Do you love mountain biking? Do you love camping? Why not combine the two? If you have a passion for both activities then you look set to find this guide a helpful hand on your way to enjoyment in the outdoors! A day on the trails followed by a good old knees up by a campfire and a bit of grub sounds great….sounds like paradise.
Editor’s note: This post is so appropriate considering our recent article on Thomas Hiram Holding who pioneered the camping movement in England and was particularly fond of bicycle / camping adventures.
This guide will help you find mountain bike destinations that are surrounded by great campsites. The detailed guides of each MTB site should help you decide which is for you; after that, finding a campsite is easy!
Dalby Forest, Yorkshire is home to the 2010 XC Course of extreme difficulty, only to be taken on by highly experienced riders! Followed up by a large range of extreme and hard trails, the forest tests your ability to hover off the brakes when spinning corners. With lots of beginner trails, Dalby Forest is a good choice if you want somewhere where all members of a mixed ability group can take part. The centre also boasts a nice bike park with jumps and a pump track. The Forest is home to plenty of camp sites which welcome cyclists. The majority of campsites are close to the bike park!
Cannon Chase offers an array of difficulties for you to try your MTB skills on. Starting with novice courses, then up to the more testing trails; “Monkey” and “Follow the Dog”, the latter is a complicated one-track ride which includes technical trail features. Maintained and built by volunteer group “Chase Trails”. For those with advanced skills, there is the option of the Stile Corp Bike Park placed just a short journey away from the main centre. Made up of black grade components, this ride has been given an “extreme” difficulty that only the best can achieve! Cannock Chases campsite which is mainly viewed as a good destination for MTB riders is great for couples and families looking to go riding!
The Forest Of Dean
The Forest of Dean provides a large range of trails for the more gifted rider, all the way down to beginners. There is a centre which sells and rents mountain bike wear and equipment for you to use. To the rear of the centre can be found a myriad of single tracks hidden in the trees. Interwoven with these tracks are the Verderer’s and brilliant Freeminers Trail. There are also challenging downhill trails for expert riders, certainly not for the novice. If you would like to travel further away then there are miles of natural track running across the large forest expanse with amazing views of the Severn River as it makes its way to the sea. Camping at the Forest Of Dean is not hard to find with the two main campsites being within a short distance of the cycling centre. Both Bracelands and Christchurch Campsites provide you with more than adequate pitches and are within touching distance of the forest itself.
In the Brecon Beacons is the relatively new Afan Park, formerly a mining area, the area has now been changed into a site for mountain bike enthusiasts. The park has an array of trails for novice’s right up to more serious riders. There is a trail for everyone; starting at the Rookie Trail all the way up to the gargantuan Skyline Trail measuring in at a huge 46km. There are six main trails so there is lots to be getting on with while you get there; with camping available you can make a real weekend of it! The Park offers on site camping at a competitive rate of £3.30 per person per night. There are facilities on site which can be easily accessed, including hot showers and toilets.
Bike Park Wales
Placed in the South Wales Valleys, this centre is full of brilliant natural features and terrain. An exciting MTB centre for all riders, the park has a big array of trails ranging from twisting, slow descents suitable for all levels of mountain biker all the way to extreme downhill trails with massive jumps, drops and technical features to challenge the gifted and talented. Just 5 miles away from the park is Garwen Camp site which accommodates for campers very nicely. The family run site is used to putting up cyclists and watching them cycle off to the park for a good days riding!