Tag Archives: Sport

The UK’s best mountain biking destinations (Part 2)

In the UK’s more Northern quarters, Scotland boasts all levels of mountain biking at 7 Stanes, Glentress. Warm up on the green trail and progress to the blue get the adrenaline rush. The specially designed red trail is the most popular in the forest, giving bikers a playground of beams, elevated trails and jumps to play with, whilst the black route will test the most skilled riders. For those looking to show off some stunts and moves, the free ride park will tempt all those with skills and courage onto its ramps, berms and push-up tracks. For accommodation in this area (The Tweed Valley, for the less geographically inclined of you) there are plenty of bed and breakfasts, hotels and campsites on offer. The Mountain Biking Hospitality Scheme will see to it that both you and your mountain bike are well looked after, suggesting that you stay in the Tweed Valley Bunkhouse, equipped with Gym equipment, a snooker table and most importantly secure cycle storage, this is the perfect cycle accommodation for groups, sleeping up to 12 people.

Grizedale’s forest trail in Cumbria’s Lake District is arguably England’s finest mountain biking destination. The North Face Trail sounds intimidating but is red graded, so a certain level of fitness and technical skill is required to get around the 16km trail of steep descents and leg pumping ascents. Elsewhere in the Lake district, you can pretty much take your bike anywhere, single track trails are available on one of the regions many thousands of footpaths whilst more bike friendly designated routes include Goosey Foot Tarn and the Whinlatter Altura and Quercus trails for more adrenaline kicks.  If throwing yourself off ramps isn’t appealing for you or your two-wheeled friend, there are plenty of gentle lakeside bike friendly trails, by Windermere, Grassmere and Bassenthwaite lakes. Of course the Lake District is packed with many different types of holiday accommodation and lets. The busy towns of Ambleside, Windermere and Keswick (All within a half hour car drive from these trails) have many guest cottages, youth hostels and campsites and so every budget is catered for.

If going up to the Lake District is too far North for you, perhaps the Forest of Dean would suit you better. Fast and flowing trails will have you soaring past trees at an unforgettable pace and the handy BMX trail nearby keeps the stunt lovers entertained for hours as they practice and perfect their tricks. With something for those who want a physical challenge, families, and downhill adrenaline junkies the Forest of Dean will certainly keep you busy.

The UK’s best mountain biking destinations

Believe it or not, the UK is home to some of the top mountain biking trails in the world. Our tiny island’s landscape is the perfect playground for beginners, amateur and expert riders looking for a bike ride rougher than the road.

Wales is by far the most popular for the off-road bike enthusiast. With bike trails and centres in places such as Coed Llandegla in North Wales. This well equipped centre offers trails for families, beginners, intermediates and advanced bikers. It is also possible to rent a bike for as little as £22 for half a day and £32 for a full day. The website has a comprehensive list of itineraries available where you can decide what will be within your comfort zones. Also in North Wales is the ever popular Coed-y-Brenin, the first mountain biking centre in the UK specially built for the purposes of the sport. Trails equipped for the testing novice to the technical experts, there is a wide range of routes on offer for all ranges of mountain biker at Coed-y- Brenin, with single track as well as wider paths for those that feel they need more space. To get a fully catered and guided experience, booking with Mudtrek, a new mountain biking holiday operator will cater to all your needs, providing luxury self-catered accommodation, and it can be done incredibly cheap too! Starting at £95pp for 2 night’s stay, based on 7 sharing, you have two days of brushing up your technique on some of the UK’s best trails.

It would be rude not to give South Wales a mention too. For those with confidence and competence behind the handlebars, make sure to try out Afan and Glyncorrwyg near Port Talbot. Whilst amateurs can try their hand at the some of the gentler trails in this area, anyone up for a fitness and technical challenge should try their hand at the Skyline route. With thirty miles of trail with challenging up hills and technical down hills, you will definitely be rewarded by stunning views of the Breacon Beacons and Presilie countryside. For a place to stay, my regular mountain biking correspondent recommends booking yourself into Bryn Teg House Bed and Breakfast, a comfortable and convenient stay with equipment storage and maintenance tools which is within cycling distance of these popular trails.

Join us tomorrow in part two of our UK mountain biking guide to find out the best of Scotland and England for mountain biking.