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Forest Of Dean

Cycling around the Forest Of Dean

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Photo: wimtilkey

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Ancient woodland, friendly trails and a mixture of terrains all make cycling in the Forest of Dean a popular pursuit. Sandwiched between the River Severn and the River Wye, this historic area is blessed with an abundance of rider-friendly routes suitable for wobbly kids all the way to seasoned pros. 

There are plenty of cycle routes in the Forest of Dean and the area welcomes riders of every type with open arms. The trails will take you through oak and beech forests, lead you over open tracks and into conifer plantations. Low hills provide short climbs but, more importantly, exciting descents that you can keep enjoying all day long. 

Riding around the Forest of Dean will bring you within reach of the region’s glorious nature too. From a variety of beautiful plants to its population of deer, wild boar and even glow worms, there’s much to see as you spin the pedals.

Intermediate
02:21
16.7 mi
Difficult
03:01
20.1 mi
Intermediate
01:55
15.9 mi
Intermediate
01:19
8.17 mi
Difficult
04:11
27.8 mi
Easy
00:51
5.28 mi
Intermediate
00:53
6.31 mi
Intermediate
01:54
14.3 mi
Difficult
02:59
20.4 mi
Intermediate
01:36
10.5 mi
Difficult
03:03
18.5 mi
Difficult
02:49
22.1 mi
Difficult
04:19
28.8 mi
Difficult
02:11
12.4 mi
Difficult
02:41
16.7 mi
Difficult
02:57
18.2 mi
Intermediate
01:52
17.0 mi
Intermediate
00:39
4.63 mi

Top 18 cycling routes around the Forest Of Dean

    1
    Intermediate
    02:21
    16.7 mi
    7.1 mph
    1,350 ft
    1,350 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    2
    Difficult
    03:01
    20.1 mi
    6.6 mph
    1,775 ft
    1,775 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
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  • 3
    Intermediate
    01:55
    15.9 mi
    8.3 mph
    725 ft
    725 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    4
    Intermediate
    01:19
    8.17 mi
    6.2 mph
    1,075 ft
    1,075 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.
    5
    Difficult
    04:11
    27.8 mi
    6.6 mph
    2,050 ft
    2,050 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.
    6
    Easy
    00:51
    5.28 mi
    6.3 mph
    500 ft
    475 ft
    Easy bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    7
    Intermediate
    00:53
    6.31 mi
    7.1 mph
    825 ft
    825 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    8
    Intermediate
    01:54
    14.3 mi
    7.5 mph
    775 ft
    775 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    9
    Difficult
    02:59
    20.4 mi
    6.8 mph
    1,550 ft
    1,550 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.
    10
    Intermediate
    01:36
    10.5 mi
    6.6 mph
    925 ft
    925 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    11
    Difficult
    03:03
    18.5 mi
    6.1 mph
    2,600 ft
    2,600 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    12
    Difficult
    02:49
    22.1 mi
    7.8 mph
    2,025 ft
    2,025 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    13
    Difficult
    04:19
    28.8 mi
    6.7 mph
    2,425 ft
    2,425 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.
    14
    Difficult
    02:11
    12.4 mi
    5.7 mph
    1,575 ft
    1,575 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    15
    Difficult
    02:41
    16.7 mi
    6.2 mph
    1,925 ft
    1,950 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    16
    Difficult
    02:57
    18.2 mi
    6.2 mph
    2,025 ft
    2,025 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    17
    Intermediate
    01:52
    17.0 mi
    9.1 mph
    1,425 ft
    1,425 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    18
    Intermediate
    00:39
    4.63 mi
    7.1 mph
    525 ft
    525 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

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Tracks and terrain

In the 19th and 20th centuries, cycling in the Forest of Dean would’ve been a much different experience. Back then, the forest was of huge industrial importance with coal mines, ironworks and steelworks all operating within. Foundries, mills and quarries littered the landscape and you can still see their remnants today. 

Due to the industry, the forest was criss-crossed in railways and tramways. As you explore, keep an eye out for tunnels, bridges and disused railway lines and see how many you can spot. 

There are so many cycle routes in the Forest of Dean that it’s easy to explore the majority of the area on two wheels. Low-lying and with gentle hills, you can spend a full day cycling here without exhausting yourself. There’s a brilliant array of family-friendly trails suitable for even the smallest of young cyclists on well-maintained tracks through the woodlands. That said, if you want a little adrenaline you can still fly by the seat of your pants and tear along twisting trails.

Cycling through the seasons

This large, historic area is great for cycling no matter how far through the year you are. With deciduous and evergreen woodlands, bike rides in the Forest of Dean are vibrant and colourful in summer with an atmosphere of peaceful brooding in the depths of winter. 

Wonderfully accessible with plenty of car parks and facilities, school holidays see the trails become busier. Though with such a vast amount of routes, there’s always space to ride freely. The shoulder seasons bring the best of nature to the forefront as golden leaves in autumn line the muddy puddles and bluebells in spring make you never want to leave. 

Whizzing past wildlife

Wild boar were illegally reintroduced to the Forest of Dean in 2006 and they’ve been proliferating ever since. This gives you a rare opportunity to catch sight or sound of one snuffling through the trees. 

In the western extent of the region, the River Wye provides chances to see peregrine falcons whilst New Fancy view point near the village of Parkend is your best chance to spot goshawk. Fallow deer roam the forest and you’re most likely to see them bolting across the trail ahead, having certainly spotted you first.

Forest Of Dean's best cycling routes on the map

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