Mountain biking can be seen as something of an extreme sport. Biking over rough terrains, through harsh vegetation and conditions is a challenge, but for some, the thrill and adrenaline boost can be entirely rewarding. The UK is home to some incredibly moody yet scenic routes that play perfect host to such an activity and here are some of the best of them:
Fort William, Scotland
This renowned location, situated high in the moody hills of Scotland, plays host to the annual Mountain Bike World Cup, fully justifying its position in this feature. Known as the ‘Outdoor Capital’ of the UK, many will get satisfaction from the 15km Witch’s Trail, a fast and rocky trail which travels down hilly areas, challenging the rider substantially. Gondolas are on hand to transport visitors up into the mountains where they are able to let loose, flinging themselves back down at break-neck speeds.
This area, found in the beautiful Lake District, offers the perfect experience for any enthusiastic mountain biker. The area features many, many trails, perfect for all skill-levels, and has recently seen a lot of investment which has given the area a rather refreshed outlook. The North Face trail is a severely difficult 12-mile route found in the area that moves through the region’s forests and features jumps and boardwalks to truly test the cyclists looking to challenge themselves, technically and mentally.
The prime example of Calderdale’s appeal is epitomised by the Mary Towneley Loop, a 47-mile trek which traverses through the Pennines, twice. It’s a perfect setting for those who are serious about their mountain biking and takes into account the glorious, picturesque setting of the Pennines, adding a little extra incentive to the trails. Moving through open moorlands and past historic towns, such as Hebden Bridge and its accompanying gorge, this trail is a brilliantly challenging ride for any seasoned pro.
Cheddar Challenge, Somerset
This area, featuring the famed Cheddar BMX track, is another popular addition which makes use of fantastic facilities to pull in a larger number of guests and bikers. The beauty in this area of the UK, particularly that emanating from the Mendips Hills, adds extra gleam to the area and the terrain is designed to be extra challenging for both your body and the bike you choose to take on this tricky course which moves around the largest gorge in Britain as well, Cheddar Gorge.
Another location, just a few miles off of Wrexham, which is high on beauty and gorgeous natural scenery. Coed Llandegla follows an abundance of great trails through private woods which include a series of beginners’ trails as well as some slightly more challenging routes. The main focus tends to be on the strenuous cross-country runs and though some are positioned to travel uphill, many of them enjoy a selection of fine dips where bikers can pick up the speed and indulge themselves in a few, well-earned jumps.
Coed y Brenin
This historical region is famed as the birthplace of modern mountain biking centres and therefore holds a strong appeal to all those who cherish the thrilling activity. The acclaimed Temtiwr trail is perhaps the one that gets most people’s hearts thumping with its downhill routes. Elsewhere, there are other trails which cater for those of varying experiences and skill-levels, ranging from downhill routes to cross-country experiences, offering many customer amenities and resting stops, making it great for the area’s frequent tourists as well.