Words by Cat Crimmins
With the recent fabulous weather and the ever-increasingly ridiculous Euro exchange rate, it’s not too crazy a thought of having your annual family holiday right here in the UK.
So this year, swap the Alps for a road trip to the best family trail centres around the UK – you may even get just a hint of a suntan in the process!
Forest of Dean
The Royal forest is one of the best-kept secrets in Europe, it has everything that a biking family could want and more!
It has a variety of difficulty grades of riding from the beautiful 9-mile loop through the royal forest to the gnarly and fantastic black graded downhill tracks. Additionally, the main centre, Pedalabikeaway, has a great café with fresh local food and delicious homemade cakes. The on-site shop has a large selection of children’s clothing and accessories including rental bikes for adults and children alike, and an uplift service to boost you up the mountain.
There is a weekly kids club which runs throughout the year, ideal for beginners to advanced riders of ages 5 to 12 years. A monthly advanced downhill session is also held for 8-14-year-olds which is run by qualified British Cycling coaches, some of whom are world cup racers! For more information about mountain biking in the Forest of Dean, read our comprehensive guide here.
- Green – Family trail: 17km
- Blue – Verderers trail: 11km
- Red – Freeminers trail: 11km
- Black – a dozen downhill tracks from 1 to 3 dot-graded for difficulty including the fantastic Countdown to Launchpad suitable for the little rippers first go at gravity mountain biking
- Three skill park areas
Fancy a day off the bikes? Why not go for a canoe trip down the beautiful river Wye?