Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 19

Thread: Swinley Forest

  1. #1
    Knee and Elbow Scraper
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Dorset
    Posts
    145

    Swinley Forest

    Ok, so i have a free weekend as the Mrs is away.

    Swinley is about an hour and a half drive from me, but im wondering if its worth it.

    Im not an amazing rider by any means but i am fairly confident off road and my fitness is okay.
    Are they decent trails for a novice/intermediate rider who is a little scared of jumps?

    Thanks for any input in advance.

  2. #2
    Knee and Elbow Scraper
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    118
    I reckon it's OK for that sort of thing. I'm no major league jumper either, and I can quite happily do the blues & reds. There are "jumpier" sections out there apparently, but I've not been off looking for them.

    Some good bermy sections but quite a bit of pedaling. I'd jump onto YouTube and search for some clips - should give you a good idea. It's no hard-core trail centre, but I quite enjoy it as it's a workout and fun.

    If I go there, I can reasonably easily do purple twice. By purple, I mean blue, then do the red (which comes back to where you left the blue), then finish blue. Purple is about 13 miles and 7-800ft elevation.

    Car park is 4 all day (IIRC), and the outside cafe is still closed (again, IIRC), so sarnies/fruit/cake/bars/drinks from the inside cafe.

  3. #3
    Knee and Elbow Scraper Snake Plissken's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    168
    Swinley is a great place to ride if it's dry!
    There is a blue trail and a red trail with some good descents but also some climbing.
    2013 Giant Trance
    2017 Bird Aeris one20

  4. #4
    Knee and Elbow Scraper
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Essex, UK
    Posts
    139
    Swinley is great. I did find the family and blue trails a bit slippy where they were stones that were concreted into the floor at the start (you'll know what I mean when you see it). But as you get onto the proper trails it goes natural and is really good fun. I loved it and I'm a noob too.

  5. #5
    Rides with Stabilisers
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Farnborough
    Posts
    63
    Swinley is my local and its a lovely place to ride for all abilities, I have taken my Mrs who has no experience what so ever and she loved the blue. Ive also taken both my daughters aged 8 & 10 who have both done the blue and also select sections of the red. My fitness isnt the best and doing both red and blue does leave me quite tired. Plenty of other stuff there too as you get better that you might want to go looking for. Car parking is 2 for 4 hours and 4 for all day and you can pay cash/card and contactless, cafe is a little meh and not the cheapest. Swinley Bike hub (shop/rental) is quite handy and all the staff are very approachable and willing to help.
    I don't mind being a tour guide at some point but im not always free at weekends because of other commitments.
    2017 YT Industries Jeffsy 27 AL1
    2005 GT Avalanche 0.5

  6. #6
    Knee and Elbow Scraper
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Dorset
    Posts
    145
    Cheers for all the comments, i was youtubing a few videos last night and i reckon ill get a decent few hours in there, weather is meant to be dry for all of the weekend, obviously ill double check the weather before i go.

    I have done Haldon before and it seems to be a bit more advanced from that so i reckon ill be okay.
    Normally id have an experienced riding buddy to show me the way it should be done but hes away this weekend so ill be flying solo.
    Ill update with how i get on.

  7. #7
    Spokey Dokey Rider
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    North East Hants
    Posts
    515
    Quote Originally Posted by Dcwhite1984 View Post
    Normally id have an experienced riding buddy to show me the way it should be done but hes away this weekend so ill be flying solo.
    Ill update with how i get on.
    For the first section of the blue just head past the cafe and lookout building with the building on your left, and you should then see the trail entrance on your left soon after. All sections are marked and numbered, albeit the start of the next one is not always obvious as some have a pedal of a few hundred yards. Just watch where everyone else goes or ask, and most people are regular riders
    The start of blue and green are side by side
    Red branches from Blue after a few sections (Cant remember how many)

  8. #8
    Knee and Elbow Scraper
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Dorset
    Posts
    145
    Quote Originally Posted by Mongoosed View Post
    For the first section of the blue just head past the cafe and lookout building with the building on your left, and you should then see the trail entrance on your left soon after. All sections are marked and numbered, albeit the start of the next one is not always obvious as some have a pedal of a few hundred yards. Just watch where everyone else goes or ask, and most people are regular riders
    The start of blue and green are side by side
    Red branches from Blue after a few sections (Cant remember how many)
    Cool, thanks for that i was just going to follow everyone else and see where they go!
    Ive been looking at a route map and it doesnt seem to confusing. Hopefully it stays dry

  9. #9
    Knee and Elbow Scraper
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Essex, UK
    Posts
    139
    I forgot that I made a little video. Im not the most skilled rider but I had fun. The sound is nearly non existent as the camera was in a case.

    https://youtu.be/dugjsl6TWEc

  10. #10
    Knee and Elbow Scraper
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Dorset
    Posts
    145
    So i thought i would update with my experience of Swinley:

    I left early doors and arrived at Swinley for 9.30am, im glad i arrived early as it was already looking busy with some very nice bikes being unloaded from cars, i felt a bit nervous as i set off as everyone else looked like they knew what they were doing a lot more than me. On reflection i guess i look like i know what im doing too. (Even though i dont feel like i know what im doing)

    So i started on the blue and apart from getting lost along the way it was good fun, nothing too technical but some decent bermy sections which provided a good warm up. I got to the point where the red route splits off and although slightly worried about what lay ahead i followed some other guys and quickly gained a confidence boost as i kept up with them despite not knowing which way i was turning next.
    The Red route was great fun with some really technical sections to challenge a relative noob like me. Lots of fast descents and some very technical climbing and i finally arrived at the top of a section, where stopping for a drink and snack break i was reliably informed that "some kid died on this next bit" which sent the fear of god into me and i was left wondering what id got myself into.
    In for a penny in for a pound and i went for it, there was a few tabletops and i have to say i have no idea how i got through it, as i went a bit dead sailor in the air, but it was a very quick section (For me) and i was left not knowing what all the fuss was about.
    Then there was more technical descents and what felt like a very long technical climbing, winding singletrack. Apparantly this then led to the tank traps and back to the blue route which had some good bermy flowing sections to finish off.

    All in all i had a great time and i got back to my car feeling thoroughly worn out. It was probably the most technical stuff ive ridden since starting MTBing.
    My advice to anyone that goes would be to get there early as by the time i got back to my car at 12 the car park was full, and just go for it, even if you dont think you will be able to do it theres routes around all of the trail features.

    I will definitely be back soon, and Joey Vid looks good

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •