Looking for a new trail centre to tackle in your area? Here are a few of our personal favourite English trail centres, let us know yours via Twitter or in the comments box below!
At Gisburn, there are three way-marked trails; a blue, green and red. ‘The 8’ is an 18km trail that features the brilliant Hully Gully as its core feature, a whooping roller coaster trail.
Best of all, it’s easy to follow a fire-road back to the top so you can ride it to your hearts content. There’s loads of other cool sections of trail, especially some of the optional black sections that will test even the most experienced trail riders!
The venue of a UCI World Cup race in 2011, the trails in Dalby Forest are firmly of the world class variety. The trails lean towards the cross-country end of the scale but if you’re a trail rider there are still plenty of technical features to get your eye in on.
The long 23 mile red trail ensures a good solid ride of a few hours, and the shorter World Cup Cycle Trail is a black-graded 4 mile route that has some tricky highlights. It’s a long drive for many, but it’s definitely worth it.
Unarguably one of the most popular English trail centres, even on a Wednesday afternoon the trails can be littered with riders enjoying the excellent singletrack! Its location, close to large populous metropolitan areas like Birmingham, Manchester, Coventry and Sheffield make it a draw for many mountain bikers in the area.
So it’s easy to get to, and when you arrive there’s the brilliant Follow the Dog, a 7 mile trail, and the Monkey Trail, a 7 mile extension to the former trail. They’re both red-graded trails but there’s plenty to challenge mountain bikers of all ability levels. As the trails get a lot of traffic, some of the braking bumps can get pretty bad.
Forest of Dean
There’s the slickly organised Flyup Downhill uplift service that makes accessing the myriad of downhill tracks and techy singletracks easy, and there’s some well routed cross-country trails too. The latter includes the Free-Miner’s and Verderer’s trails, 3 and 7 miles respectively. The Verderer’s Trail is one of the best XC trails in England with berms, rollers, drops and a great final descent.
Easy to get to, good cake in the cafe and a great sense of community, if you’ve not ridden FOD yet, make 2015 the year you do.
While on the map it shows few contour lines, Thetford more than makes up for its lack of altitude with insanely fast and in places, extremely twisty, singletrack.
It’s long been a very popular riding spot, with four trails, the Shepard and Poacher are both easy to moderate, while the Lime Burner and Beater are both described as hard. Both the latter trails combine fast flowing singletrack and plenty of ups and downs and they’re both about 10 miles.
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