BikePark Wales

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

Nestled in the heart of the Tweed Valley near Peebles, you have the world class trail centres of Glentress and Innerleithen.
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

Although it’s been around for a relatively short period of time, Bike Park Wales is fast becoming one of the go to areas for mountain bikers in the UK.
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

Dalby Forest
Dalby Forest
Located in the North East, Dalby Forest has a fantastic mix of trails, with a particular emphasis for riders who like to hit the climbs as hard as the descents.
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.
The closest town is Pickering, which will cover all of your eating and sleeping needs, whilst Dalby Bike Barn will take care of bike hire, spares and repairs.

4. Coed-y-Brenin, Wales

Coed y Brenin
Coed y Brenin
One of the oldest trail centres in the UK, Coed y Brenin offers a huge variety of singletrack, with trails rated from green to black and everything between.
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

Home to the world-famous Fort William Downhill World Cup track, the Nevis Range features all the right ingredients for an amazing weekend of mountain biking.
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.