire a Velo” cycleway which minimized having to ride on roads with traffic. It was a magical week in the French countryside and now we can’t wait to go on the England trip!
Jamie Burnum – Chateau of the Loire 2022, Garden of England 2019
The Country Lanes Cycling Tour trip through the Loire Valley of France was my second trip with Country Lanes, having done the England trip in 2019. For several years now, my vacations have been spent cycling beautiful parts of the world guided by several different companies. Andy, with Country Lanes Cycling Tours is my favorite. He’s just as good, if not better than the long established tour companies with 15 – 30 employees. Andy’s attention to detail and small group size really make a difference and creates more of a friendly, family kind of environment. If you didn’t come on the trip with friends, you’ll have a whole group of friends by the time you leave. You can buy a more expensive or a more fancy tour, but you really can’t find a better tour than Country Lanes Cycling Tour England or France!
Bonnie Harrison – Garden of England 2022
We just got back from the Country Lanes Cycle Garden of England Tour and what an amazing time we had! My husband and I had been to England several times before but must say that this is the way to really feel you are a part of the countryside. What an adventure to feel the fragrant country breeze in your face as you ride through landscapes that inspired artists throughout centuries. Sleeping on the grounds of a magnificent castle, riding through green fields dotted with sheep, stopping by local tea shops for hot tea and scones, listening to the waves of the seashore in Eastbourne, and walking the historical ground of the Battle of Hastings are just a few of the many experiences that engaged our every sense. While we were uncertain of our ability to participate fully with those younger and more experienced than us, we found in short order how to ride our bikes properly and follow the lead given us by our tour leader Andy. He made certain we knew how to prepare our bikes for each day’s ride, where we would be staying the night, places to eat with the group or on our own and the available highlights of each stop. This tour far exceeded our expectations with its intimate expedition of the Kent and Sussex regions of England and we are so grateful for the exceptional foresight and leadership of Andy.
Charlean Parks – Chateau of the Loire, France 2021
I had high expectations for the France tour with The Country Lanes Cycle Tours and this trip exceeded everything I imagined. I love cycling which made this trip perfect for me. I enjoyed exploring the countryside of France on a bike. It allowed me to engage with the local culture, eat wonderful food, and connect with the rich history in each location. The trip included visits to beautiful chateaus, wine vineyards (tastings included), caves, and more. Oh, and the lodging was unmatched! The hotels/B&Bs were gorgeous. Andy did an excellent job and is most patient. I highly recommend touring with this company. I look forward to attending future trips!
David Herda, Garden of England 2021
The cycling trip through the English countryside was just amazing. One of those once in a lifetime opportunities I will always treasure. This was my first time on a multi day cycling trip. But, it was no problem. We covered a good distance, but the pace was comfortable and always had time for a relaxing pub lunch, afternoon tea, and site seeing. Andy puts an emphasis on history and that was much appreciated. I highly recommend this trip for novice to veteran riders.
Ken Rex – England, 2019
I have done a number of week long rides, but my June ride in the English countryside with Country Lane Cycles tours was clearly my most enjoyable. The number of historic sites was mind boggling and the South Downs National Park, including the white cliffs of “The Seven Sisters” and the enormous grass hill with its wide grassy slopes and great view on day 6 made for a great adventure. The general scenic English countryside with stops for tea, scones and other tasty treats added to the fun and enjoyment. A well organized tour.
James Burnum – England, 2019
I took the June 22, 2019 tour and had a fantastic time. The tour was flawless: hotels were charming and friendly, excellently located, and in some cases of exceptional merit, notably the Leeds Castle and the Mermaid Inn. The routes were beautiful and well chosen to highlight the scenic beauty of the area – truly the Garden Tour of England, to have us cycling on pleasant English lanes, and to lead us through historical areas. The days were hilly, but with plentiful scone stops and all day to bike, the hills only added to the adventure and the beauty. Andy Brown was an excellent tour leader and he knew every turn and hill of the entire route. Andy would stop at certain locations to caution us to prepare for an upcoming hill, or to be careful on a steep downhill. He even seemed to know where the gravel patches were. One highlight was riding the steam train for a portion of the last day, which was fun and had the added bonus of bypassing a hill. … If there were any snafus or issues as what always happens during travel, we didn’t know about them because Andy easily handled them. On top of all that, the weather and the other people on the tour were wonderful, or “lovely” as we often heard in England.
Steve and Susan Solomon – England,2018
Definitely a trip to remember! The Garden of England Tour was our first visit to England. There is no better way to see Sussex, Kent or the “Weald” than by bicycle. We explored the small towns, beautiful English country side, local taverns, and marvelous tea shops. We especially enjoyed the group dinners,private tours, and the hospitality of each unique B&B. Hiking the Seven Sisters Country Park was amazing and a must when visiting Eastbourne. Andy and Cheryl were the perfect hosts! Andy did a wonderful job mapping out the courses for each day. We traveled lovely wooded roads (right out of a picture book), bike paths that avoided traffic, and dirt trails through sheep pastures with breathtaking views. Cheryl’s smile greeted us at all our stops and she always had great recommendations for dinner, shopping, and extra activities. This tour is truly unique and we definitely recommend this tour for other bicycle enthusiasts!
Cindy Cole – 2018
As an occasional cyclist, I chose to use an electric assist bicycle, and was ecstatic that I chose this option. Because of this I was able to enjoy the full daily bike tour but also had energy to enjoy exploring the lovely towns/villages that we stayed in each evening. The food was amazing, and the scenery was spectacular. What a wonderful way to see the sites and tour Sussex and Kent, England. I highly recommend taking this tour with Andy as your guide.
Stacey Sikora – England, 2019
I highly recommend this tour, it exceeded my expectations in every way. From the beautiful countryside to the charming little towns and cities and the views from the cliffs, every day was amazing!! Staying on the castle grounds was an unforgettable experience, and the foods was wonderful. Andy was a great tour guide and really took care of us. I’m hoping to join another tour in the future.
Wendy McGee – England, 2019, Non-Riding Option
I will admit it took some time for me to sign on for a non-riding participant because I could not imagine what was I going to do while everyone was riding. I am so very thankful I went because it was one of the best travel adventures, I’ve had. It was an opportunity to immerse in the culture, see a lot of the countryside, explore the villages, get to know the other travelers, hike, eat and some non-riding adventures. It was a blast. The schedule was full but not packed. We met up with the riders for some of the sightseeing and the off day was spectacular with a hike that gained me over 30,000 steps. (Some people got massages instead.) The planning was buttoned up and nothing was left to chance. One of the very best experiences I have had and I would recommend to anyone who wants a memorable trip.
Peter Ornstein – Loire Valley, 2012, 2023; England, 2017
Biking through the small towns and narrow lanes is a fabulous way to experience England and meet local residents. Andy is a superb guide: passionate, patient, organized, friendly and knowledgeable.