Silver Travel Book Club - May 2021

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Silver Travel Book Club

Each month, we'll explore a different destination, and two lucky Silver Travel Book Club readers can win a free copy of the month's book.

Cycling for SoftiesThis month the Silver Travel Book Club – proudly sponsored by Cycling for Softies – is reading 'Sparkling Wine: The Vineyards of England and Wales' by Stewart Wilde.

In the space of a few short years, English and Welsh sparkling wines have become recognised as some of the best in the world. Improvements in viniculture, a changing climate and terroir that often mimics the conditions found in the Champagne region of France have combined with the care and attention of predominantly artisanal makers to make fantastic wine. Travelling around more than 50 vineyards, Sparkling Wine celebrates this revolution. This book will provide an effervescent accompaniment to any vineyard tour.

Woodingdean, East Sussex

Sparkling Sussex

This summer you can enjoy the very best of Sussex and its burgeoning wine scene on Cycling for Softies 'Sparkling Sussex e-bike tour'.

The seaside county of Sussex is one of the sunniest in the UK and offers the perfect blend of country and coast. The rolling hills of the South Downs are home to some of the best cycling in the UK, offering mile after mile of riding through peaceful countryside, quaint villages and beautiful landscapes. The cycle route will take you through the South Downs, down the River Arun and along coastal paths.

Of course, this wouldn’t be a Softies tour without a little wining and dining! The county has a growing reputation for producing world-class English sparkling wines, and it’s highly recommended you try a glass (or two) of Sussex sparkling. The Sparkling Sussex tour introduces you to some of the region’s best vineyards – the perfect place to take some time out of the saddle.

By night, you can look forward to cosying up in charming boutique hotels, with indulgent spa and fabulous restaurants.

River Adur, near Shoreham
Vineyard visit

The wonderful team of cycle reps are on hand to support you throughout, transporting your luggage from hotel to hotel, and sharing their top tips on the area. All you need to do is enjoy the ride!

To find out more visit cycling-for-softies.co.uk.

Sparkling Wine by Stewart Wilde

How to win a copy of 'Sparkling Wine: The Vineyards of England and Wales' by Stewart Wilde

Remember those halcyon days when you could leave home on your bike, explore all day and just needed to be home before it was dark. 

Simply add a comment at the end of this page to tell us about your favourite childhood cycling memory and the two best entries will win a copy of this book.


Read more about all of our Silver Travel Book Club books.

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Other Members' Thoughts - 27 Comment(s)

  • Patricia48
    5 months ago
    Can only remember falling off! I’d have an excuse this time … too much sparkling wine … it would be worth it though.
  • Genobeba
    5 months ago
    I remember learning to ride my bike when I was a student in Hull-very flat then returning to Huddersfield where there are lots of hills!
  • ChristineT
    5 months ago
    My parents couldn't afford bikes for us as kids, but I do remember hurtling around the tricycle track in Rhyl on holiday one year, peddalling as fast as my little legs could take me!
  • you
    5 months ago
    My parents were Very Strict... I was not allowed outside of the front or back door unless they were with me....
    so pushbikes, roller skates or indeed any outside activities were things I never had the chance to experience. I had a lot of lost time to make up for in middle age and later..
    I still have things I would like to have a chance of doing.
  • Ladybird_1
    5 months ago
    My parents would never let me have a bike as a close friend very sadly had a tragic accident on one.
    Being a rather wilful teenager, I borrowed a friends bike and wobbled round the streets of Coventry during rush hour one day. Mum &Dad would have had a fit if they had known. I can only, looking back, be thankful it was 1958 so much less traffic than today. I remember feeling pretty scared though. It would have been so much better for my parents to have brought me a bike and taught me to ride it properly. I’ve tried so many times but wobble all over the place and need to get off every time a car comes along. I’ve missed the pleasure of being able to cycle all my life.
  • Barbarasct
    5 months ago
    Summer days in Cornwall cycling up to the bus to take me to school, then home again down a country lane full of wildflowers, pink campions and cow parsley. Bees buzzing, butterflies filling the hedgerows and the birds singing. The lanes positively exuded heat on those hot summer afternoons.
  • SilverTravelEditor
    5 months ago
    Lots of happy memories here. I'm an avid cyclist and having a home in Suffolk (where thankfully it's not too hilly!) I love cycling over the Bailey Bridge from the village of Walberswick to Southwold along an old railway line. Considerably quicker than going by car.
  • SilverTravelEditor
    5 months ago
    Lots of happy memories here. I'm an avid cyclist and having a home in Suffolk (where thankfully it's not too hilly! ). I love cycling over the Bailey Bridge from the village of Walberswick to Southwold along an old railway line. Considerably quicker than going by car.
  • wallers
    5 months ago
    Cycling form Itchenor in West Sussex to West wittering along the coastal footpath to meet friends on the beach at East Head & play in the sand dunes, watching the boats sail by.
  • Sararose
    5 months ago
    I was born in Sussex but brought up in Malvern. Malvern is very hilly but I learned to ride a bike there and I remember my father heading a strung out line of three small cyclists up some of the steep hills. I was usually the last in the line and pushed my bike more than I actually rode it! However I loved freewheeling down the hills until one day I fell over the handlebars. My pride was more wounded than my body!
    When I was a teenager my granny bought me a brand new bike for Christmas. She bought my sister a pair of slippers which didn't fit her but fitted me! I was very much her favourite grandchild which was very unfair.
    Although I stayed with my granny in Sussex every year I never had a bike to ride whilst there so I would love to try Cycling for Softies.
  • Thelly
    5 months ago
    Childhood cycling memories are my Dad getting me to try a two wheeler, doing well then scraping my knuckles all along a wall. Nice. I didn't give up though and had wonderful times with my Dad. Now I have a partner who has got me cycling a lot more at 80!
  • loub
    6 months ago
    sounds really interesting - drink for thought :)
  • Ozdevon
    6 months ago
    Now that is a plan....cycling and enjoying English wine (in moderation of course.) The book would be an excellent way of turning up to the vineyards with at least some knowledge of the product!
  • Floris
    6 months ago
    I loved cycling when I was child. We didn't have to worry about traffic and could ride our bikes at speed along the country lanes, racing along with our friends without a care in the world. life seemed so much more tranquil back then!
  • Bigfella
    6 months ago
    Takes me back to school summer holidays when I used to load myself and fishing tackle onto a second hand bike for days out around Essex (rain or shine). Mum & Dad seemed happy enough that I was adequately occupied and out of trouble. Left home at dawn and came back before it got dark and although ages ago now can still remember the expectation and enjoyment,
  • Dave-SoS
    6 months ago
    My favourite memory of cycling is receiving my first 'big boy' bike. What celebration that was! ...and you can bet I flew out the door to give it a spin down the road as soon as I'd said my obligatory 'thank you'!
  • SilverTravelUser_4769
    6 months ago
    I have such fond memories of my mom taking me to school, me on my tiny bike next to her big bike, and how she would gently put her hand in the nape of my neck to help me out and push me along a bit whenever I got a bit tired. Happy Dutch childhood!
  • Hitchin_Pete
    6 months ago
    I remember cycling in North Wales as a child on quiet country roads. One day I was free-wheeling down hill on a quiet, windy road when I rounded a corner to be greeted by a flock of sheep being moved up the road by the farmer. I frantically hit the brakes, then had to crash in to the bank at the side of the road to avoid the sheep! I remember lying on the ground and being glad I had missed them all, as a sheep dog come up and sniffed at me!
  • ProfDerek
    6 months ago
    I remember back in about 1963 cycling from London to Brighton and back stuck in a 'Sturmy Archer' third (top) gear...gosh those were the days! The roads of course were kinder then, way less traffic!
  • Hardyplant
    6 months ago
    During my childhood our family transport was bikes as we had no car so my sister and I regularly rode a 6 mile round trip through the countryside to visit our grandparents (Mum wouldn't let us ride on the main road), or the 18 mile round trip to see an aunt and uncle. Both routes took us past acres of apple and cherry orchards, through areas that have now been turned into huge vineyards like the ones in Sussex. My favourite memory was cycling to my aunt and uncle on 2 June, 1953 - Coronation Day - as they were the only people we knew who had a television. We sat on the floor in front of the polished wooden cabinet with its tiny flickering screen, absolutely entranced. Then we got back on our bikes and cycled home again along wet lanes, but it was worth it. By the way, I love English wine, particularly sparkling.
  • Geety
    6 months ago
    Most of my childhood memories of cycling are of days exploring the flat countryside between Southport and Preston- little effort and much interest. However, there was one incident which was memorable in a less pleasant way. One of those days when I was cycling with primary-school age friends in the neighbourhood, all trying to impress each other, a daring but misguided wheel spin on gravel left me lying in the floor with a brake lever pushed through my palm. My memory of the trip to the hospital was very hazy, but the display of the bandage and the bragging rights lasted for quite a time.I now have no trace of the injury, so I guess there was some very skilled treatment at the time.
  • EddieLawrence
    6 months ago
    I remember as a nine year old travelling home from school on the bus and thinking I can cycle the nine miles there and back that evening.
    The problem was I didn't tell anyone - cue a search party and irate parents!!
  • susan_108
    6 months ago
    As a 12 /13 year old living in Birmingham my friend and I would cycle every Saturday, way out of the city, south into the Worcestershire countryside. Miles and miles we'd ride enjoying the fields, wild life and fresh air. During the summer holidays we'd do this several times a week. That was back in the early 60s when worry about 'safety' did not seem to feature so much. By the time I was 16, I'd changed from a bicycle to a Vespa scooter, because my family had moved to the outskirts of Birmingham and I needed to get back into the city ! The next time I rode a bicycle was at the age of 68 when it seemed a nice alternative to my car. Maybe when I'm 75, I'll get a motor bike.
  • Johnny99
    6 months ago
    In my youth I took holidays to Cornwall and Wales with the Cyclist Touring Club and it was great fun except for the worn out legs! Nowadays I`m happy to visit vineyards with my wife so the book would be very handy
  • GrahamRobinson
    6 months ago
    I had a bicycle as a child but I fell off it a few too many times and came home scuffed and bleeding. My mother seemed more bothered about me ripping my school uniform and insisted that I walk to school after that!