But I settled on Exmoor for a day and a half. That's all I could squeeze in.
My friend Kat and I set off in the blustery cold wind and pedalling clear of Bristol before most people were scraping their bacon rinds in the bin. We spun round the airport and laughed at the plane spotters, roared down the steep hill to the Mendips and quickly shot out to the Quantock hills. A sweaty, backbreaking climb later and we were drinking our first pot of tea and scouring the map for the best route.
Another few tens of miles later and we were pedalling beneath the tall mottled beach hedges of Exmoor, glimpsing the sea to our right, then plunging down towards Wimbelball Reservoir and up again to Bampton for doughnuts and coffee on the pavement. 5 hours done. Lovely.
A quick check of the phone reminded me we had been invited to stop by a friend's house for a paddle in the hot tub if we had time. Only 20 miles away and en route. Did we have time?
A final 9 miles and we were at our destination for wine, casserole, cats and an open fire. Thanks Mum and Dad!
9hours sleep later we were up and the sky had cleared ready for our 50 mile spin back home and to work. The roads were busy and the peace of Exmoor had disappeared as we ploughed into a bright windy morning, taking it in turn to pull on the front. A little less conversation, a little more concentration but a decent pace and Bristol was soon just around the corner.
Home. Food. Work. Conference papers. Marking. Deadlines. Normality returns. Bah!