With mountain biking becoming increasingly popular in the UK, it can be hard to stumble upon a remote trail where you are almost guaranteed not t0 run into another cyclist.
Sometimes the best rides are those along trails that you have completely to yourself with no one to see you mess up a drop-off or race past you on a tricky climb.
That’s why we’ve been searching out some of the most remote mountain bike routes out there for you to tackle next time you’re feeling the need for a lonesome ride – just don’t all go at once.
The Farndale Loop, North Yorkshire Moors
A circular route starting from Low Mill car park, the Farndale Loop is a 22.9 mile ride almost entirely off-road through remote North Yorkshire upland.
Riders need to carry with them everything that they will need throughout the ride as there are no shops anywhere along the route.
Cycling along a mixture of farm track, moorland single track and through fords, you will have to tackle boggy patches and overground sections that occasionally will force you to give up pedalling and carry your bike.
Bloody Bush Mountain Bike Trail
Beginning at Kielder Castle the route crosses over completely remote landscapes between Kielder Water and Forest Park and the Scottish border. It’s an incredibly picturesque route but the danger of its remoteness is not to be taken lightly.
The weather can rapidly change from brilliant sunshine to harsh blizzards so make sure you are fully prepared for all events and that someone knows that you are cycling the route.
The Gap, Brecon Beacons
Taking in the Gap Road, the Brecon Canal, the Taff Trail and the Brinmore Tramway, The Gap trail through Brecon Beacons is a 23.6 mile red route offering stunning views and varying terrains.
Beginning with a grassy stretch, you will pass over strips of gravel and a few rocky sections before having to work your way through a ford towards the end of the trail due to a collapsed bridge.
Unlikely to see anyone else throughout the ride, take sufficient food and water to keep you going during the tough bits.
Point of Ayre to The Sound, Isle of Man
Beginning at the northern most tip of the Isle of Man and finishing at the most southern point, the Point of Ayre to the Sound route is 46 miles of varied terrain riding.
Pedalling along moorland paths, forest single tracks and fast fire roads; many sections of the route are completely void of people making this an enjoyable, peaceful and remote route to lose yourself in.
Every September a competitive End 2 End race follows this route, so unless you fancy getting involved plan ahead to ensure you don’t turn up on the same day.
Coastal Donegal, Northern Ireland
In true remote mountain biking style, you’ll need a couple of ordnance survey maps to plan a route around Coastal Donegal.
There is heaps of terrain just waiting to be ridden but many apparent trails lead to dead ends half way up mountains, so it’s better to plan a ride rather than just pedalling off and hoping for the best.
If you’re after a long distance route starting from Donegal, try the 200 mile North West Trail that passes through Tyrone, Fermanagh, Leitrim and Sligo.
Glen Tilt, Beinn A’Ghlo Circuit, Scotland
Starting from Glen Tilt car park, the Beinn A’Ghlo circuit spans 33 miles over open countryside and through rolling hills. One of Scotland’s lesser-known mountain biking trails, cyclists are few and far between making it the perfect spot for a bit of remote riding.
Despite the enjoyable single track descents, there are a fair few tiring climbs to overcome as well as a lot of loose gravel and pot holes adding to the challenge. But on the whole it is a fairly untechnical route.
Coed y Brenin, Snowdonia National Park
Leave the marked cycling routes behind you and head off on the Pink Heifer route for a remote ride through Snowdonia National Park.
The trail passes to the side of the Coed y Brenin visitor centre and mixes sections of sign-posted routes with some off-road, undiscovered trails lasting for just over sixteen miles.
There are plenty of other less-remote trails to be enjoyed around Coed y Brenin and a new technical skills training area has just been opened in the centre too.
Fortress of the Carpet Riding White Wolf, Cornwall
A quieter alternative to the Bodmin Beast cycle route across Bodmin moor, the Fortress of the Carpet Riding White Wolf mountain biking loop in Cornwall is made up of seven miles of single track trails.
The odd technical rooty section and hidden switchback keeps this route interesting and the riders on their toes.
Cross Fell, Cumbria
Offering the highest mountain bike routes outside of the Lake District, Cross Fell in the Eden Valley is surrounded by mind-blowing trails. For a challenging 13.7 mile warm up follow the trail uphill from Garrigill.
Pedalling over exposed wild moorland, you will need to navigate stony tracks and rock garden sections before being rewarded with a truly epic descent.
Torridon Circuit, Scotland
Offering stunning views as well as fabulously remote mountain biking, the Torridon Circuit in north west Scotland is just one of the six great trails in the Torridon area.
The circuit continues for 28.7 miles over challenging terrain which may occasionally result in having to get off the saddle and carry your bike.
Passing by picturesque lochs and through lush forests, there are some tough climbs to overcome but also some rewarding fast descents.