Could Northamptonshire Be Your Next MTB Destination?

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It hardly has a reputation for being a mountain bike destination, but the flatlands of Northamptonshire might just be about to deliver a dose of trail excitement.

Proposals currently at planning permission stage seek to turn a former golf course into a mountain bike park – just like the hugely successful project in Leeds that’s created Leeds Urban Bike Park. For those frustrated mountain bikers in the area, this could be a real asset – no more shlepping to the Peak District for your weekend thrills. And of course, having trails on their doorstep might just attract a whole new cohort of riders. The immediate area contains almost no bridleways, and the wider area is sorely lacking in connected off road routes. This facility will be free to access and is designed to connect in to some of the cycling infrastructure in the area so that riders can ride to the park instead of driving there.

Green lines are bridleways! Source:

The trails proposed are:

  • Green – 0.794km
  • Blue – 3.023km
  • Red – 0.335km
  • Black – 0.422km
  • Yellow – 337m

The green trail will be a multiuser trail ‘providing a dual directional to aid flow and connections within the site and existing cycle infrastructure outside the side.’ there will be ‘opt-in sections from the multiuser green trail proving the first step towards specific MTB trail features on a controlled area’

Two blue grade trails will ‘create a staked trail system allowing users to choose loop lengths and difficulty to aid interest and progression.’

Red and black mountain bike trails will ‘make best use of the topography of the site to deliver intermediate and advance descending sections for continuing progression.’

Dual tracks will allow for head to head racing in a safe controlled area.

There will be specific connecting climb sections and push ups to cover a range of rider styles.

There will be a skills area, and five collection areas where riders can meet and discuss the next bit of the route.

Now this looks like more fun.

If you’d like to comment on the application, head to the Northamptonshire Planning Portal.

Viewing 17 posts - 1 through 17 (of 17 total)
  • Could Northamptonshire Be Your Next MTB Destination?
  • Premier Icon thegeneralist
    Full Member

    providing a duel directional to aid flow and connections within the site

    That sounds a bit dangerous 😉

    Premier Icon Murray
    Full Member

    Looks good, I could go riding at lunchtime!

    Premier Icon nickc
    Full Member

    Could Northamptonshire Be Your Next MTB Destination?

    Speaking from some-one who lived there…Let’s hope not, eh? I mean I don’t wish this project ill, and I’m sure the locals will be grateful, but lordy, I can’t think there are many counties lower on my list of “places I want to visit to go to ride”

    Premier Icon Mark Alker
    Full Member

    You never know… Merthyr Tydvil was never on my list of places to go stay overnight with a bike until BPW moved in 🙂

    Premier Icon rockandrollmark
    Full Member

    As a local(ish) rider I’d really welcome this. If you search Google for “Map of UK Mountain Bike Trail Centres” there’s a black-spot that surrounds my house for about a 50 miles in every direction. This would be slap bang in the middle of that.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m very grateful for the trails that we have here (Woburn, Rushmere, Chicksands) but variety = spice of life and all that.

    Premier Icon Hannah Dobson
    Full Member

    @thegeneralist The planning app does actually say duel! I missed fixing that one. Bike jousting though…

    Premier Icon skellnonch
    Full Member

    Northants, ok-ish for xc, anything else will be a bonus to be honest.

    Premier Icon alric
    Free Member

    it is needed, theres nowhere fun stuff near here (that i know of) if youre too old for corby skatepark

    Premier Icon luket
    Full Member

    There’s a lack of bridleways on that map, sure, but even if there were bridleways I’m not sure they’d be much cop to ride! Anyway, I really applaud these efforts. I’ve been guilty of joking about the “world class bike park” but they could create something that is a really good asset to local folks. It’s a pretty big population within 30odd miles and very little to ride.

    I will be round for a play when it’s done and in the meantime will see if there’s a way I can support what they’re doing. Bravo.

    Premier Icon -m-
    Free Member

    Ironically, the Council flattened a jump spot a couple of years ago that was in the woods separating the proposed site from the A45 on the left side of the aerial plan. This was supposedly due to contention with other users, but there weren’t really any other users and no through routes. Presumably the same people will be over-the-moon about the annexation of the whole of the adjacent area 😀

    Call me cynical, but I’ll reserve judgement until (a) it’s been built and (b) there’s evidence of how it will be maintained. Given that they don’t even seem to be able to pay for a full licence for the CAD software they’ve used, it doesn’t suggest a huge budget is available…

    Premier Icon transporter13
    Free Member

    Ooh.. Used to love riding at Hardingstone… Shame it got destroyed really.
    Fingers crossed the new proposed park will be decent.

    Premier Icon spence
    Free Member

    Been knocking about for a few years now, somehow doubt it’ll come off. Hope it does as I can seen where I park my car at work in the arial photo.

    Premier Icon Kayak23
    Full Member

    Sounds very much like the proposal in my ends, in not a million miles away from Northampton, Leamington Spa.

    We’ve had a lot of vocal opposition mainly coming from a particular dog walking campaigner who would deftly pounce on any possible angle she could and use it as a weapon against the proposals.

    In fact, in the planning stages I came on here and asked folks to help support the idea by registering a vote of support on the council planning pages.

    She actually then used that list of votes against it by claiming that our little town was going to become a ‘destination mountain bike park’ with hordes of bikers from all over the UK descending on the former golf course.

    As if a tiny little hill in a Midlands town was ever going to rival Whistler! 😂

    Planning has now been approved for the Leamington one but that’s kind of the last I’ve heard about it. Sounds like it’s at a similar stage here.

    Hopefully they’ll happen, as really, anything that encourages exercise in the outdoors is a good thing and kids will love it.

    Premier Icon Andy H
    Free Member

    I’m a local, even know some of the guys who have been working behind the scenes to get this off the ground. Supports has so far been overwhelmingly positive, with objections so far surprisingly negligible… even the majority of the locals in nearby Hardingstone have been positive about it on the basis it will bring customers and money to the shops, pubs, etc. in the village… someone did anonymously and briefly attempt to drum up support on the Hardingstone Facebook page to object to it, but the rest of the village were unimpressed and kind of piled in to put them in their place lol.

    As others have pointed out, it’s desperately needed in these parts, has been for years. We’re all fairly positive about it here. I wouldn’t say it’s a done deal but all the comments I’ve read and heard from the various parties involved are largely positive ones. Fingers crossed eh 🙂

    Premier Icon smiffyboy
    Full Member

    Tearing up a golf course to make way for bike-related activities will ALWAYS get a thumbs-up from me.

    Premier Icon snotrag
    Full Member


    I mean I don’t wish this project ill, and I’m sure the locals will be grateful, but lordy, I can’t think there are many counties(sic) lower on my list of “places I want to visit to go to ride”

    I’d have said the same thing about Middleton/Beeston/Belle Isle in South Leeds about 5 years ago too…

    Premier Icon Tom Howard
    Full Member

    Same, and I lived there.

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