From lesser visited trail centres to far flung wilderness - and everything in between - here are six routes to stick on your summer shortlist.
Each and every one of these routes is a confirmed classic. Here are our pick of the very best places to ride your mountain bike this summer.
1. Ambleside, Lake District
The all-weather classic
The Lake District can be a nightmare if you visit it in summer. Traffic jams. Nowhere to park. Trails stuffed with people. It’s not fun a lot of the time. The secret to the Lakes is to go there in Winter. And do the classic weather-proof Ambleside route detailed in the mapping above.
2. Applecross, Scotland
Worth the epic drive
Driving 13 hours to ride 19 miles sounds like total insanity. But what a 19 miles they are! Obviously you can do other riding and other activities while you’re in this amazing part of the world but this out-and-back route is a proper bucket lister.
3. Gwydyr Forest, North Wales
Old skool trail centre goodness
AKA Betws-y-Coed. One of the very first trial centres to pop up in the UK, we have a real soft spot for Betws-y-Coed. The tree-infested rocky topography of this part of North Wales makes for excellent mountain biking. The recent trail additions and renovations have reinvigorated this forest playground and more folk should give it (another) go. Read more: Gwydyr Forest, North Wales trail centre guide
4. Eastridge, Shropshire
One secret of British mountain biking is that Shropshire is the best place to live for biking in England. You can keep your busy Lakes District and your soggy Peak District, Shropshire is where it’s at. Nowhere best exemplifies this than Eastridge. A trail centre that actually allows soil and dirt. It’s not a pavement through the woods. The trails created and curated by the county’s peerless MTB community.
5. Swaledale, North Yorkshire
The middle of nowhere
The home of ‘Ard Rock. Don’t go expecting woodland singletrack. There are zero trees in Swaledale. Well, that’s not true but there isn’t any proper woodland to speak of. If you’re blessed with a day without wind, then zipping around Swaledale is a real blast. It’s not without it’s challenges though; some of the biggest climbs in England lurk here.
6. Lustleigh, Dartmoor
Ideal holiday home
The sneaky south west. Home to a lesser known and under appreciated network of excellent mountain bike routes. Honestly, choose any route from the South West England section of our 100 Best Mountain Bike Routes in the UK and you’re in for a brilliant ride. If we had to choose one then we’d go for this Lustleigh classic.
Just get out and ride
Right then, there you are. The best places to ride in the UK, in my opinion. Get planning your UK staycations and day trips now!