Britain's Best Singletrack around the Long Mynd
Long Mynd riding has two rewards. Mostly it’s about the singletrack descents that drop into the ridgeline’s east-facing valleys. Natural, flowing trails pull you in at the top and spit you out at the bottom, itching to do it all again. But the views from the top are some of the best in the UK, too, stretching all the way across to Wales.
The start — which features a long climb, initially on tarmac and then on fire road — sets you up for what to expect. The singletrack sections are very sweet, but short. You’ve got to earn them, and the first climb is a stark reminder of how much elevation gain there is on this relatively short loop.
Once you’re up top, though, it all starts to make sense. The scenery is stunning on a clear day and the first descent into Carding Mill Valley isn’t far from the top of the climb. The National Trust tea shop at the bottom is a great place to stop for tea and cakes if you’ve started late or already worked up an appetite, and then it’s more singletrack and bridleway back up and over the golf course to the top of the hill.
The final descent into Minton Batch is a peach, and well worth all the effort to get there. Although it’s completely ‘natural’ and not designed for bikes at all, it’s hard to believe that a trail-builder could have done a better job. Fast and flowing with some tight turns and a few little challenges to keep you on your toes, you’ll get to the bottom wanting to ride it all again.