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Top 5 Mountain Biking Spots in Gloucestershire for Your Next Adventure

Top 5 Mountain Biking Spots in Gloucestershire for Your Next Adventure

Here at The Ark Cycles we feel very blessed to be surrounded by such amazing local cycling locations, we thought we would share our top 5 favourite MTB areas with you!

 

Firstly, Gloucestershire is a mountain biker's paradise. With its rolling hills offering good elevation, beautiful woodland providing amazing MTB trails, and some of the most stunning views in England, this region has something for every rider. Whether you’re a seasoned enduro pro or a complete beginner looking to explore the great outdoors, Gloucestershire's varied terrain and vibrant cycling community will make your mountain bike ride unforgettable.

 

Join us as we explore the top 5 mountain biking destinations in Gloucestershire, each offering its own blend of beauty, challenge, and excitement! 

 

Number 5: Randwick Woods.

 

With some free parking available at the top of Ash Lane, Randwick Woods presents a beautiful wooded hill, featuring trails suitable for all abilities. These trails were built unofficially years ago and are still lovingly maintained by local riders, ensuring they remain in good condition. Whether you are seeking an enjoyable single track cross-country loop or aiming to find more natural Enduro stages, this woodland is ideal for everyone. This versatility is why we choose Randwick Woods for our Ark Cycles demo days, as it offers a delightful range of options catering to all skill levels. Additionally, there are small jump areas discreetly scattered throughout the woods, providing a challenge for anyone keen on catching some air!

 

Number 4: Cranham Woods.

 

Cranham boasts a rich history intertwined with Gloucestershire’s mountain biking community. In its early days, an exhilarating 4X track thrived within a farmer's field, hosting several national races decades ago. While the track has since vanished, Cranham retains its allure with some exceptional enduro trails, albeit well concealed. These trails, likely unofficial, bear the marks of dedicated enthusiasts, featuring meticulously crafted berms and jumps awaiting the intrepid rider.

 

Parking opposite the Royal William pub provides a convenient starting point. From there, cyclists can venture towards a renowned yet unmarked trail known as ‘The Wall,’ nestled discreetly off the side of Buckholt Road. Off the side of Buckholt Road is a lovely woodland area and it’s often fairly quiet, your best bet is to get pedalling and look for some trail openings, as in my experience the single track trails seem to move and shift every couple of years depending on who might be riding their more at that time. 

 

There are definitely some steep MTB runs to be found so do ride with caution if you’re a less confident mountain bike rider. 

 

Number 3: Fly Up 417 BikePark.

 

One of the few uplift assisted bike parks in Gloucestershire, this bike park is located on an open hillside between Cheltenham and Gloucester. It’s got a great range of trails for all abilities. Smooth, big berms, a huge range of jumps and an indoor pump track! The park’s well maintained trails cater to both novices and seasoned riders, ensuring a thrilling experience for all. Beginners can build confidence on gentle slopes and well-designed features, while experienced riders can push their limits on technical rock sections and bloody big jumps. One of the standout features of FlyUp 417 is its welcoming atmosphere and friendly staff. Whether you're a first-time visitor or a regular rider, you'll feel right at home here. The park's amenities, including bike hire, a small bike shop and a cosy cafe, add to the overall convenience and enjoyment of the experience. I’d definitely recommend FlyUp 417 Bike Park to anyone wanting some gravity fuelled mountain biking fun amidst stunning Cotswold countryside scenery. See the 417 bike park website here - https://417bikepark.co.uk/

 

Number 2: Leckhampton Woods.

 

Located on the outskirts of Cheltenham, this lovely woodland collection of trails offers an engaging experience for confident enduro riders. Starting with a moderately steep pedal track that ascends to the top of the hill, taking approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Once at the summit, enjoy a variety of fun, technical singletrack descents. Conveniently, free parking is available at the base of these unofficial trails (Daisy Bank Car Park, Shurdington, Cheltenham GL53 9QQ.) This makes it easy to access the mountain bike trails and enjoy a day of adventure in this beautiful woodland setting.

 

Number 1: The Forrest of Dean.

 

The Forrest of Dean is a national treasure for mountain biking and is an absolute must visit for anyone passionate about cycling. With its own cycle centre including a fantastic cafe, bike hire, bike shop, uplift service and bike cleaning area, this our go to place for a real local mountain biking forrest adventure! Whether you're looking for a gentle trail ride with the family or eager to shred the gnarly downhill tracks, you'll find plenty of trails to suit your preferences in this diverse and huge forrest. The variety of trails ensures that riders of all levels can enjoy their cycling time, whether you're a beginner or an experienced mountain biker.

 

Don't miss out on the amazing skills area, perfect for honing your cornering and jumping techniques, while adding an extra element of fun to your visit. All the trails are designed to conveniently lead back to the car park, bike shop and café, so you're never too far from stuff you might need! Discover trail updates, organised rides and more on their official website here - https://pedalabikeaway.co.uk/

 

In addition there are also miles and miles of unofficial mountain bike trails spread all across the Forrest of Dean, some are over 30 years old! I’ve been riding there for nearly 12 years and still discover amazing new trails every time I go riding there! 

 

In conclusion, Gloucestershire has a wide range of trails from XC loops full of hills to national qualifying downhill runs. It really is a fantastic area for mountain biking and all of us here at The Ark Cycles are passionate riders, who love nothing more than getting outside and enjoying our local trails! 

 

So what are you waiting for? Grab your helmet and get out there! 

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