We’re really lucky to have some amazing places to ride a mountain bike here in the UK.
Whether you’re after gravity-assisted bike park fun or something a bit more middle-of-nowhere, the UK has it covered.
This piece is all about the very best places to ride your mountain bike in the UK. We’ll point you in the direction of the very best bits of the British Isles with some easy to find and some that need a little bit more hunting out.
Beautiful cycling all year round in North Wales
A purpose-built trail centre that’s great in all weathers and has a brilliant, sign-posted route. Start at the beautiful log-cabin visitor centre and then head out into the hills for a real feeling of being out in the back of beyond. When you’re done, there’s some really fun jumps to test your skills on and one of the best cafes of any mountain bike centre in the UK.
Top tip: Llandegla is a great stop on a North Wales trip. Tie it in with a visit to Coed-y-Brenin and Revolution Bike Park for an unforgettable mountain bike weekend. Don’t miss a night-out in Llangollen just down the road from ‘degla!
Revolution Bike Park has gone from strength to strength in the last few years, starting as a family-run local spot and turning into a full-blown, must-visit destination.
Revolution is all about the gravity and is packed with technical downhill tracks, jumps and drops. It’s uplift only so you don’t even have to worry about pedalling.
Top tip: There are no beginner lines at Revolution Bike Park. Experienced riders only. If you’re really good, give the 50:01 line a try!
The godfather of all trail centres, Coed Y Brenin in north Wales set the blueprint for everything that followed. Sporting an excellent cafe and bike shop and plenty to do for those not cycling, Coed Y Brenin has a skills and training area, as well as green, blue, three red and three black trails. The longest black run, The Beast, takes in 38.2km of some serious Welsh wilderness and will test both fitness and skill.
Top Tip: Go check out the Addams Family sections on the MBR and The Beast trails. They’re one of our favourite trail centre descents out there.
Spectacular views of the peaks when you mountain bike in the Lake District
Nestled between two of the Lake District’s most famous lakes, Grizedale also offers spectacular views of England’s highest rideable peak, Hellvellyn. Grizedale is definitely a good base to explore the mountains beyond when you’ve exhausted the green, blue, orange, red and black routes on offer.
Top Tip: The orange-graded Silurian Way is a fantastic trail for all abilities. Great for those new to mountain biking that are looking for an engaging experience, but well built enough for those experienced cyclists to really let rip.
The Best Cycling locations in the East of England
Swinley is just a stone’s throw from London and makes up for a lack of big hills with seriously fun and flowy trails. Situated just outside the M25, it’s a haven for mountain bikers who want to escape the madness of the Big Smoke.
The trails are perfect for beginners and there’s a green, blue and a red trail that offer plenty of proper mountain biking without any seriously technical terrain. There’s also some really good facilities including an adventure playground for the kids, bike hire and a cafe. Don’t be put off by the unlikely location, Swinley is great fun!
Top tip: Keep an eye out for the spot where Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows was filmed.
Located in County Durham, World Champion Danny Hart took over Hamsterley’s bike park and immediately set about making it one of the more popular downhill spots in the North East.
The park is definitely more tuned towards descending with a rapid uplift back to the top, you’ll need your wits about you here. Short but steep and technical, what the hill lacks in vertical drop it more than makes up for with its bite.
Top tip: Try your hand at the Hot Laps challenge to see where you rank overall against the fast boys and girls.
Quite possibly one of the best places to ride a bike in the UK.
The Forest of Dean has everything from the family-friendly to the sublime and the ridiculous. Go for a spin on any one of the way-marked trails, follow a local to find the off-piste singletrack or book yourself onto the uplift service to spend most of the time blasting down hill.
Top tip: Bacon rolls at the on-site cafe are probably the best in the World.
Explore mountain biking in South Wales
Nestled at the head of the valley above South Wales’ industrial heart, Afan gives you a sense of superb isolation so close to the M4. White’s Level and Yr Wal are legendary in mountain bike circles and are worth the trip on their own.
Afan is a great launching point for a long weekend exploring what South Wales has to offer the mountain biker.
Top tip: Fuel up or refuel at the Corrwg Cwtch, a fully licensed restaurant in Glyncorrwg.
Bikepark Wales have set the standard for all other bike parks to be compared to. Sitting above the M4 in south Wales, it’s easily accessible to a large amount of riders in Wales and southern England.
Not only is it easy to get to, Bikepark Wales sports an ever-growing number of trails for all abilities, as well as a speedy uplift, fully stocked bike shop, bike hire and a cafe. If you like riding bikes, you’ll love Bikepark Wales.
Top tip: Willy Waiver will make you feel like a riding god!
A ride for all levels at Glentress, Scottish Borders
One of the most popular riding spots in the UK, let alone in the Borders of Scotland. Glentress started as a project to revitalise the Tweed Valley and has transformed into an internationally renowned mountain bike mecca.
Glentress has trails for beginners and experienced riders alike as well as one of the very best skills areas going. It’s a great place to visit for a couple of days and the trails come a real sense of back-country adventure once you get up into the hills. There’s also plenty of off-piste riding if you can find a local to show you round!
Top tip: Ride the black graded trail to the mast, then cut down the fireroad, taking the first left to pick up the red graded climb to the top of Spooky Wood. You’ll get all the best climbing and descending that way.
Share your favourite mountain bike locations with us
Of course, this list barely scratches the surface of all the amazing places to mountain bike in the UK. If you think we’ve missed off a must-have favourite, why not let us know and we’ll update the list, contact email@example.com?
We can cover your mountain bikes on home insurance, providing all the specialist cover you need riding trails in the UK, and abroad (we have options for downhill racing as well), and cover for your home and contents at the same time. What’s more, we can usually save you money at the same time.