26 May 2024

Top 5 Mountain Biking Adventures

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Cumbria and Southern Scotland have some of the best dedicated mountain biking trails in the UK. Not only are they fantastic for advanced riders but they are great for all levels and abilities. It’s the perfect introduction to your off road adventures and a great low impact exercise, that also happens to be amazingly fun and it’s accessible for all ages.

And don’t worry if you can fit your bike in your car, we’ve got you covered with bike carriers, roof bars and roof boxes. Just check out our accessories section for more information or visit your local Lloyd Motor Group centre.

So strap your bikes to the car (or hire them on site) and let’s get peddling.

Whinlatter Forest

1. Whinlatter Forest, near Keswick

Managed by the Forestry Commission, Whinlatter is England's only true remaining Mountain Forest and is home to stunning views, fantastic walks, rare wildlife and adventure play, but most importantly exhilarating mountain biking for all the family. The Altura Trail (the longest purpose-built mountain bike trails in the Lake District) puts altitude into Mountain Biking, offering stunning views and a great single track trail which rises to 500m (1600ft) above Keswick and the northern lakes. Looking for something a little more sedate? Try the Quercus Trail - a blue grade (moderate) route 7.5km long with a shorter 3.5km option. It is a gem waiting to be discovered, expect a flowing single track with gentle berms (corners for the unitiated), rolling jumps, wide gradual climbs with (skippable) technical features for the adventurous riders. 

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2. Grizedale Forest, South Cumbria

Grizedale is another Forestry Commission owned centre, based in the South Lakes, between Hawkshead and Newby Bridge. Whether you are out for a gentle family bike ride or want to shred through rock gardens and hit some big air jumps, Grizedale Forest offers a fantastic opportunity for cyclists of all ages. Meander through the forest with lovely woodland views around Bogle Crag on the Grizedale Tarn Track, hit the challenging North Face Red route, with its adrenelising sections of single track descent or take on the all new jumps, berms and steep descents of ‘The Black'.

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3. Stavely & Nan Bield, Haweswater Cumbria

The only biking route on our list that isn’t a designated biker only trail and is by far the most challenging on the list. Starting from Staveley in the central Lake District, this ride is staggering 22-miles of technical down-hills, loose rock and leg burning climbs. Have you got what it takes?

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4. Newcastleton, South Scotland

Newcastleton, on the Scottish border (just 40-minutes from Carlisle) has fantastic trails - suitable for all levels - but few crowds. Bikers reckon it’s the ‘best-kept secret’ of the 7stanes. The trails have recently been updated and all trails now begin at Douglas Square in the centre of Newcastleton. With its long Red Trail, a Blue Trail, an ungraded route and a skills area, it’s the perfect introduction to mountain biking for beginners.

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5. Glentress Forest, South Scotland

This incredibly popular mountain biking mecca is just an hour outside Edinburgh in the Tweed Valley. With over 80km of challenging trails, it has everything you could want with a fantastic variety of routes suitable for beginners and experts. With recent investment, there’s even a glitzy new cafe and bike shop, complete with bike wash stations and shower facilities. 

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