Every rider has to start somewhere – and if you’re new to mountain biking, then it’s best to develop your riding skills on some easier routes before tackling more technical (and dangerous) red and black trails.
Beginner trails don’t have to be boring – here are 6 of our favourite beginner routes in the UK (in no particular order), perfect for families and novice riders alike. You’ll have a great time practicing your skills here, and you’ll be ready to take on some more challenging routes (adrenaline junkies should check out our 6 favourite extreme trails) in no time – just remember to take your Ridersmate with you!
Dalby Forest – North Yorkshire
Dalby Forest is England’s largest trail centre, and it caters really well for beginners. If you’re looking for a short ride, the 2.5 mile Ellerburn family route is as easy as they come. Providing a leisurely (and fairly flat) cycle alongside open fields and the beck, it’s ideal for young riders. There is also a longer 8 mile route, which offers great views and varied terrain.
The 8 mile blue trail is a great place to develop your skills and stamina, with some steep sections and varied terrain.
Forest of Dean – Gloucestershire
The family trail in the Forest of Dean regularly features on lists of best British cycle routes, and it’s easy to see why. Flat, easy going and beautiful, it’s a circular route with wide gravelled tracks, and suitable for riding all year round. At 11 miles long, it’s enough to give you a sense of achievement, without pushing you too hard.
Swinley Forest – Berkshire
If you’re learning how to ride, then Swinley Forest is one of the best places to do it. The centre was redesigned in 2013, and now offers a selection of loop routes, in addition to a short green trail that’s ideal for young riders. The 6 mile blue route is the star here – and ideal for building your confidence. It sets you up to succeed, whilst helping you to develop your skills with moderate technical sections and single track.
Coed Llandegla – North Wales
North Wales is packed with great family cycle routes, and the Coed Llandegla Forest has a couple of great rides for beginners. The short 3 mile green route is safe and fun, and if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, the 7.5 mile beginners’ blue route features gentle climbs and gradual downhills that are great for finding your feet. There are even a few small humps to provide you with a bit of a challenge.
Glentress – Scotland
Glentress is a top quality trail centre, and a safe bet for any rider. It caters really well for beginners, with a pair of short green trails good for complete novices, and a wonderful blue route that’s split into two 5 mile loops. It’s packed with carefully crafted single track that will challenge without overwhelming, and fun for riders of all levels. The centre itself is fantastic, with great facilities.
Ravenglass – Cumbria
The 8 mile route along the Eskdale Trail from Ravenglass to Dalegarth offers a perfect family day’s biking that’s ideal for beginners – with only one slightly challenging section. You even get a picturesque steam train ride thrown into the mix. Get to Ravenglass, and book your bikes on the narrow gauge train, before biking back across some simply stunning countryside.
The best of the rest
There are loads of mountain bike centres around, and the majority of them will have some easier family routes for you to ride and practice on, so don’t feel you have to be restricted to this list. If you’re in any doubt, check on the website, and look out for green (novice) and blue (intermediate) trails.
Stay safe with Ridersmate
Wherever you choose to hone your riding skills, make sure you go prepared, and take your Ridersmate with you.
If you fall off and suffer a serious accident, Ridersmate is there to help, springing immediately into action and notifying your loved ones– providing you with the security and peace of mind to ride wherever you want to.
Head over to the Ridersmate store and pick up Ridersmate MTB Edition today.