Five reasons to head to Eroica Britannia this summer - Road Cycling UK

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Five reasons to head to Eroica Britannia this summer

Three-day Festival bigger and better than before at new Friden Grange base

Eroica Britannia promises to be bigger and better than ever before when it returns this summer at its new Friden Grange location.

Taking place from Friday June 16 to Sunday June 18, the three-day festival – headlined by the vintage ride, part of the global L’Eroica Series – packs loads into the family-friendly weekend.

Eroica Britannia promises to be bigger and better than ever before in 2017 (pic – Joey O’Connell/Eroica)

With live music and a celebration of the very Best of British, there really is something for everyone and plenty of reason to book in for the full three days.

We’ve taken a closer look at why Eroica Britannia should be on your to-do list in 2017…

Get your vintage on

L’Eroica celebrates the age of heroes; of steel bikes, casquettes and wool jerseys; and of getting by with teeth gritted and thighs burning.

Eroica Britannia allows you to sample a throwback to that era, with all riders required to ride pre-1987 road bikes and get their vintage garb on – the more flamboyant and traditional, the better.

L’Eroica celebrates the age of heroes, with Eroica Britannia adding a twist of Britishness (pic: L’Eroica)

It’s more than a fancy-dress parade with three tough routes available (more on those in a bit) but the occasion is just as important as the ride.

Why not start your own pre-1987 bike build for the event? And then channel your inner Merckx, Anquetil or Coppi to tackle the Peak District’s gravel routes.

Expanded Festival

The ride is the main event, but the whole Eroica Britannia has been expanded for 2017, with the new Friden Grange location allowing more people to enjoy even more from the festival.

The new base means new routes, more camping space and headline music acts, while festival-goers can enjoy music, shopping, food and plenty of vintage over the weekend.

This year’s festival has been expanded thanks to the new location at Friden Grange (pic – Joey O’Connell/Eroica)

Also new for 2017 is the ‘quintessentially British pub’, the “Britannia Arms Tavern” while platinum-selling 1980s band ABC headline the live music.

Don’t miss “The Settlement” – a back-to-basics campfire and craft area – or “The Great British Beach” and open-air “Sundown Cinema” either.

Throw in bike talks, vintage shopping, fairground rides, street food, campfires and entertainers and you have a Festival atmosphere everyone can enjoy.

Best of British

The main focal point of Eroica Britannia is a celebration of all that makes Britain great, from the quintessentially British pub to local food and crafts.

Eroica Britannia celebrates the Best of British (pic – Eroica)

L’Eroica may have started in Italy, and Eroica Britannia retains the same ethos of that event, but adds a twist of Britishness to the occasion.

A “Best in Show” competition, “The Great British Beach” and the celebration of era-specific British music all adds to the attraction.

Bring the family

The beauty of Eroica Britannia is that, even if vintage bike sportives aren’t your thing, there is plenty to enjoy.

So if you want to channel your inner Merckx but your other half (and the kids) don’t want to, you can still all make a weekend of it.

The full festival line-up means there’s plenty to enjoy for the whole family (pic – Joey O’Connell/Eroica)

There are also two free rides – a Twilight Adventure and the Islabikes Family Ride – squeezed into the weekend too – it’s not even all about the Sunday’s sportive from a riding point of view.

Camping pitches start at £70 for tents and £100 for motor homes, with a number of ‘boutique camping’ options also available if you want to go a bit upmarket.

Three Peak District routes to ride

None of that can distract from the original focal point of the weekend, however – the ride.

Friden Grange is ideally placed for the gravel roads of the Peak District, with the High Peak Trail a key part of the headline ride.

“While the Festival is all about good times, The Ride is not a fancy dress procession,” the say, outlining the difficulty factor.

The shortest, 25-mile route features 1,250ft of climbing, while the 55-mile route packs in 4,084ft of elevation.

Three tough Peak District routes have been chosen for the Eroica Britannia ride (pic – Eroica)

The 100-mile “Hero” route, meanwhile, takes in the best of the Peak District National Park, with more than 8,400ft of climbing to negotiate.”

They are three great routes to ride, with very different characteristics – once again, something for everyone seems to be the mantra.

For more information on Eroica Britannia, to view the full Festival programme and explore the Ride routes, and to book tickets, visit

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