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Top 5 Adventure Mountain Biking Routes In The UK

 

There are many spectacular mountain bike routes in the United Kingdom, with something to suit every type of mountain biker.

 

Whether you like super technical rocky trials, or more flowing open single track there is something for everyone.

 

In this blog, I will go into my own 5 favorite mountain biking routes in the UK. These routes range from extended multi-day off-road adventures to fast-paced downhill single-track paths

King Alfred’s way

 

 

The first route on this list is King Alfred’s way. Many people may not have heard of this route but once learning about it you will want to go on an adventure and explore this route.

 

The route is a 350km circular adventure that is 90% off-road that takes you through 10,000 years of history.

 

The course travels through some of England’s most picturesque towns and countryside villages. The route is inspired by Alfred the Great who ruled the Anglo Saxon kingdom in the region of Wessex.

 

Due to the circular nature of the route, there is no set start point on the route. However, most people choose to start from Winchester as this is the easiest town to get to from other parts of England.

 

Within 10 minutes, you will forget that you have just left a big city cycling through and will be surrounded by rolling green countryside and jaw-dropping views.

 

Due to the long-distance nature of the route, many people complete it over several days and I would really encourage you to do the same.

 

This really is not a race but is more of an adventure of a lifetime. The route takes in smoothing single track through the villages of Winchester, Reading and Farnham and more gravel-like trials including the ridgeway near Salisbury. 5 cycling routes in  Winchester. 

 

This route is one to do in the summer months as the Salisbury plain and surrounding trails are made up of white chalk that can be unrideable in the rain.

 

The South Downs Way

 

This route also starts in Winchester and is more on the adventure side of mountain biking. The south downs way is a 100-mile route that is 100% off-road and we have previously done a whole blog post dedicated to the route.  Read Jacks South downs experience. 

 

The course starts in Winchester and finishes in Eastbourne on the outskirts of Brighton. Depending on your cycling fitness, this route can be completed in one day (during the summer months due to increased daylight).

 

But, you can also complete over 2 or 3 days by wild camping or staying in B&Bs along the route.

 

This is arguably one of the hilliest routes on this list regarding how many meters you have to climb. The hills along this route are on the shorter side, lasting no longer than 5 minutes but are brutally steep and technical on rough singletrack and bridleways.   How to plan a cycling adventure.

 

But once you have reached the top of the hill you will be rewarded with breathtaking views looking out over straw fields towards the deep blue ocean.

 

Again this is a route to do in the summer months and is an excellent route to do with friends and really take your time enjoying the adventure of cycling exploration.

 

The North Coast 500

 

 

This route embodies the true meaning of long-distance cycling. 500 miles of off-road adventure awaits you as you cycle around the top of Scotland.

 

Many know the north coast 500 for its good road cycling routes but in my opinion, the surrounding mountain bike trails are even better.

 

There are many little trial systems that run parallel to the road route of the north coast 500 that allow you to explore the heart of the Scottish countryside.

 

 Learnie red rock trail is situated just outside of Inverness and provides the perfect stop off to work on your technical mountain biking skills.

 

The trial centre is deep in the Scottish countryside and is suitable for every off-road rider. Given the long-distance nature of the route, most cyclists should aim to complete it in 7-14 days which will allow you to take some

 

Nan Bield Pass, Lake District

 

 

This route is more like your typical single track downhill mountain biking route. It takes in the stunning views across the Nan Bield Pass lake.

 

There are some really rocky sections that you have to overcome to reach the top of the hill. Depending on your skill level, you may need to get off and hike to reach the summit.

 

However, once you have reached the top, your efforts will be more than rewarded. In every direction you turn, you will see spectacular views of the lake district and the wildlife that it has to offer. For this route, it is a must to have a full-suspension mountain bike.

 

Although the trek up to the top of the hill is tiresome and long, the fun you will have on the descent will make you feel as though all that hard work was more than worth it.

 

As this route is in the middle of the countryside in the lake district, you will always be far away from any form of civilization, so you need to plan accordingly.

 

You must have a way of charging your phone or any other electronic devices that you will take with you. It is also critical to remember to bring several spare innertubes with you and any other spare mechanical parts that you may need.

 

Finally, I really recommend that you tell someone where you are going to be and roughly for how long you will be there. If someone knows you are likely to be gone for 5 hours, they will know to call the emergency services if you have not returned after five hours.

 

 

Exmoor national park

 

 

The Exmoor national park is one of the best places for mountain biking in the UK. I really advise that all cyclists add it to their list of areas to visit.

 

There is a trial for every kind of off-road cyclist in the Exmoor national park. From continuous gravel tracks to rolling single track to rocky super technical enduro downhill trails.

 

The Exmoor national park would produce a great location for a weekend of bike packing as the laws allow you to wild camp anywhere.

 

Therefore, you could base yourself near Periton hill with the stunning views over Porlock or Challacombe. The thing that sets Exmoor apart from other national parks is that it is close to the seaside villages and big towns, meaning that you can go to it from nearly anywhere in the UK.

Therefore the Exmoor national park provides one of the best locations for those weekend off-road getaways for the perfect mix of adventure routes and nail-biting technical downhill. Welsh mountain biking trails.

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