So I'm in my last year in school over in Northern Ireland.
Intending to do some form of sports science at a university on the mainland with you folk. I live to race my bicycle, so good local trails/scenes/races are a pretty big factor in deciding where I want to spend the next 3 or 4 years of my life.
Current 5 choices are Loughborough, Birmingham, Sheffield, Brunel, Aberdeen.
Other places I've considered are Hertfordshire, Edinburgh, Exeter, Durham.
Ireland is a lovely place, everything is just up the road - I can race road, mtb and cx without having to drive more than 2hrs in any direction. Obviously the mainland is a bit different, but I hope to be racing elite level, primarily xc racing, inevitably road and cx too. My question is, is there any of those places you definitely wouldn't want to be if you were into riding/racing mtb, or any you definitely would want to be?
I know the Sheffield scene is pretty good, I've been there with the UK School Games last year, haven't been anywhere else though. Google maps can only tell me a certain extent, I know in Ireland there are some fantastic mtb spots where you'd never think from looking at a map. Any insight at all would be awesome, thanks!