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11 best UK bike trails for the family: from Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire to Lake District

The i logo The i 12/09/2019

a man riding a bike down a dirt road © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd Ae Forest — Dumfries & Galloway

The easy (green) trail starting at the café and bike shop is a great option for those with young children or new to mountain biking. The flat singletrack, with some undulating sections, is reasonably wide and follows the river. Look out for the old plane about halfway along the trail. Trails free, parking £3 per day, forestryandland.gov.scot.

a large green field with a mountain in the background © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd The three-mile green route is safe and fun for beginners.

a group of people walking down a dirt road © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd

Coed Llandegla — Wrexham

a person riding a motorcycle down a dirt road © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd The three-mile green route is safe and fun for beginners. If you’re feeling more adventurous, the 7.5-mile blue route has gentle climbs, gradual downhills and a few small humps. Trails free, parking £4.50 per day, oneplanetadventure.com.

They also offer expert coaching and skills sessions for essential mountain biking skills that last for half a day

BikePark Wales — Merthyr Tydfil

a man riding a bike down a dirt road © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd BikePark Wales has more than 40 trails, including a family specific loop that has a uniform surface and is reasonably wide. They also offer expert coaching and skills sessions for essential mountain biking skills that last for half a day. Entry £10, bike hire from £45, bikeparkwales.com.

England’s largest trail centre caters well for beginners.

Dalby Forest — North Yorkshire

a person riding on the back of a bicycle © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd England’s largest trail centre caters well for beginners. The 2.5-mile Ellerburn family route is the easiest, a leisurely cycle alongside open fields and the beck. The eight-mile route offers great views and more varied terrain. Entry free, bike hire from £35, forestryengland.uk/dalby-forest.

The 11-mile family trail is flat and beautiful, a circular route with wide gravelled tracks suitable for riding all year round.

Forest of Dean — Gloucestershire

The 11-mile family trail is flat and beautiful, a circular route with wide gravelled tracks suitable for riding all year round. It is mainly on former railway lines with connecting routes to villages and picnic sites. Entry free, bike hire from £19, wyedeantourism.co.uk/fct.

a group of people sitting on a bench next to a bicycle © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd

Gisburn Forest — Lancashire

a person riding a motorcycle down a dirt road © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd This forest is home to some of the oldest purpose built tracks in the UK: the blue trail is great for casual riders while the skills loop by the stone wall circle of Gisburn Forest Hub is packed with technical features and obstacles. Bike hire from £29, parking £3, forestryengland.uk/gisburn-forest-and-stocks.
a man riding a bike down a dirt road © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd The six-mile blue route is easy to complete but provides a challenge with its moderate technical sections.

Swinley Forest — Berkshire

The centre was redesigned in 2013, and is now one of the best places to learn to ride, with a selection of loop routes and a short green trail. The six-mile blue route is easy to complete but provides a challenge with its moderate technical sections and single track. Entry free, bike hire from £50, swinleybikehub.com.

© Getty Grizedale has trails ranging from 2 to 15 miles, making it an ideal place for more leisurely, scenic rides.

Grizedale — Lake District

Grizedale has trails ranging from 2 to 15 miles, making it an ideal place for more leisurely, scenic rides. Be prepared for the odd incline as this part of the country is very hilly – but the views and forest sculptures make it worth your while. Entry free, bike hire from £25, forestryengland.uk/grizedale.

© Getty Glentress has a pair of short green trails perfect for novices.

Glentress — Borders

Glentress has a pair of short green trails perfect for novices, and a blue route that’s split into two five mile loops. The carefully crafted single track in inthe heart of the stunning Tweed Valley will challenge without overwhelming and is fun for riders of all levels. Trails free, parking £5 per day, glentressforest.com.

© Getty Explore 28 miles of unmarked trails plus several marked routes and a dedicated skills area and a bike park

Sherwood Pines — Mansfield

Explore 28 miles of unmarked trails plus several marked routes and a dedicated skills area and a bike park. The three-mile Family Cycle Trail combines quiet forest tracks with off road trails and takes in a variety of habitats and views. Entry free, bike hire from £35, forestryengland.uk/sherwood-pines.

© Getty Here you can ride mountain bike trails in an urban setting, over a range of graded trails

Clayton Vale MTB — Manchester

Here you can ride mountain bike trails in an urban setting, over a range of graded trails. The Easy Rider follows the Medlock river through the centre of Clayton Vale Nature Reserve before climbing onto a narrower route with gentle obstacles. Finish off with a fun ride around the pump track.. Free, no bike hire, nationalcyclingcentre.com/mtb.

Gallery: World’s longest and most extreme hiking trails (Microsoft GES)

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