Escape the rat race with any of these five free route downloads

The UK’s urban fringe hosts some incredible riding, here’s our pick of the best city rides.

Video: Marcelo Gutierrez Manizales urban downhill

Glasgow, Scotland

27km (16 miles)

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Pollok Park in the centre of Glasgow is something special: it’s surrounded by urban sprawl but there’s real riding here, complete with dirt, elevation, tree cover and singletrack. And if that’s not quite enough of an escape, our route starts on the northern fringe of the city and leads you up and out onto the West Highland Way
and Dumgoyne.

GPS download

Brighton, South Downs

58km (36 miles)

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Brighton is a city encircled, by the sea to the south, and the rolling hills of the Downs to the north, east and west. Hundreds of miles of bridleway and trail can be accessed right from the heart of the city, including Stanmer Park, which hides a labyrinth of excellent, tight singletrack. Our route is long with a capital L. The morning is more classic South Downs bridleway, then halfway round it switches to the more serpentine trails.

GPS download

Cardiff, South Wales

28km (17 miles)

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Great riding on proper hills, just three miles from the centre of a capital city? It can only be Cardiff. The hills just to the north of the M4 are thrilling and anywhere else they’d be revered, but they’re overlooked and overshadowed by the mountains to the north. They shouldn’t be; the hills are smaller but in just 30 minutes pedalling up the Taff Trail you can be at Castell Coch and accessing a multitude of brilliant trails.

GPS download

London, Surrey Hills

31km (19.3 miles)

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OK, so Surrey is a little further out than the city fringe, but for Londoners looking for the best riding in the South East, these hills have to be top of the list. Small in stature but big in fun, the trails here are a great blend of hand-built and bridleway that flatter new riders and challenge faster shredders, too. They are pretty hard to find, so either get a local to show you the way round or try our Dorking download.

GPS download

Leeds, Yorkshire

30km (18.6 miles)

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Come anywhere near Leeds and you’ll probably be heading for the moorland delights of the Pennines, but local riders know the tangle of urban trails here is not to be sniffed at. Starting in Shipley to the north of the city, the trails are skinny and challenging in some places. Best of all, they’re completely natural, created by horse and foot during the textile boom of yesteryear.

GPS download

Escape the rat race with any of these five free route downloads.