Guide to Mountain Biking in North Wales – #1 Trail Centres

North Wales is the perfect destination for mountain biking, with graded trail centres, big mountains and remote singletrack there is something for everybody. Families will love the purpose built destinations with cafes and lots of facilities. Downhillers will be rave about the bike parks with uplifts and some very challenging trails. Those looking for a challenge or a big adventure will find it in the hills and valleys of North Wales. Whether its a day out, weekend break or holiday, North Wales is a great place to go mountain biking.

Today we are talking about trail centres.

Coed-y-Brenin near Dolgellau was the first and is still one, if not the best in the UK. It has a great cafe, good bike shop with a good selection of rental bikes,  lots of car parking and eight purpose built mountain biking trails graded from green (easy) to black (difficult/expert). The highlight of which is the Beast trail graded black.

Coed Llandegla just east of Wrexham, with similar facilities to-Coed-y-Brenin has quickly established itself as the one of the best trails centres in the UK. I t has four trails graded green to black. These are well suited to anybody, from families to serious riders and anybody in between. With good facilities on site including walking trails they will also appeal to non-mountain bikers. Here is a video of Neil Donohue riding at Coed Llandegla.


Other trail centres include the Marin Trail near Llanrwst, Penmachno near Betws-y-Coed and Nant-yr-Arian near Aberystwyth. These are designed for the intermediate to advanced rider with no facilities on site and just one trail typically between 20 and 30 km in length. You should come prepared with spares and a first aid kit for these trails and as such are more suited to experienced riders.

Need some where to stay? Take a look at out

Hit the Hills Mountain Biking Weekend @ Edale in the Peak District

mountain biking break edale peak districtThe Peak District is one of the best places for mountain biking in the UK so I was delighted when I found some new accommodation in Edale to try out this November. I know the area really well having ridden there countless times over the years so I was confident that the location woud work well.

I checked out the accommodation over the summer to make sure it was good enough for Hit the Hills, key ingredients are: comfy lounge, big dining room, plenty of beds, hot showers, bike storage, bike wash (beck running through the garden) and a pub nearby.

I ran it as a special offer weekend and had three sets of friends who all got on really well over the weekend. Dinner was served as and when they arrived on Friday, then we headed off to the local pub for a few drinks. We chatted through some of the route options for Saturdays and ended up agreeing a cracking route taking us over to Ladybower. You can view the route here.

On Saturday after a hearty breakfast we all went out together and had a fantastic day taking in amongst other trails Spud Ally, Hagg Side, Screaming Mile & Hope Brink. After the ride I got the fire mountain biking peak district accommodationgoing and all the guests tucked into the cake and chatted about the days riding in the lounge.

The three course dinner went down well and all the guests retired to the cosy lounge afterwards and settle down by the fire for the evening.

On Sunday after another hearty breakfast some chose to ride again doing their own thing and others headed off to early to spend the rest of the day with their families.

All-in-all a great weekend with fantastic accommodation, amazing riding that held up well in winter conditions and lots of hearty homemade food – perfect!

Find out more about the Edale lodge break and make an enquiry here.

Pudsey, Calverley and Tong Mountain Bike Route – 22km

mountain biking leedsOverview

This is a mountain biking route from Pudsey in West Yorkshire taking in Calverley and Tong. It’s a mix of road, double/singletrack, Woodlands, cobbles with some tough climbs and great descents. It’s 22km long with approx 600 meters of climbing/descending.

Start Point

Car park by the Bankhouse Inn at Pudsey is the best place to start and finish with a pint after the climb to the finish.

Description

Head up the hill on the road from the Bankhouse Inn and take a left at the bottom, follow the road round to the right and then take the left at the junction. Keep going until you hit the roundabout and

mountain biking pudseythen go straight on up the hill. Not a big hill and a good one to warm the legs up on. At the top take the right down the wide stone track and then the left at the junction by the big house. Its a fast descent but you do get cars on it so keep an eye out. The next trail undulates then eventually bring you out back on to a minor road.

Head straight on to the main road, take a left and follow the road round. On the bend take a right by the church down into Calverley Woods. You will see a bit of singletrack develop to the right of the main path heading off right. This is a great descent that twists and turns through the trees  and eventually brings you out on the canal. Make sure you bear left on the last bend to double back on yourself. At the bottom follow the track along the canal which will begin to head back up into Calverley Woods. Cross straight over the stone track and keep traversing the woods. Eventually you will join another stone/dirt track by some house and a junction, go straight on and continue to traverse upwards. Following this path until you come the main road (A657) and cross straight over and rejoin the woods with the old mill on your right.

mountain biking round leedsKeep climbing up the hill, it’s a long climb with a gentle gradient. At the junction go straight over with the Blue Pig pub on your right and you will eventually come out by the quarry entrance. Head up the road and take the left turning A647. Cross over the road and head down Daleside Road over on the left. Over Ducking Crossing through the Farm and then take the left back into the Fulneck Valley. This is a fast bit on singletrack that turns into cobbles and then some rough steps before spitting you out at the bottom of the valley.

Hang a right and then take the bridleway climbing out of the valley, can you jump the motorcycle trap? Gets a bit steep towards the end and eventually brings you out on Smalewell Road. Take the right immediately after the Fox & Grapes down the valley hold on tight for a fast swooping descent into the Valley with a river cross at the bottom.

Follow the wide path straight on (this bit can get very muddy in winter) out of the Black Carr Woods and to the a footbridge on your left. If you have had enough you can head up the Hill back to the car, it’s a steep climb but fairly short, or you can continue up the hill to your right. Go through the farm at the top of the first hill and follow the road down taking the first left. Watch out for cars round here as they sometime speed through taking a short cut to Bradford.

When you eventually meet the main road hang a left, pass the Greyhound Pub and then left up Keeper lane. Take in the view of the Fulneck Valley and then it time for the final descent of the day which is very quick with a few water bars to negotiate. Keep an eye out for horses and enjoy the ride. At the bottom cross the brook and climb up the hill back to the car.

Great local route and you will definitely earn a pint.

Map – Ordance Survey Map of the Route

GPXOpens a link to the GPX file 

Fancy a mountain biking break? Have a look our breaks.

Hit the Hills Meetup

A new development for Hit the Hills…

Once a month there will be a group ride with FREE CAKE at various locations across north Wales and England. The rides will be of varying skill and fitness level so there should be something for everybody.

There is no charge so come along for free, meet some new people and enjoy some cake wit Hit the Hills.

You can join the Meetup group here.