You decide: the UK’s 7 best bike spots for mountain biking
Cycling has become one of the UK’s favorite sports over the past year. Welcoming healthier and more active transportation during the pandemic, government data indicated that cycling increased by up to 384% in May 2020 compared to early March. In the past year, more people have cycled than ever before.
But now, as the economy reopens and the public gears up for a summer vacation, will cycling vacations be on your agenda? The UK has no shortage of idyllic landscapes for a bit of cycling, and for extreme sports enthusiasts there are an impressive number of mountain ranges and forest trails to choose from. It’s time to boil those tires!
New research from Leisure Lakes Bikes has revealed the best locations for mountain biking enthusiasts.
The study analyzed Tripadvisor reviews from various locations in the UK. When searching for ‘mountain biking’ in the UK, Tripadvisor returns 990 locations and activities as results. Each location and activity can be classified by its type. Categories include mountains, national parks, and mysterious sites. The total number of reviews at each location was then counted.
Here, we rank each location based on their total number of reviews to reveal the most popular places for tourists where you can enjoy your ATVs.
1. Mont Saint-Michel
Not only is it the most popular cycling spot in the UK, St Michael’s Mount is arguably one of the most beautiful places in the country as well. Tide Island is in Cornwall, connected to an artificial granite causeway. Mont Saint-Michel has been reviewed a total of 5,033 times, proving its popularity with tourists.
Mountain bikers, rejoice! It is an incredibly popular spot for a stroll, offering stunning views of the coast of the island through the historic landscape. There is a course for everyone, from beginners to the more experienced.
Is anyone surprised that Snowdon has placed so high on the list? The highest peak in Wales, Snowdon is one of the most popular places for walkers and cyclists. With steep hills and rocky roads, it’s perfect for the seasoned mountain biker. Snowdon recorded 3,072 reviews, while the Snowdon Mountain Railway received an impressive 3,072 reviews. So you can take the train up the mountain or dodge under the tracks and bridges as the cars pass overhead.
However, the Snowdon Voluntary Cycling Agreement means that cyclists are asked not to cycle on Snowdon between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. from May to September. Still, that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying an early morning or evening bike ride. And you can enjoy the rest of the day relaxing in the colorful village below. You can also visit during the off-season to add extra biking to your day.
3. Cairngorm Mountain
While Cairngorm Mountain in Scotland is best known for its ski slopes, during the summer months it becomes the perfect location for mountain biking. With 2,527 reviews, this is another popular spot among visitors.
A mix of woods and muddy trails, with an incredible loch, this is a great place for mountain biking for the whole family.
4. Ben Nevis
When it comes to mountain biking in the UK, you’d be surprised if the highest mountain in the country doesn’t make the cut. Located in Scotland and towering at 1345 meters, Ben Nevis ranks fourth as the UK’s most popular cycling site with 2,461 visitor ratings.
The trails around the mountain are known as ‘witch trails’ which incorporate mountain biking trails for all skill levels. The Nevis Range Mountain Experience has also proven popular with visitors, with 2,302 reviews to its name. So whether you want to climb to the top or cycle through the wooded area below, you can be sure that Ben Nevis offers fun for any avid cyclist.
5. New Forest National Park
Situated between Bournemouth and Southampton, the New Forest National Park is the ideal retreat for cyclists in the south of England. As a national park, this place was chosen for its exceptional beauty and natural importance. The park is also home to a variety of rare birds, including curlew, gambette, snipe and lapwing.
The park has 1,813 reviews showing how popular the site is for tourists. There are also over 100 miles of biking trails through Crown Forest land. So whether you want to spot local wildlife, cycle, or do both, New Forest National Park has a lot to offer.
6. Kilt Rock
This geological formation is a superb location for mountain biking. Named after its resemblance to a kilt, this Scottish cliffside area offers stunning views and a beautiful matching waterfall.
While the windy weather isn’t the best for cycling, visitors are stunned by the eerie tone the cliffs naturally produce when hit by strong gusts. Its remote location may mean that only the most experienced mountain bikers try this rock formation, but the location is certainly popular with a wide variety of tourists to Scotland. In fact, the cliffside area has 1,777 reviews, with tourists commenting on the location.
7. Loch Ness
Have you seen Nessie? You might catch a glimpse of this mythical creature while cycling at this popular mountain biking spot. Loch Ness is Scotland’s second largest lake, but certainly the most famous. With 1707 tourist reviews, it is an idyllic place for any avid cyclist.
In 2002, a new cycle path was opened. Called Loch Ness 360, it offers a cycle path accessible to all cyclists. Divided into six sections, you can organize your own cycle route and enjoy any level of difficulty.
Planning a cycling vacation this summer? Well, there is no shortage of amazing places to visit with your mountain bike. The UK has more surprising places for cycling than you might think. Trusting the audience with their reviews is a good starting point when deciding where to go!