A popular choice for riders of all ages and abilities from the Midlands, South-West and Welsh borderlands, the Forest of Dean is one of England’s best-known trail centres. The mountain biking action centres around the Cannop Cycle Centre, at the heart of the ancient woodland and royal hunting grounds, between the city of Gloucester and the Welsh border.
You’ll find plenty of facilities at the Cannop Cycle Centre, including Pedal A Bike Away, a brilliant bike shop, workshop, cafe and bike hire centre. There’s also toilets and a bike wash. You’ll find a second cafe at nearby Mallards Pike, which is on the family loop and makes for a great stop off!
In this Collection you’ll find Tours for all abilities: from easy traffic-free cycleways on the family trail to entry-level mountain bike trails on the blue-rated Verderers trail, progression trails on the red Freeminers trail and some even more challenging downhill tracks for experience mountain bikers, including Launchpad, Corkscrew, Sheep’s Skull and Ski Run.
That’s the beauty of the Forest of Dean; there really is something for everyone. There’s also a great skills park, with drop offs, table tops and a pump track to session on. Take care when riding between trails and areas, as some of the fire roads intersect trails: look out for oncoming riders before crossing.
The Forest of Dean promises a great day out year-round, as these purpose built trails drain well even through wet winters. If you’re looking for a more serious day’s riding with less pedalling, there’s also an uplift bus service, FlyUp Downhill. You’ll need to book in advance of your visit.
The best way to reach the Forest of Dean is by car. There’s extensive pay and display parking at the Cannop Cycle Centre and, if they’re full, nearby additional car parks can usually be linked up to the trail centre using the Family Cycle Trail.
The blue-rated Verderers trail is a great place to start if you’re new to the Forest of Dean, or mountain biking itself. Featuring a generous serving of singletrack through the trees, switchback climbs, flowing berms and rollers, and a fast and fabulous final descent that’ll leave you eager for more…
The red route at the Forest of Dean, which translates as ‘difficult’ and sits between blue and black routes, is a real step up from the Verderers blue trail and is known for being rooty. Much easier when the conditions are dry, for sure!
Starting out much like the blue route from the car park, although…
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This tour is an excellent introduction to the downhill trails at the Forest of Dean, and should only be attempted by riders who are fairly experienced at riding off-road. Starting with the easiest of the downhill runs, Launchpad, the Tour then progresses to the Corkscrew downhill run.
You’ll need to…
Two utterly thrilling and adrenaline-inducing downhill trails for experienced riders, Ski Run and Sheep’s Skull are just two of the many options from the top of the woods at Cannop Cycle Centre.
Just like the Launchpad and Corkscrew trails, you’ll need to take the fire road push up path to reach the start…
There’s so much more to explore in the Forest of Dean than just in the trail centre, and the large Family Cycle Trail loop makes good use of that. Across the main road from the Cannop Trail Centre, the largely flat loop doesn’t feature any sharp climbs, is almost completely traffic-free and includes…
Mountain Biking Collection by Katherine Moore
Mountain Biking Collection by European Divide Trail
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Bike Touring Collection by Katherine Moore