Cyclists and vintage fun at this weekend’s Eroica Britannia

Eroica Britannia. Photo By Kahler.
Eroica Britannia. Photo By Kahler.

Thousands of lovers of vintage, Great British life and style, fashion and of course retro cycling will flock to Friden Grange in the Peak District from Friday, June 15.

Over the last five years the family festival Eroica Britannia has become famous for its global appeal and mass gatherings of retro enthusiasts who come together for a three-day celebration of the good life and the bike.

Five years ago, Eroica Britannia was a brand new concept to the UK - based on the Italian heritage bike event L’Eroica. Half a decade later Eroica Britannia is one of the biggest vintage gatherings in the UK’s festival calendar and has proven itself as both a successful vintage family friendly festival and also as one of the hardest, well respected - yet stylish cycling challenges around - stamping a clear ‘something for everyone’ message across the weekend!

The three-day line-up of live music and family festival activities includes The Adventure Kids Club for den building, stargazing and crafts and Great British summertime traditions such as maypole dancing and Best in Show inspired by village fetes.

Cycling has been kept firmly at the heart of the weekend with heroes and legends of the cycling world as top billing.

Big adventures and family fun for everyone on the bikes means The Light of Luciano ‘Twilight Ride’ to the pub on the Friday and The British Cycling Family Ride on Saturday have received record entries. The British Cycling Family Ride sidesteps the usual ‘pre-1987’ rule book and allows riders and bikes of all ages to take part on a traffic free explorations of the Peak District in high summer.

The main message behind Eroica Britannia 2018 is to ‘motivate and inspire’ and sees double Olympic gold medalist and 9x world champion Victoria Pendleton CBE host a Q&A about bikes, adventures and all things vintage style. Brian Robinson, the first Briton to finish the Tour de France and the first to win a Tour stage will be sharing heroic tales of adventure and endurance. Serial entrepreneur Dave Loughran and Holdsworth team frontman - former World Tour rider and British road race champion Russell Downing will also give a fascinating insight into the Holdsworth brand and their 13-man UCI continental professional squad - Holdsworth Pro Racing which recently competed in the Tour de Yorkshire this year. Paolo Bianchini - the man behind Ciacci, Eroica Britannia’s official wine sponsor is a pro-cyclist turned professional winemaker and will be embarking on lectures and discussions around his two passions, cycling and winemaking!

None so inspiring as the thousands of Classic Riders, who will be taking to the trails, tracks. lanes of The Peak District on Sundau, June 17, to complete a 30, 60 or 100 mile route on pre-1987 retro road bikes. Food stops on The Ride will feature local favourites Thornbridge ‘Handsome Ale’ and The Bakewell Pudding Parlour who will also be refreshing and fueling riders on their return to Friden Grange.

Regulars - especially those who attended Friden Grange in 2017 will immediately notice a new look for the festival. All of the familiar key structures have moved locations - including Eroica Britannia Headquarters, The Britannia Arms - and even the main stage has been replaced by a Timber Barn - which is geared up to host ‘The Great British Barn Dance’ - a giant community ‘dance off’ on Saturday evening.

The only area of the Festival not to have changed is The Adventure Kids Club - part hosted in the forested section of Friden Grange and the purpose built start-line leading directly onto the trails for the start of The Light of Luciano Twilight Ride, The British Cycling Family Ride and The Classic Ride. Parking and Camping locations have also been moved to accommodate changes and for extra ease of movement for day trippers and weekend visitors.

Eroica Britannia runs from June 15 to 17. Free admission for under 12s. Adult advance purchase festival tickets £20 day pass, £35 3-day pass, camping from £75 for three nights (June 15-18) glamping from £185. The Ride (June 17,2018) is £60/£80 (includes 3-day festival pass, all food and drink on ride day and a goodie bag stashed full of great things). Bike hire available. Bike Hire available.

For more details, visit www.eroicabritannia.co.uk