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  • Writer's pictureMarsh Farm Glamping

Parrett Trail Bikes

Visit Somerset and Meet the Makers!


In the second of our interview series championing local makers, producers and suppliers, we meet Tony, from Parrett Trail Bikes. If you’ve yet to visit our colourful, quirky county, then you are yet to discover its myriad cycle trails. As we’re situated on the Levels, the landscape is fairly flat, and therefore suitable for cyclists of all ages and skills. Many of the routes are circular, with plenty of pit stops along the way from cafes and pubs to cider barns and buses.



Cycling in Somerset at sunset - a cyclist on a bike

One of those pit stops, or even your starting point, should be Parrett Trail Bikes. Here you can not only hire a bike for the day, but also get your own serviced or repaired by Tony himself. You can even pop next door to the fabulous Bridge Canteen and Café whilst you wait (more on The Bridge coming soon).


If you’ve ever thought about cycling in Somerset, or just want to know more about cycle routes in Somerset whilst you’re here, then grab a cuppa and clip on your cleats whilst I take you on a whistle stop tour.


I caught up with Tony to find out a little more about his super popular bike shop and how it all started.


Tony, tell us a little bit about how Parrett Trail Bikes came to be.


Up until 2015 I ran a local newsagents in Langport. By 2015 I decided a change was in order, but not being old enough, or ready, to retire, I began looking at alternatives. I then remembered that there used to be a bike hire and repair shop here, previously. Situated as we are next to the River Parrett, with lots of great cycle routes round and about, it seemed like a great opportunity to restart a cycle business – and so Parrett Trail Bikes began.



What sort of bikes do you have available for hire?


We have a small fleet of 18 bikes and people can hire them on a daily or hourly basis. Some are e-bikes, some are hybrids and some are mountain bikes. We provide helmets free of charge and all our bikes are really well maintained and very importantly, comfortable!



Parrett Trail Bikes Somerset cycles

Why is Langport, and the Somerset Levels so good for cycling and those looking for a cycling holiday in Somerset?  


One of the reasons this area is so popular for cycling holidays is because the terrain is mostly flat. But also, when you get off the A roads, Somerset is a quiet, peaceful county and the lanes are not generally busy. There are also plenty of interesting places to stop at along the way and lots of places to drop in for a bite to eat or a pint of something refreshing. There are also some beautiful walks, so it’s the ideal location if you’re looking to relax a while.

 

 Do you have a favourite route?


Yes! We have the Orchards and Cider Tour, which is extremely popular. It takes in places such as Muchelney Pottery (home of John Leach), Burrowhill Cider Farm, Barrington Court and Brown and Forrest Smokery, amongst others. We have leaflets mapping out the route available in the shop.


Do you offer bike repairs if our guests were to bring their own bikes to you?


Absolutely! We can repair most types of bikes, and if we don’t have the part in stock, we can usually get it in within a day or two.


(At which point I feel the need to share a review I pulled off Tony’s Facebook page, as it seems to sum up what many of his other reviews say, and I think it’s well worth dropping into the interview:


These guys are superb!! Snapped a spoke..... dropped in on the off chance that they could help..... New spoke fitted pretty much in the time it took to have a coffee and cake!!! First Class Service and so reasonable!! Strongly recommend!!

Thank you!’ )



Cycling in Somerset - the outside of Tony's shop

Where is the best place to discover the local cycle routes?

 

Langport Library is a good place to start, at the local information centre desk, but many of the cafes, hostelries and accommodation providers also have flyers and leaflets detailing routes.

 

What do you love most about our corner of Somerset? Can you recommend any hidden gems?


There is so much history to be found here. Scratch a little and underneath you’ll find out about the people and industries that supported the population over the years. How the land was, and still is managed, and how the skills and crafts that people employed to support themselves developed. I can’t possibly have a favourite, I’m still finding new and interesting facts today!

 

Huge thanks to Tony for telling us a little about Parrett Trail bikes, and the fabulous cycling opportunities and cycling routes here in Somerset. If you’re planning a rural escape and are staying at Marsh Farm Glamping, then Tony’s shop is just down the road in the beautiful market town of Langport. The shop is open from 8am to 4pm Wednesdays to Sundays and is situated right next to the river with easy parking.


If you haven’t tried cycling, want to get back in the saddle, or are an experienced pro, do think about bringing your bike, or hiring one from Tony, and enjoying all this stunning county has to offer on a scenic ride. You can also follow Tony and Parrett Trail Bikes on social media – see the links below.


Historical settlements, monuments and moors, willows and withies – we really do have some wonderful routes, taking in some of the fascinating local sites and scenes of South Somerset. For 5 circular routes from easy to challenging, check out Visit South Somerset’s guide here.




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