- Top 5 English Trail Centres – what are yours and why?
Which English (sorry Wales, Scotland & NI) would you think rate in the top 5 trail centres in England at the moment and what makes them so good?
I’ve ridden many in Wales & Scotland but seem to default to just a couple in England, usually Cannock & FoD.
So which other ones should I head for?Posted 3 years ago
QECP is my local and in the dry is the business. Fast n’ rooty with just the right amount of features for me. Nowhere near as busy as Swinley either.Posted 3 years ago
at least 3 pages with several posts ending with ‘that’s why I don’t ride trail centres’ 😀 and others arguing that any discussion cannot exclude the ones in Wales.Posted 3 years ago
Happy to oblige JekkylPosted 3 years ago
Hamsterley is small but perfectly formed. I guess the biggest problem is it doesn’t really fill a whole day if your travelling to it specially, but the trails are close together and not dull. Used to be my local and miss it somewhat now.Posted 3 years ago
I used to go to Hamsterley almost weekly but it got a bit samey even with the unmarked trails. They have put some new stuff in recently but I still can’t bring myself to go back, especially since they have doubled the parking charge (I know, get a discovery pass etc etc).
I went off trail centres a few years back. Jsut go to the Peak District, it’s bettererer.Posted 3 years ago
In England there’s not really any genuinely good ones, with the possible exception of Whinlatter, we’re really deprived compared to Wales and especially Scotland.
The English ones are fine, but tend not to be anywhere with gradient or have any actually technical or hard trails. Places like Cannock and Sherwood Pines are, to be honest, a bit crap.Posted 3 years ago
Surrey Hills must count too? Compact area full of trails, carpark, bikeshop and pie shop. Just missing signage.Posted 3 years ago
I used to go to Hamsterley almost weekly but it got a bit samey even with the unmarked trails.
Blimey – its good but anywhere would get dull if you went every week. I used to go in the winter when the moors were naff, or when I only had a half day riding on my own, or after work occasionally (was the wrong direction home!).Posted 3 years ago
My top 5 in no particular order are……
Never visited any others so that was easy!Posted 3 years ago
Blimey – its good but anywhere would get dull if you went every week.
True but once you’ve been to one English trail centre you’ve been to them all. Unless it’s Dalby. Dalby is cack.Posted 3 years ago
Second dalby – good day out and a decent length ride.Posted 3 years ago
Blurghh – hate Dalby! Its 40 mins from my parents house and we very rarely go. Its just such a trudge for half of it. And yes, I do ride a lot of natural stuff, so I know a trudge – but at least normally you get a view!Posted 3 years ago
Stainburn. Because it’s the one that feels least like a trail centre.Posted 3 years ago
I forgot Stainburn. Stainburn is actually, genuinely very good. Just too short.Posted 3 years ago
Ok then. My top 5 are:
Lee Quarry (fond memories of the old Brownbacks race series)
Dalby (the length)
Swinley (the last 2 have a similar feel imo)
I don’t think I’ve been to any others in England.Posted 3 years ago
In England there’s not really any genuinely good ones, with the possible exception of
clearly a typoPosted 3 years ago
I forgot Stainburn. Stainburn is actually, genuinely very good. Just too short.
Now I have to admit I now live 15 mins from it and I’ve been (only lived here 6 months…). Ops!Posted 3 years agoPosted 3 years ago
Places like Cannock and Sherwood Pines are, to be honest, a bit
craprestricted by their natural geography/geology/topography but are perfectly fine if you fancy a change or prefer that kind of riding.
Two marked trails. One an obviously man made, armoured surface thing, the other totally natural-looking dust-fest in the dry, slop-fest in the wet.
And loads of unofficial trails all over the place ranging from stupidly almost unrideable steep to fast, flowy fun.
And free parking or 30 mins away on the bike.Posted 3 years ago
Hopton is a nice blast.Posted 3 years ago
Only been to 5 in England so not too hard.
3- Lee Quary.
Dalby could easily jump further up if it was brought a bit more up to date.Posted 3 years ago
Eastridge, including the enduro trails.
Gisburn is decent enough with a few really fab sections.
FoD if you count the DH trails.
Whinlatter’s OK but a bit “blink and you’ll miss it”.
Grizedale makes a handy launchpad for the local bridleways and cheeky trails.Posted 3 years ago
Guisborough forest – if it still counts.
Not necessarily in that order.
My top 5 by default as I’ve not been to any others.Posted 3 years ago
Whinlatter – blue is as good as anyPosted 3 years ago
Hamsterley – nice mixture of stuff
Cannock – really good use of what’s available, also some nice pootly bway stuff
Gisburn – bit weird and lacks flow in places but a good xc blast
Grizedale – NF a bit crap but loads developing around the site (not even counting bways)
Dalby is the most boring place I’ve ridden a bike. It’s like they built it backwards and forgot to put anything fun in it.Posted 3 years ago
1. Stainburn – at number one because it’s the best, just wish it could be longer.
2. Grenoside – just good for a fun blast if you’re short one time, which I usually am.
3. Gisburn – I like it.
Hamsterley – Have only been a couple of times but it seems good. Mate does the DH there loads but i’m too scared….
Only others i’ve been to in England are Dalby and Cannonck.
Dalby has good bits but the red is not techy enough to be fun. The blue is better.
Cannock – only been once and did follow the dog (before the ‘official’ monkey trail was built), was ok I suppose.
Lakes and Peaks win hands down though!!Posted 3 years ago
I like Whinlatter, I like Cannock and think they’ve done a good job on the Monkey getting in the climbs and descents.
Also enjoying Sherwood Pines red at the moment – its just the right length (10 miles) and level of technicality to make my 6 and 8 years old boys feel like they’ve done a proper ride and has the benefit that they can clean all the ‘climbs’ (some of which look pretty big when you’re 6 on 20inch wheels)Posted 3 years ago
The Croft Trail (in the woods in front of Nationwide in Swindon 😉 )Posted 3 years ago
I’m amused by how polarising Dalby seems to be compared with the others mentioned here.
Might have to put that one on my list just to see which way I go on it.Posted 3 years ago
I think if Dalby wasn’t in the North York Moors, ie, somewhere without stunning natural riding, then folk wouldn’t be complaining about a long pedally red in the woods. Take it for what it is, throw in some of the black bits and the more techy bits from the national and world cup xc course and you should have a decent outing.Posted 3 years ago
We used to live in Rosedale and would only go to Dalby if the natural trails were waterlogged or slutch. The red’s an old skool ride, think along the lines of The North Face trail in Grizedale. Bikes have moved on but the trail hasn’t. From memory some of the black route used to be on the red before they added stuff to the red – it all changed from when we lived there (17 years ago) to when we went back a few years later.Posted 3 years ago
Dalby was fun 20+ years ago when bikes were shit and the trails were mainly made by wildlife.Posted 3 years ago
I love a bit of Hopton me.Posted 3 years agosofaboy73 wrote:
In England there’s not really any genuinely good ones, with the possible exception of Gisburn
clearly a typo
Gisburn isn’t really very good. Not bad if you live round there and everything else is soaked though, which is what trail centres are particularly great at.Posted 3 years ago
Gisburn’s our nearest TC – been twice in the last three(?) years.Posted 3 years ago
“Yak – Member
Surrey Hills must count too? Compact area full of trails, carpark, bikeshop and pie shop. Just missing signage”
wait…what?…really?…rummages in loft to find dusty maps of strange lands East of the Severn…..Posted 3 years ago
hang on, what’s that one near Exeter?
worth a mention, the first blue loop is great fun.
Haldon, that’s it.Posted 3 years ago
There might be other foodstuffs in there too. For balance you could have a pie and a cheese straw. I think that would be all foodgroups covered 🙂
Posted 3 years ago
Went up Gisburn weekend before last, the trailbuilders have been doing some sterling work and it makes a nice varied loop (or rather figure of eight).
You do need to do a couple of laps and incorporate some of the DH bits and the Hope line to make it worth the long drive in though.Posted 3 years ago
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