Thrilling, gruelling and really rather muddy, mountain biking is one of the UK’s favourite outdoor pursuits. Since the 1980’s, when the first fat-tired cycle rolled off the production line, thousands of us have headed for the nearest hills to take a ride on these tough two wheelers. But the question is, where’s the best place in the UK to go mountain biking? Seeing as it’s Bike Week, we thought we’d take a look.
Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire
With its enchanting tree-hidden trails, the Forest of Dean is a mecca for off-road cyclists. Easy on little legs whilst still pretty enough for a romantic ride, the forest offers plenty of room to let loose beneath the leafy canopy. Families will love the family cycle trail, an 11 mile circular route connecting numerous villages, whilst experienced riders will enjoy the challenge of the Freeminer Trail; four miles of hairpin bends, rooty drops and switchback hill climbs.
Bewl Water, Kent
One of the Garden of England’s finest water features, Bewl Water is a playground for all manner of outdoor pursuits including walking, horse riding and of course, cycling. One route around the reservoir is the aptly named Round Reservoir Route, which passes through peaceful meadows, rich woodlands and quiet country lanes, making it the perfect place for a pedal on a balmy summer’s day.
Tissington Trail, The Peak District
Skirting the remnants of an abandoned railway, the Tissington Trail is a fantastic way to take in the beauty of the Peaks on two wheels. At 13 miles long, the route is ideal for cyclists of all abilities, providing a quick jaunt for pros and a pleasant day’s ride for families. Sites to see along the trail include Tissington Hall and Hartington Village, both of which are ideal stopping off points should you need a rest.
Grizedale Forest, The Lake District
Steep climbs and rutted terrain make Grizedale Forest the place for mountain biking in the Lake District. Trails in the forest vary from relaxing woodland paths to adrenaline pumping black runs that will test even the most experienced downhill fanatic. One of our favourites is the Hawkshead Moor Trail, a 10.5 mile undulating route offering panoramic views of Coniston, Ambleside and the Langdale Fells- just be prepared for some serious pedalling on uphill sections!
Calderdale, Yorkshire Dales
On the cusp of the Yorkshire Dales lies Calderdale, a picturesque pocket of wilderness that lends itself nicely to the pursuit of extreme sport. Expect fabulous views, pretty heathlands and lots of hill climbs in this area, as well as a plethora of country pubs from which to savour a proper Yorkshire pint. One of Calderdale’s best trails is Calderdale Circuit; an 18 mile loop featuring gravel tracks, exposed moorlands and quiet dells that are just waiting to be explored by mountain bike.
Boasting a rich array of trails and a distinct alpine atmosphere, Machynlleth in Powys, Wales is the ideal place from which to embark on a mountain bike adventure in the stunning Dyfi Valley. Waymarked trails of varying difficulties lead you out of town and into a beautiful, mountainous landscape, where riders of all abilities can witness the spellbinding beauty of the Snowdonia National Park. If you’re an experienced mountain bike enthusiast, opt for the Mach 3 or Cli-machx route, man-made trails offering a series of hair-raising technical features.
Get set for a mountain bike break with Sykes Cottages!
If mud and mountains are on your holiday wishlist, why not rent a cottage for a mountain bike holiday from Sykes Cottages? We’ve got loads of self-catering holiday homes that would make a great base for a mountain bike break, so check out our cottages for cyclists page and choose your favourite today!