5 min read
Take to the trails on a mountain biking adventure and camp out in some of the most scenic spots in the UK.
Mountain biking offers a real escape from the everyday world, a wild outdoor adventure and a chance to experience mountains, tracks, rural trails and woodland....all on two wheels. It doesn't matter if you are looking for the speed and nerve shredding drama of steep downhill biking or a gentler trail through the forest for all the family, mountain biking really does offer something for everyone. Across the UK, there are miles and miles of incredible off-road tracks; hills, woodland, National Parks, forests, lakeside, wild, barely-there trails or graded bike tracks with uplift services to get you up the mountain...so you can focus on getting down! If you don't have your own bike then plenty of places will hire them out, meaning the cleaning is left to someone else! It's a great sport for beginners or pros, it gets you out and about in the great outdoors and it keeps you mentally busy navigating all the twists and turns in the track. There are some fabulous campsites either right on mountain bike trails or close by....and they are often in some of the most scenic parts of the UK. While these campsites might not all offer swish facilities, they make up for it by being in a prime location for some incredible mountain biking action!
Tyn Cornel Camping, located in stunning countryside close to the Snowdonia National Park near Bala in North Wales is a lovely and relaxed campsite welcoming everyone; tents, motorhomes and caravans as well as glamping in pretty Lotus Belle Tents and very comfortable heated pods with riverside views. It is a paradise for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts with masses to do right on the doorstep, including white water rafting, kayaking and hiking. As a base for a mountain biking holiday, Tyn Cornel is difficult to beat. It is near a huge array of mountain bike tracks - including the Penmachno trails, or for some seriously exhilarating riding then head to the Clywdian Range or the jaw dropping bridleways of Snowdon and Cadair Idris.
Bedgebury Camping is a pretty and unspoilt campsite situated in a valley in the Weald of Kent on a 250 acre farm and open only for a limited time in the summer months. The central campsite has waterside camping next to a small stream and alongside a wood, where the kids can make dens and build camps. It is old fashioned camping at its best here across 70 gorgeous acres; campfires are encouraged as are groups of friends and families; it is a magical place to connect with nature and switch off. The facilities are good and the campsite often hosts acoustic music events on summer evenings. Just around the corner from this fab campsite is Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest, which boasts around 10km of family cycling track for those looking for a fun day out and 12km of more technical single track mountain biking for those who want a challenge. All the mountain bike gear - cycle hire, bikes to buy and a repair shop - is available at Quench cycles next to the car park, which makes things really rather straightforward if you don't have your own mountain bike - so this is a great place to give something new a try!
Torrent Walk Campsite is located in the incredible Snowdonia National Park, nestled in between the hills, and comprising of three fields which provide plenty of space for tents, campervans, touring caravans and motorhomes. The facilities are well maintained, and as well as an excellent shower and toilet block, they also provide bike storage and a bike wash - which makes all the difference after a muddy day on the trails. The location of Torrent Walk Campsite means that you have fantastic access to a whole host of mountain biking gems; Coed y Brenin Forest Park, Dyfi Bike Park and - if you're feeling punchy - why not take on the trails of the mighty Cader Idris - Snowdonia's second highest summit and only a 10 minute drive from the campsite. It has a fantastic variety of single and grassy trails and aside from a few sections where you have to hike-a-bike, it is predominantly ridable. A stunning part of the country and some of the UK's finest mountain biking.
Beech Estate campsite is located close to the historic site of Battle in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in East Sussex and - best of all - on the edge of a 600-acre woodland within a 2000 acre private estate. The stunning woodland here offers campers the use of all the walking and mountain bike trails it has to offer and is not open to the public, so apart from other campers you will be the only people there and can quite literally pedal off from the flap of your tent. Either bring your own tent or if not, Beech Estate offer rather lovely pre-erected and fully-equipped bell tents, so if you don't want the hassle of carrying too much gear then it is all done for you. The campsite is car free and off grid, so it is a wild and eco friendly outdoor adventure in a truly magical setting. And if you somehow manage to traverse every single trail in the estate, then the South Downs National Park is also on your doorstep, with hundreds of kilometres of car free bridleways to explore.
With a great location right in the heart of the Brecon Beacons, Grawen Caravan and Camping Park is a lovely, family run site with lots to offer in the most glorious of locations. Hikers and mountain bikers alike will love this wonderful spot, with some incredible countryside to explore including the Ystradfellte Waterfalls, and hundreds of different walking and biking trails. The facilities are excellent with hot showers, a play area, electric hook ups and fire pits. Best of all for mountain bikers, Bike Park Wales - home to the UK's most diverse and exciting selection of all-weather mountain bike trails - is just five minutes down the road. Here they offer a vehicular uplift service to get you and your bike to the top of the trails, equipment hire, lessons and everything you need for an awesome day of bike riding.
Another excellent choice for mountain bikers looking for a campsite just around the corner from the legendary Bike Park Wales is The View Campsite. This family run site welcomes campers in tents, campervans and caravans and it also has a number of glamping pods if you don't have your own gear. There are showers, toilets and wood for firepits, and if you aren't in the mood for cooking then there are a few restaurants nearby to refuel. Aside from being close to Bike Park Wales, The View is situated along the Taff Trail, which is a very popular cycling trail running 55 miles along the River Taff between Cardiff Bay and Brecon. Much of this trail follows the National Cycle Network Route, the majority of which is off-road.
Cannock Chase - an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - is absolutely incredible for mountain biking and offers a variety of trails for all abilities which range from very gentle cycles through woodland for all the family, right up to technical blacks for those who have a strong stomach and a death wish. Tackeroo is a forestry commission campsite managed by Chase Camping (who also run another, pop-up campsite close by) and is in absolute prime position to access these routes straight out of the front of your tent or van. The campsite is hidden in the trees and wild as they come, a true outdoor adventure for those who are looking for one. It is straightforward on the facilities front; you need a van with your own facilities or a tent with a separate chemical toilet tent, but the campsite has bins, running water and waste disposal. The beauty of this place is its idyllic and unspoilt surroundings; keep a look out for deer, squirrels, birds and lesser mud-spotted cyclists.....
For some awesome mountain biking in Scotland, head out to Comrie Croft in Perthshire where you will find yourself surrounded by miles and miles of off road cycling for all abilities, as well as a brilliantly formed network of very technical single track trails, a mountain bike skills park and a pump track. The 16km network of blue, red and black trails means that there is a challenge for everyone here, and the bike centre is very well equipped to deal with bike sales, bike hire, guiding and any kind of assistance you might need bike-wise! There is also a cycle wash, showers for cyclists and a cafe to refuel afterwards, so all in all....a pretty perfect set-up. Stay right in the middle of the action at Comrie Croft eco camping where you can set up in one of the lovely wildflower meadows for some (almost) wild camping and relax around a campfire after a long days cycling. If putting up a tent is all too much, then go glamping in the woods in one of their Nordic Kata tipi tents, complete with beds, cooking equipment and a woodburner. There are also lodges and larger houses for people coming in big groups.
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