The Fantastic Five

Five great Blue grade trails. New to riding? Start here. Experienced rider? Play here! Spots in Cornwall, North Wales, Scottish Borders, South Wales and Gloucestershire.

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1. Bodmin Beast, Cardinham Woods, Cornwall

Cornwall may not be the first place you think of for a getaway, but Cardinham Woods is putting the place on the map, with the Bodmin Beast trail. There are red options on this route that are highly recommended but you won’t feel short changed by the12-kilometer blue (although Dialled in Dave is probably generously graded anyway).

Progression: Check out Llanhydrock which is under 5 miles away and also has a blue trail.

2. Minortaur, Coed Y Brenin, North Wales

The Minortaur is made up of three separate blue loops that link together to become progressively longer and more challenging. The longest of these is the Buwch Bren (Wooden Cow), a 9km golden thread that challenges riders with ski-jumps, hips and climbing turns.

Progression: It’s got to be the excellent and ancient MBR trail

3. Glentress blue, Glentress, Scottish Borders

The quality of Glentress’ trails and the cleverly thought out progression the place gears you up for means we can’t help including it here. The blue is a rollercoaster of a route, hidden in the Scottish Borders, a trail that experienced riders will play on and new riders will enjoy too.

Progression: Ride the Glentress red trail or head to nearby Innerleithen

4. Terry’s Belly, Bike Park Wales, South Wales

Terry’s Belly is a phenomenal piece of trail engineering. When you’re at the top it’s a continuous 4.2km descent back to the BikePark Wales car park – that’s more than half the length of some trails here of just pure descending.

Progression: Hot-Stepper leads off the Belly, and it’s the longest red trail in the park at 1.6km

forest of dean

Forest of dreams: miles of trails make for trail heaven

5. Verderers Trail, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire

The Forest of Dean may be more famous as a downhill venue but it also has a selection of cross-country trails to keep you amused as well. The longest trail is the Verderers blue that wiggles round 11km of forest singletrack. The highlight has to be the final descent and with an alternative option coming soon this trail will continue to be fresh for years to come.

Progression: The Freeminers red route is good for a quick blast but we reckon if you can hack the Verderers then you should try out the Launchpad all-ability trail.