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Best Mountain Bike & E-Mountain Bike Trails (UK 2023)

Mountain biking

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The United Kingdom has been a hotbed of mountain biking for many years, now, and a heck of a lot of money has gone into improving the mountain biking infrastructure around the UK. There are now dedicated bike parks and elite level trail centres, along with many smaller set-ups, in local forests around England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.


There are also thousands of miles of excellent routes through the UK’s stunning wild scenery – which is in no short supply. There are spots for families and beginners, right up to facilities used by some of the country’s top professional riders. We’ve toured the country to find the cream of the crop and picked out our favourites, so join us for the ride.


Here is our best mountain bike trails UK guide…

Mountain Bike and E-bike Trails in UK

How We’re Grading the Best MTB Trails (UK)

Before we get started, it’s important to understand the grading system that we’ll be using in our descriptions. We’ll be utilising British Cycling’s official grading system, which rates trails and longer routes in different colour-coded categories: Green, Blue, Red and Black.


You can find out more info here:


So, now that that’s out of the way, let’s get stuck into the best UK MTB trails!

Before we get stuck into the vast array of epic Canadian trails, it’s important to highlight the trail grading system that we’ll be referencing in our guide. We’ll be using the International Mountain Bicycling Association’s grading system, which has 5 levels of difficulty:

1. Coed Y Brenin

Where: Snowdonia, North Wales

Distance: Various

Max elevation: 312m

Climbing: Various

Standard: Green, Blue, Red and Black


We absolutely had to include this place in our list of the best mountain biking in the UK. Not only is it the first dedicated facility of its kind in the UK, but it’s still the largest and the best Wales MTB trail centre.


There are routes for all abilities, from beginners, right up to elite level riders. A lot of work has gone into creating these excellent trails and they’re constantly expanding. This place has a bit of everything; from super technical trails, to leisurely routes with stunning views over the nearby mountains.


There’s also a bike-park and skills centre, as well as a great visitor centre, a bike shop, tasty café, shower facilities and toilets. It’s certainly not a spot to be missed!

Address: Coed Y Brenin Visitor Centre Dolgefeiliau, Ganllwyd, Dolgellau, Wales, LL40 2HZ

2. Dalby Forest

Where: North Yorkshire, England

Distance: Various

Max elevation: 256m

Climbing: Various

Standard: Green, Blue, Red and Black


Dalby Forest is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in the North of England and forms part of the North York Moors National Park. This is another well-established UK mountain biking location, which has trails suiting all abilities.


Most of the routes are geared up for cross-country riding, which allows you to meander and explore the beautiful national park. There’s also a small skills area, where you can perfect your technique before heading out into the forest proper.


We mentioned this place has a good reputation, and this is backed up by the fact that it attracted the UCI MTB World Cup, back in 2011. To this day, you can still try your hand on the former UCI competition route, a seriously tough black route which was used by the world’s best just over a decade ago.


The trails all fan out from a central visitor centre, which has an excellent café, a bike shop and bike rental facility.

Address: The Courtyard Dalby Forest, North Yorkshire, England, YO18 7LT

3. 417 Bike Park

Location: Gloucestershire

Distance: Various

Max elevation: 241m

Climbing: Various

Standard: Green, Blue, Red and Black


If you’re looking for the best bike parks in the UK, then the 417 Bike Park, in Gloucestershire, should be right up at the top of your list. It’s among the largest privately-owned mountain bike parks in the UK and opened back in 2016, with 100 acres of space to play with.


The site has 3 gnarly downhill tracks, a slalom track, cross-country routes and fantastic indoor and outdoor jump courses, including one with an airbag, so that you can practise tricks safely. There’s also a coaching facility, where you can perfect your technique under the watchful eye of trained experts, as well as the addition of a new bike shop and maintenance workshop.


It’s the full package, making it one of the best bike parks in England.

Address: Flyup 417 Bike Park, Witcombe, Gloucestershire GL3 4UF

4. Stob Ban

Location: Kinlochleven, Scotland

Distance: 10.5km

Max elevation: 968m

Climbing: 903m

Standard: Black


Scotland has some of the UK’s most wild and remote landscapes and the Scottish Highlands is the best location to soak it up. It’s there that the stunning Stob Ban single-track trail is based – one of the UK’s most jaw-dropping mountain bike routes.


It’s also one of the toughest you can tackle, with just short of 1,000m of pure climbing up rocky and unstable terrain, with some sections feeling near-vertical.


It’s fair to say that this puppy is absolutely brutal, but from the top you’ll get truly unbelievable views across the stunning Scottish Highlands. And when you’re up there, you then have the nail-biting descent down that same gnarly route.

Address: Fort William Road, Kinlochleven, Scotland, PH50 4QL

5. Cannock Chase

Location: Staffordshire, England

Distance: Various

Max elevation: 238m

Climbing: Various

Standard: Green, Blue, Red and Black


Cannock Chase is an excellent, purpose-built MTB centre, in the middle of England. It’s particularly popular due to its central location in Staffordshire, not too far from Birmingham. The centre has a variety of well-laid-out trails through a forest setting, with many routes for all abilities.


There are family-friendly green routes and beginner trails right up to gnarly black routes, including one dedicated trail for downhill riders. The site also has bike hire services and a workshop service, where you can get trained up on bike maintenance and get your ride fixed.


An incredibly popular site that’s growing every year, if you’re looking for a great day out riding, you can find it at Cannock Chase – whatever your ability.

Address: Birches Valley, Rugeley, Staffordshire, WS15 2UQ

6. Farmer John’s Mountain Bike Park

Location: Stockport, Greater Manchester

Distance: Various

Max elevation: 175m

Climbing: Various

Standard: Red and Black


If you’re looking for top Manchester mountain bike trails, then Farmer John’s in Stockport is your best bet. Located just on the edge of the Peak District, it offers outstanding routes for downhill mountain bike UK riders. It’s no joke, though, and this gnarly centre certainly isn’t one for beginners.


Along with its excellent downhill mountain bike trails, there are also jump sections where people can practise tricks. It’s frequented by some of the best downhill MTB riders in the UK and comes complete with a decent visitor centre, coaching services and bike hire facilities.


It’s a wild set-up where you’re going to see some gnarly riding, make no mistake. If you’re wondering what the best bike park in the UK is? Well, we think this may be the answer, particularly now that Revolution Bike Park in Wales is temporarily closed.

Address: 57 Cote Green Rd, Marple Bridge, Stockport, SK6 5EN

7. Grizedale, Lake District

Distance: Various

Max elevation: 280m

Climbing: Various

Standard: Green, Blue, Red and Black


If you’re looking for the best Lake District mountain bike trails, then this is the spot for you. The routes near Grizedale are among the most beautiful mountain bike routes in the UK, allowing you to soak up the stunning Lake District scenery, whilst at the same time also getting a tough ol’ workout.


There are numerous trails in the area, ranging from 3km green routes, right up to very testing 23km ones. It’s a great spot to work on your climbing, in particular, and there’s also a gnarly black route, which has some big drops, jumps and sketchy obstacles.


A real variety for all the family here, and in a beautiful setting, too. What’s not to like?

Address: Grizedale Forest, Ambleside, LA22 0QJ

8. Rostrevor

Location: Carlingford Loch, Northern Ireland

Distance: Various

Max elevation: 462m

Climbing: Various

Standard: Red and Black


Northern Ireland is still playing catch-up a little bit, compared to the rest of the UK, when it comes to fully dedicated mountain bike centres. However, one spot that’s nailing it is Rostrevor; here, you can find some of the best mountain biking in Northern Ireland.


The setting is stunning, looking over Carlingford Loch, and there are a number of really challenging trails on offer. It isn’t a place for beginners, though, the routes in the area are mainly graded as red and black, and include two challenging downhill trails.  


The most impressive black route takes you to the top of Slievemartin, in the Mountains of Mourne, with incredible views across the whole region – a seriously challenging 19km ride. You can camp in the area to make a weekend of it, and there’s also a tasty café nearby.

Address: Kilbroney Forest Park, Rostrevor, Newry BT34 3AA

9. Laggan Wolftrax

Location: Newtonmore, Scotland

Distance: Various

Max elevation: 470m

Climbing: Various

Standard: Green, Red and Black


This is without a doubt one of the best mountain bike trail centres in Scotland. There are 32km of trails, which lead through stunning scenery on the edge of the Cairngorms National Park.


The centre caters for all abilities, with 4.5km beginner routes, 13.4km challenging cross-country red routes and all out gnarly 6.4km downhill black routes, with big drops and incredibly pulse-raising twisty sections.


There’s also a well-developed bike park to practise skills, jumps and general technique refinement. There’s also a cracking visitor centre on site, showers and a tasty café. A brilliant MTB centre in Scotland, of that there’s no doubt.

Address: 7 Forestry Houses, Strathmashie, Laggan, Newtonmore, PH20 1BU

10. Swinley Forest

Location: Bracknell, England

Distance: Various

Max elevation: 143m

Climbing: Various

Standard: Green, Blue and Red


London mountain bike trails are hardly in bountiful supply. In fact, there are hardly any spots at all to shred in the capital. However, look a little bit outside the city limits and you can find some great spots and our pick of the bunch is in Swinley Forest, situated to the south west of the capital.


There are 24km of well-planned out and dedicated green, blue and red trails winding through the forest, providing great riding options for a day trip from London. The centre also offers bike hire, coaching sessions and workshops. A cracking spot to escape the capital and enjoy some top notch trail riding for the day.

Address: Bracknell, England, RG12 7QW, United Kingdom

Final Thoughts

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our best mountain bike trails UK list. We’ve been to England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales to seek out the best trail centres, bike parks and wild routes, selecting spots in each of the four countries.


We’ve tried to find locations near some of the UK’s main population centres, too, so as to provide accessible options for as many people as possible. What’s clear is that the UK mountain bike scene really is thriving at the moment, and that there’s a growing number of excellent MTB trails, all looked after by passionate and dedicated teams.


There hasn’t been a better time to be riding a MTB in the UK, so what are you waiting for? Get out there and get spinning. Whilst you’re here, why not check out our guide to the best US trails for some holiday planning, too?