Trail centres for the perfect MTB weekend away
© Andy Lloyd
With summer fast approaching it’s time to think about getting away for a weekend and heading off to pastures unknown.
There's nothing like a long weekend spent doing the thing you love most; mountain biking! In the UK we're lucky to have great trail centres up and down the country, but where should you go if you want to make a trip out of it?
The best centres have incredible riding, but also the infrastructure to keep you entertained for a whole weekend (at the very least). This means a range of accommodation, bike shops, cafes, guides, events uplifts, and anything thing else a mountain biker might need.
Here are five of the best trail centres to get those adventure juices flowing.
1. Glentress/Innerleithen, Scotland
Glentress is perhaps more suited to XC riders, with a variety of flowing trails for all abilities, whereas Innerleithen will suit those looking for some more challenging descents. You might even run into a mountain biking legend or two...
The area around Peebles is well suited to mountain bikers, with food and accommodation to suit all budgets, whether that’s camping onsite at Glentress, a quiet Airbnb or a hotel.
The locals are friendly, too, and if you’re lucky they might show you to some of the secret spots, which supposedly rival some of the best trails in the Alps.
2. Bikepark Wales, Wales
It’s one for intermediate/advanced riders, who like nothing more than tearing up the descents and taking full advantage of the swift uplifts on offer.
A quick look on their site shows there are loads of options for accommodation, and if you do manage to get bored on the trails (which we doubt you will), you can always take a short drive to Cwmcarn to try the riding there.
Bike Park Wales gets busy on the weekends, so it’s well worth booking the uplift in advance to make the most of your time.
3. Dalby Forest, England
Unlike many UK trail centres, Dalby has plenty of sandy/softer natural trails, making for a unique riding experience. And, with the red trail covering 34km, you can always find some quieter terrain on busy weekends.
4. Coed-y-Brenin, Wales
It’s an area well suited to the classic trail rider, e.g. someone who loves to descend, but also likes (tolerates) the pedal back up to the top.
Coed-y-Brenin is also considered to be fairly weather proof, so a good shout if you’re looking for a weekend away in the colder, wetter months.
Located onsite, the Beics Brenin bike shop is open all year round and stocks everything needed to keep you rolling for a full weekend of riding.
If you’re after combining your weekend away with a spot of friendly competition, then the Trek Coed 7 Brenin Enduro taking place on the weekend of the 29th-30th of September is well worth a closer look.
5. Nevis Range, Scotland
However, it’s not just for experienced downhill riders, as there are more chilled blue and red graded trails, and even the 2007 XC world championships course, for those who like to earn their turns.
Located way up north in Scotland you’re obviously at the mercy of mother nature, but there are all the facilities any mountain biker needs for a weekend of stoke, no matter what the weather (i.e. bike shop, café, bike wash, skills coaching, bike hire and showers).
The Nevis Range is hugely popular with tourists, so once again accommodation shouldn’t be too difficult to find.