Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Sunset at Nubble Light
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Highlights

  • Cycling through diverse landscapes; tidal inlets, colourful New England villages, gently rolling farmland and wildlife refuges
  • Discovering Federal architecture and maritime history aplenty
  • Exploring the spectacular beaches, trails and boardwalks of the thousand-acre Crane Beach
  • Staying in a seaside resort listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Kennebunkport, which overlooks the Atlantic Ocean, the Kennebunk River and its own private beach
  • Enjoying views over the natural barrier island of Plum Island, one of the USA’s prime birding destinations

This New England Coastal Cycling tour follows the north-eastern coast of the USA through the states of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. Celebrate classic New England shorelines and discover hidden pockets of history, quiet byways and one of the country’s top birding destinations, Plum Island.

Make your way along scenic routes that meander between old stone walls, centuries-old farms, broad vistas of salt-marshes and wide sandy beaches. Stay in colourful seaports and perhaps drop down to a boat-filled cove where you will find an enticing clam-shack.

Begin in Newburyport, an eclectic town full of charm and stay in an historic luxury inn, at one time the home of a successful merchant. The first day of cycling takes you down peaceful roads to the Great Marsh, perhaps spotting a Snowy Egret or a Great Blue Heron as you scour the horizon. You will also pass through the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge and classic new England villages, such as Topsfield and Newbury.

An inland cycle alongside the Merrimack River brings you to Lowell’s Boat Shop, the oldest continuously run boat-builder in the USA and a National Historic Landmark. From here turn north and head into the state of New Hampshire and to the town of Exeter which was discovered over 130 years before the American Revolution! Immerse yourself in typical seaside locales as you cycle through Kittery and York, perhaps taking photographs of the incredibly picturesque Nubble Light. Your tour finishes in Kennebunkport, Maine, a long-time ship-building mecca and originally settled in the 1600’s.

Your self-guided cycling tour of New England includes 4 nights in historic inns/hotels and 2 nights in a seaside resort, 6 breakfasts, transfers between the local train stations and the accommodations, an orientation and welcome meeting, comprehensive information pack, maps and detailed cycling route descriptions.

DAY 1: Arrive Newburyport

Make your way from Boston to Newburyport. After checking into your historic inn, perhaps you would like to take some time to explore this historic town which is located on the North Shore of Massachusetts. It has a wonderful eclectic charm and has a boardwalk next to the river which is perfect for an evening stroll.


Overnight: Garrison Inn, Newburyport


The Garrison Inn is a luxury boutique property which is located in Brown Square Park at the heart of Newburyport’s historic centre. It is built in  the Georgian style and the rooms have plush upholstery and are the epitome of sophistication and comfort. Enjoy time  at the next door state-of-the-art fitness centre, pool and spa.


DAY 2: Through the Great Marsh—12 or 17 miles

This morning one of our team will deliver your bike, make sure it fits and will give you an orientation and introduction to the area. They will also accompany you for the first few miles of your cycle which will take you through the Great Marsh with fabulous views of Plum Island, a natural barrier island of sand dunes and marsh grasses. This area is one of the country’s top birding destinations as it is on a migratory route,  so you will possibly see Greater Yellowlegs, Snowy Egrets, Piping Plovers and Peregrine Falcons (depending on the time of year). The return route takes you through the Parker River Wildlife Refuge.


Overnight: Garrison Inn, Newburyport


DAY 3: Cycle loop from Newburyport—42 or 50 miles

Begin your cycle today by taking a quiet back road through the classic New England towns of Newbury, Topsfield and Hamilton, before reaching the coast once more and the thousand-acre Crane Beach. This is one of the Northeast’s most spectacular beaches and perhaps you would like to lock up your bike and  take some time to follow trails and boardwalks through a landscape of sand dunes and salt marsh.


Your return route passes through Ipswich, home to the USA’s largest collection of First-Period houses (circa 1625-1725).


Overnight: Garrison Inn, Newburyport


DAY 4: Inland cycle along the Merrimack River—41 or 47 miles

Take an inland route with broad valley views alongside the Merrimack River. Arrive at Lowell’s Boat Shop, a National Historic Landmark before turning north and into the state of New Hampshire. Pass by numerous horse farms and apple orchards before arriving in Exeter, an excellent place to stop for lunch. It has a rich history which dates back to 1638, over 130 years before the American Revolution!


Your ride this afternoon follows the coastline once more past Fort Constitution, scene of a colonial revolt. On arrival at your next destination, Portsmouth, you can take an optional visit to the Strawbery Banke Museum (time-permitting). Located in the heart of historic downtown it is an authentic ten-acre outdoor museum that preserves and enlivens three centuries of war and peace in the same New England waterfront neighbourhood.


Settle into your very comfortable hotel in Haymarket Square, Portsmouth


Overnight: Hotel Portsmouth, Portsmouth


With 34 elegantly appointed rooms, this hotel is within walking distance from Portsmouth’s shops and restaurants. It was the Queen-Anne style home of John Sise, a successful merchant and Portsmouth businessman. Each room is uniquely decorated with period furnishings and you can enjoy the many modern amenities.


DAY 5: Cross the Piscatagua River to Kennebunkport—42 miles

Today’s ride passes though classic New England coastlines and the seaside villages of Kittery and  York. Stop at Cape Neddick for a lunchtime treat of fresh lobster roll whilst taking in views of the Nubble Light, a picturesque and often-photographed lighthouse. It features a charming, Victorian keeper's house with gingerbread trim and a lantern with miniature cast iron lighthouses on its railing. This afternoon there are many highlights on view, scenic tidal inlets, pristine evergreen forests and pretty rolling farmland.


Ride into Kennebunkport, settled in the 1600’s and a long time ship-building mecca.


Overnight: Colony Hotel, Kennebunkport


The Colony Hotel has been owned and operated by the same family since 1947 and is a recognizable landmark from land and sea overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the Kennebunk River and its private beach. It is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places and is a  picturesque getaway with 125 guestrooms each with its own distinctive style and ocean, river, or garden view.


DAY 6: Coastal loop from Kennebunkport—10 or 34 miles

After breakfast overlooking the Atlantic Ocean begin your cycle route today by riding past Walker Point, through the Rachel Carson Wildlife Refuge and to the land’s end villages of Cape Porpoise and Biddeford Pool. Cape Porpoise was named by explorer Captain John Smith in 1614 during his exploration of New England.


This afternoon you may like to spend some free time exploring the local beaches, or strolling around the tranquil grounds of the local Franciscan monastery. Tonight you can eat dinner at the hotel or find a local restaurant in the town or port.


Overnight: Colony Hotel, Kennebunkport


DAY 7: Onward Travel

After breakfast you can make your onward journeys. A transfer to Wells Train Station from your hotel is included. Perhaps you would like to add additional nights in Boston or New York City. If so, just ask our reservation specialists for details, or book them on-line via our website.


Accommodation

Your trip includes 4 nights in historic inns/hotels and 2 nights in a seaside resort.  


Alternate Accommodation

During the high season you might be booked into alternative accommodations which are not listed in the description. However they will be of the same or better standard that those listed.


Single Rooms

If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable.


Meals

6 Breakfasts are included. You can either eat dinner in the inns or at local restaurants. There are plenty of restaurants from which you can choose and in your information pack we give you some good recommendations. For lunch there are gourmet shops close by which can provide you with a wonderful packed lunch (payable locally).

Availability

This trip is available to start on Sundays from May 1st until October 31st.


Time of Year

New England offers nice weather from about the middle of May through to the end of October. Spring is lovely for the blooming flowers such as daffodils, crocuses and lilacs, whereas Summer is hot and sunny and perfect swimming weather. Fall (from about mid-September onwards) is very popular due to the fall foliage colours. The leaves start changing colour in the northern regions of Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire typically around mid-to-late September, peaking around mid-October. In the more southern states and along the coast of New Hampshire and southern Maine, colour changes start later and last up until November. You can find a useful guide for tracking foliage here - http://www.visitnh.gov/4-seasons/fall-harvest/foliage/foliage-tracker.aspx


Grade & Terrain

This trip is graded easy to moderate and is suitable for most people that are in good physical condition. It is more on the moderate side in terms of distances, but easy to moderate regarding ups and downs with short hills of approximately one eighth to one quarter mile. The majority of the cycling will be on quiet back roads and byways that are in the country or follow the coastline. You should be a regular cyclist and have a good level of fitness in order to enjoy this trip to the maximum.


Equipment

Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard cycling gear such as quick-drying layered clothing, a waterproof jacket and comfortable biking shorts.


Navigation, Route Notes & Maps

You will be provided with detailed maps, written cycling directions and background information on sights along the way. Additionally, your bike will be delivered on the morning of day 2 and you will be given an orientation and welcome briefing. The local representative will cycle the first few miles with you to orient you to the bike and to your surroundings.


Bikes

Bike hire is included in the cost of this tour. A top quality 24 or 27-speed Trek hybrid or a Cannondale road bike are available and the bike will be delivered to you after breakfast on the morning of Day 2 and picked up from the last accommodation. The bikes come with a helmet, water bottle, a handlebar bag with a map case, mini-pump, spare tube, adjustment kit (multi-tool) and lock.


Baggage Transfers

Baggage transfers between accommodations are included. We ask that you only bring one bag per person and please limit the weight of your bag to 20kg per person.


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.


General Information

The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard cycling gear such as quick-drying layered clothing, a waterproof jacket and comfortable biking shorts.

Getting to Newburyport

The closest airport to Newburyport is Boston Logan Airport. There are many airlines that fly into Boston, both from within North America, from Europe and other parts of the world. If you are flying from the UK an option is Aer Lingus via either Shannon or Dublin.


On arrival into Boston Logan you can either take a taxi or a train (on the “T”,  Boston’s subway system) to North Station. A taxi will cost around $25 and the train around $2. Upon arrival into North Station you can take the MBTA Rockport/Newburyport Line train. There are trains departing every 1-2 hours, depending on the day and the journey takes about 1 hour. You can find times and schedules on the MBTA website.


Please provide us with your arrival time in Newburyport as a transfer is included to your accommodation.


Getting from Wells

A transfer from your accommodation in Kennebunkport to Wells Train Station will be provided (an approximate 25 minute transfer). From Wells you can take the Amtrak Downeaster train which takes about 2 hours back to Boston North Station. The trains depart approximately 5 times per day.



Alternatively you can take the Amtrak 45 minutes up to Portland, ME. From there a taxi is $8 to the Portland International Jetport, which has excellent connections for domestic and international flights.




 

Included

  • 4 Nights in historic inns/hotels and 2 nights in a seaside resort.
  • 6 Breakfasts
  • Baggage transfers
  • Transfer from Newburyport Train Station to accommodation
  • Transfer from accommodation in Kennebunkport to Wells Train Station
  • Delivery of bikes on morning of Day 2 inclusive of an welcome and orientation meeting
  • Bike rental
  • Detailed maps and written cycling directions
  • Emergency telephone support from our local partner and the Macs Adventure office

Excluded

  • Travel to Newburyport
  • Travel from Wells Station
  • Dinners, lunches, snacks & drinks
  • Travel Insurance

Extras

  • Single room or supplement(s) if applicable
  • Additional nights

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as the accommodations do fill up quickly. However, we will always try to accommodate your plans.

How fit do I need to be?

This trip is graded easy to moderate and is suitable for most people that are in good physical condition. It is more on the moderate side in terms of distances, but easy to moderate regarding ups and downs with short hills of approximately one eighth to one quarter mile. The majority of the cycling will be on quiet back roads and byways that are in the country or follow the coastline. You should be a regular cyclist and have a good level of fitness in order to enjoy this trip to the maximum. 

How do the baggage transfers work?

Baggage transfers between accommodations is included. We ask that you only bring one bag per person and please limit the weight of your bag to 20kg per person.

What equipment do I need?

Your detailed informato pack will be sent to you after you book. This has a detailed equipment list which includes standard cycling gear such as quick-drying layered clothing, a waterproof jacket and confortable biking shorts.

When is the best time of year?

New England offers nice weather from about the middle of May through to the end of October. Spring is lovely for the blooming flowers such as daffodils, crocuses and lilacs, whereas Summer is hot and sunny and perfect swimming weather. Fall (from about mid-September onwards) is very popular due to the fall foliage colours. The leaves start changing colour in the northern regions of Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire typically around mid-to late September, peaking around mid-October. In the more southern states and along the coast of New Hampshire and southern Maine, colour changes start later and last up until November. You can find a useful guide for tracking foliage here - http://www.visitnh.gov/4-seasons/fall-harvest/foliage/foliage-tracker.aspx

 

 


 


 

 

 


 




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Macs Adventure - Head Office: Skypark 5, 45 Finnieston Street, Glasgow, G3 8JU, UK

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