Far from the mudding crowds
Like riding singletrack solitary? Or being alone on the loam? No problem, mbr has you covered with these five get-away-from-it-all rides.
The best trails are often the most popular – no big surprises there. But sometimes it’s fun to just get away from it all. The UK’s just too crowded to find real wilderness but there are still plenty of places where the trails feel wild as well as fun. Here’s a few of our favourites.
Mosedale, Lake District
30km (20 miles)
Ride time: 5 hours
Why ride it? Seldom explored pocket of the Lakes with a few great sections of trail. Very remote.
Where to eat? Punchbowl Inn, Askham
GPS download: po.st/Mosedale
This ride takes you about as far from the madding crowd as you’re ever going to get in the ever popular Lake District. Savour the depths of Mosedale, you’ll meet folk in other places for sure. Start at Burnbank (OS Landranger 90/NY50716) take the Naddle Farm BW SE past Bewbarrow Crags then tarmac N to a xroads, where you take a private road R all the way to the road that leads to Green Farm. Take the track SW and follow the BW through Mosedale to Gatesgarth Pass. Climb this, enjoy the descent, then take the road back.
Doethie Valley, Mid Wales
22km (13 miles)
Ride time: 3-4 hours
Why ride it? Some sublime singletrack. Some sublime scenery. Very remote.
Where to eat? Royal Oak at Rhandirmwyn
GPS download: po.st/DoethieValley
A super-popular trail a few years ago, the Doethie seems to have fallen out of favour a little, though we’re not sure why – the riding is as fun as ever and the rugged hillsides that line the route are as stunning as ever. From Llyn Briane (OS Landranger 147/SS793484) take the dam then the forest track that follows the W shores of the Reservoir N to Soar-y-Mynydd. Take the stupidly steep climb W and drop to the BW that leads S down the Doethie Valley. At Troed-rhiw-rhuddwen, climb NE to eventually drop back down to the reservoir.
Harkerside Moor, Yorkshire Dales
21km (13 miles)
Ride time: 3 hours
Why ride it? Well-surfaced and easy riding among great scenery.
Where to eat? Dales Bike Centre
GPS download: po.st/Harkerside
A short and reasonably easy route that leads over a barren hilltop and drops into then climbs out of a very remote valley. Bothy visit too! From the Bike Centre (OS Landranger 98/SE046988), head S through Grinton, keep S on a lane, fork R then take the BW SW onto Greets Hill. Drop to the xroads (bothy SA) and then climb W to Apedale Head. Drop W to the road, NE for 1km then a track W to Low Houses. Now simply follow tracks, lanes and BW along the valley floor back to Grinton.
Avon Dam, Dartmoor
17km (10 miles)
Ride time: 2 hours
Why ride it? Sweet little loop around a seldom-ridden area.
Where to eat? The Royal Oak, South Brent
GPS download: po.st/AvonDam
It may start in a town car park, and follow a popular track for the first section, but this short sharp exploration of southern Dartmoor certainly gets you out there in the end. And when it does, it’s fun as well as remote. From South Brent (OS Landranger 202/SX697602) take lanes N then a BW NW to Didworthy. Tarmac will take you over the River Avon and N to Shipley Bridge, where a good track heads N to the reservoir, Fork R onto a BW to keep the water to your L, then head E, across Water Oak Corner to a x-roads. Follow the BW S to Gidley Bridge, then lanes S to finish.
Glen Tilt, Cairngorm National Park
55km (34 miles)
Ride time: 7 hours minimum
Why ride it? A true Scottish Classic in remote territory
Where to eat? Atholl Arms Hotel in Blair Atholl
GPS download: po.st/GlenTiltCairngorm
This is a big, remote Highland loop that really does get you away from everything. Warning though: best in decent weather – a couple of the rivers won’t go after heavy rain. From the Bridge of Tilt Car Park (Landranger 43/NN874662), take tarmac E to Loch Moraig, then follow an estate track NE to Shinagag. Climb N on grass and keep SA on tricky singletrack that traverses the hillside to a col, then drops SE to Dadhu. Climb N on another estate road and continue to Fealar Lodge. Now follow Glen Tilt W then SW on a mix of tracks and trails.