If you’re an avid mountain biker looking for some of the best spots to ride in the UK, then look no further! With a wide spread of bike parks and trails across the UK, there are always great riding spots not too far away that cater to a range of abilities. Whether you’re taking on your first trail or an extreme trail junkie – Here are some must-visit locations that offer a variety of trails to suit all skill levels and riding styles.

Top UK Mountain Biking Spots | Pauls Cycles

The biggest parks (and best for MTBing!)

Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales

Located in Wales, the Brecon Beacons offer a wide range of trails through rugged and remote landscapes. From natural rocky descents to flowy singletrack and steep climbs, the Brecon Beacons have something for every type of rider. The area is also home to several trail centers such as Cwmcarn and BikePark Wales, which offer lift-assisted riding and a variety of trails for all skill levels.

Top UK mountain biking spots | Brecon Beacons Wales | Pauls Cycles
Brecon Beacons, Wales, UK

Snowdonia (Eryri) National Park, Wales

The largest National Park in Wales and home to one of the first mountain bike centres in the UK, Snowdonia National Park offers multiple diverse trail centres for varying abilities. Flowing trails make this a great spot for beginners, families and those looking to progress their riding skills. Advanced riders will find some of the most challenging and exhilarating mountain biking trails in the UK, with steep drops and fast descents that will test even the most experienced riders. With its breathtaking scenery and challenging trails, Snowdonia National Park is a top destination for mountain bikers looking for an unforgettable experience.

Coed Y Brenin, Snowdonia, Wales | Top UK Mountain Biking Spots | Pauls Cycles
Coed y Brenin Trail Centre, Snowdonia National Park, Wales

Kielder Forest, Northumberland, England

Located in the North of England, this area is a true mountain biking paradise offering epic long rides through some of the most beautiful and remote landscapes in the UK. Kielder Forest is also known for its gnarly gravel trails, which are perfect for those looking for a more challenging and rugged ride as well as a cross-border trail that links to Newcastleton Forest Park in Scotland.

Kielder Forest Park, Northumberland | Top UK Mountain Biking Spots | Pauls Cycles
Kielder Forest Park, Northumberland, UK

Peak District National Park, England

The Peak District offers some of the most diverse and challenging mountain biking terrain in the UK, with a mix of rocky technical trails, steep descents, and fast-flowing singletrack. The Peak District is also home to several trail centers, such as Hope Valley and Goyt Valley, which offer a great selection of trails for all skill levels.

Peak District National Park | Top UK mountain biking spots | Pauls Cycles
Peak District National Park, England

7 Stanes, Scotland

Featuring 7 of the biggest and best mountain biking parks across Scotland, the 7 stanes stretch from the British – Scottish border up to the Highlands. With arguably some of the best cycling the UK has to offer, it’s definitely worth the visit. With “stanes” being the Scots word for Stones, each park is marked with a stone sculpture representing local myths and legends. Covering a broad landscape, each of the 7 stanes parks feature multiple trails for varying skill levels and riding styles. In Scotland, you really are spoilt for choice.

7stanes, Scotland | Top UK Mountain Biking Spots | Pauls Cycles
7stanes Mountain Biking Centres, Scotland

Cairngorm National Park, Scotland

Nestled in the Highlands, Cairngorm claims its place as one of the largest national parks in the UK, and home to four trail centres. With its stunning scenery and varied terrain, it offers trails that cater to riders of all skill levels. From technical singletrack to steep descents, Cairngorm has it all. For beginners, there are easier trails that offer a gentler introduction to the sport, while intermediate riders will find plenty of technical challenges to push their skills to the limit. Advanced riders will also find a wealth of trails that offer the ultimate test of their skills. Whether you’re looking to take on the challenging singletrack or simply enjoy the stunning scenery, Cairngorm National Park is a must-visit destination for any mountain biker.

Loch Avon, Cairngorm National Park, Scotland | Top UK mountain biking spots | Pauls Cycles
Loch Avon, Cairngorm National Park, Scotland

When it comes to trail riding, it’s best not to get ahead of yourself and your experience (as well as your riding equipment, including safety! Read our Guide to Cycling Helmets) – but equally, know where to develop your skills! To make things easier, most mountain bike trail centres follow the trail difficulty grading index below, or similar, to help you understand what to expect and whether you’ve got the right gear for the job. Fortunately, the most popular mountain bike trail centres across the UK tend to offer more than one trail of different grades. 

MTB Trail Grading System
🟢 Easy
🔵 Moderate
🔴 Difficult
⚫ Severe
🟠 Extreme/Pro

Bike Park Wales, Brecon Beacon, Wales

Best for: 🟢🔵🔴⚫🟠

One of the largest trail centres featuring uplifts, Bike Park Wales is an infamous spot for beginners and experts alike. With over 40 trails across all grades of difficulty and ranging from 0.1km to over 2km, this spot in the Welsh mountains is a must-visit for mountain bikers of all ambitions. 

Forest of Dean Trail Centre, Gloucestershire, England

Best for: 🟢🔵🔴🟠

The Forest of Dean is located in the western part of England, in the Dean and Wye Valley. Known for its marked cross-country trails, the Forest of Dean trail centre offers a great mix of technical sections and flowy singletrack as well as boasting some of the best graded downhill trails in the country. With an on-site shop, workshop, cafe, toilets, showers and bike wash, Forest of Dean is a great destination for all riders. Here you’ll find family-friendly trails, intermediate trails for the moderately skilled up, and those extreme-level trails for mountain bikers looking for a more adrenaline-fueled ride.

Cannock Chase Cycle Centre, Staffordshire, England

Best for: 🟢🔵🔴⚫

Home to a variety of mountain bike trails in the west midlands. Whilst catering to all skills and abilities, its best-loved tracks are its two dedicated red-grade XC/downhill trails “Follow the Dog” and the “Monkey” trail. With minimal climbs, you can skip right to the good part.

Glenlivet Trail Centre, Cairngorm National Park, Scotland

Best for: 🔵🔴🟠

If you’re looking to experience some of the best mountain biking available to us within the UK, then a visit to Scotland is essential. Flowing singletracks and stunning scenery on trails for most abilities feature in this trail centre nestled in the expansive Cairngorm National Park.

Newcastleton Forest Trail Centre, Scotland

Best for: 🔵🔴

Located on the British – Scottish border, Newcastleton Forest is one of the 7stanes parks that span across Scotland that offer some of the best long-connect MTB trails in the UK, with a mix of challenging climbs and fast descents. Whether you visit Newcastleton or any other of the 7stanes parks, they all feature a variety of trail types, including cross-country, enduro, and downhill, making Scotland a great destination for all types of riders.

Hidden gem mountain bike trails

Mountain biking is a popular pastime in the UK, but the most well-known trails can become quite crowded, especially during peak seasons. However, the most rewarding adventures often require a little bit of digging and there are still plenty of hidden gem trails that offer fantastic riding without the crowds. Here are four of the best lesser-known mountain bike trails in the UK, categorised by skill level.

Suitable for Beginner Riders: Nidderdale Greenway, North Yorkshire, England

The Nidderdale Greenway is a 4-mile trail that runs from Harrogate to Ripley in North Yorkshire. This flat, easy route follows an old railway line and is perfect for beginners or families looking for a relaxed ride. The trail is often less crowded than other routes in the area, making it an excellent option for those who prefer a quieter ride.

Suitable for Intermediate Riders: Whinlatter Forest, Lake District, England

Whinlatter Forest, located in the Lake District, offers a variety of mountain bike trails that are perfect for intermediate riders. The Altura trail is a 7.5-mile route that offers a mix of technical climbs and descents, while the Quercus trail is a shorter, 3-mile loop that is ideal for those looking for a more relaxed ride. While these trails are popular, they are often less crowded than other, more well-known Lake District routes.

Suitable for Intermediate Riders: Penmachno Trail, Snowdonia National Park, Wales

The Penmachno Trail, located in Snowdonia National Park, is a 19-mile loop that offers a fantastic mix of flowing singletrack and technical sections. Despite being one of the best mountain bike trails in the UK, it remains less crowded than other Snowdonia routes. This trail is perfect for intermediate riders who want to experience the stunning scenery of Snowdonia without the crowds.

Suitable for Advanced Riders: Afan Forest Park, South Wales

Afan Forest Park, located in South Wales, offers some of the best mountain bike trails in the UK for advanced riders. The park has a network of trails that offer everything from steep, technical descents to fast, flowing singletrack. While Afan Forest Park is popular with mountain bikers, it is often less crowded than other well-known trail centres, making it an excellent option for those looking for a challenging ride without the crowds.

Mountain Biking with Pauls Cycles

The UK offers many amazing mountain biking spots spanning the country, making riding accessible to us all. Whether you’re looking for something that suits a group of mixed abilities, a beginner looking for a more relaxed, scenic ride, or an advanced rider looking to ditch the crowds and take on a challenge at a hidden gem, there’s something for everyone.

We offer a range of mountain bikes that are suitable for any trail and cater to riders of all skill levels. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to push yourself to new heights, we’ll help you find the perfect mountain bike. Our team of experts are also on hand to offer support and guidance, ensuring that you find the right bike for your budget, skill level and riding needs. So, why wait? Grab your bike, and head out to explore all the UK has to offer!


Adam Cross is the Customer Care Manager at Pauls Cycles and specialises in all things related to cycling lifestyle, gravel/off-road riding & road cycling. In his role, he leads advice and support for cyclists of all levels, being well versed in the sport of cycling. Riding and racing bicycles for 15 years, Adam has competed in everything from short distance time trials to ultra distance gravel and 24 hour mountain bike races. When not at work, Adam will most likely be found on the sandy tracks and trails of Thetford Forest - Follow Adam on Instagram @ay_sea_