We asked top blogger Mark Ames of iBikeLondon to join us on a cycling break and share with you his route and top tips.
Mark races through the lanes of Essex, lured by the promise of a seafood picnic.
Keep your eyes peeled for the majestic Marsh Harrier, a bird of prey that returned to Mersey Island to breed in 2007.
We stowed our bikes on the ferry for a short ride to our destination for the day; the remote and wide open plains of Mersea Island. This strange and flat island is surrounded by glittering shallow waters; the favoured habitat of Britain’s best oysters. We bought a dozen for lunch from the Company Shed in West Mersea and devoured them with lemon, some fresh bread and a bottle of beer on the beach, looking out as Thames barges raced across the horizon.
The oysters fuelled our return ride to Colchester, back across the island accompanied by a host of skylarks whistling their merry song as we passed. The sun warmed our backs as we headed north across the expansive landscape, where effortless cycling and never-ending skies combined to make the ride feel like flying.