Image: Cake Rider

Based just outside of London, Swinley Forest is one of the most popular mountain bike centres in the South, with around 24km of ready to ride, purpose built trails.

[related_articles]Located just off the M25, the forest spans 1,000 hectors across Surrey and Berkshire - so you'll never be short of land to explore - and the Swinley Forest Bike Hub in Bracknell is on hand to provide bike hire and sustenance.

Sandy terrain means that the ground holds up well in wet weather, making Swinley a reliable option even on washout days, and the local Swinley Riders group can furnish you with riding buddies if you're after company.

There are trails to suit every rider - from a family friendly 1.2km Green Loop to the challenging technical features of the Red Loop, which is 13km long and joins together traditional natural trails 'Seagull', 'Tank Traps' and 'Nine Yards' with a formal route.

On middle ground is the Blue loop - a 10km course which aims to inspire confidence in beginners. There is the option of diverting onto the Red Loop along the way should you you really gain confidence and fancy a greater challenge.

All three routes leave from The Lookout Discovery Centre, and parking for four hours is just £2. The car park is open from 7am - 6pm in the winter and until 8.30pm in the summer - giving you plenty of time to really scope out the landscape.

Maps are provided and the trails are way marked, but there are some for you to peruse online here.


At the Swinley Bike Hub, you'll find a fleet of Whyte hire bikes, at just £15 for two hours (£5 an hour after that), spares to buy, energy products, bike wash facilities and skills sessions and guided rides.

So - what are you waiting for?!

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