Cycling is an excellent way to experience the outdoors and a fantastic activity that can be enjoyed by the whole family.
Bridgette Hall, Forestry England’s Head of Recreation says: “We want everyone to enjoy the nation’s forests and woods and cycling offers a healthy and exhilarating way to get out and explore. We’ve worked hard for years to be able to offer such a large selection of trails for families, so make the most of the lovely weather this summer and come and experience our forest routes.”
With 2,500km of forest trails to explore, grab your helmet and head out to the nation’s woodlands with the family for a beautiful cycle ride.
1. Kielder Forest, Northumberland
Perfect for families, the Borderline Cycle Trail (11 km) runs along a former railway line. The route is relatively flat and easy to ride, great for little ones just learning their cycling skills.
2. Dalby Forest, Yorkshire
Test your cycling skills at the cycle skills area before heading on the Ellerburn Family Cycle Trail (4 km). Offering an easy ride through mixed terrain, it’s a great choice for parents with young children.
3. Hicks Lodge, Leicestershire
Situated in young woodland, the site has been designed with the whole family in mind with great family cycling trails offering a great day out for any budding cyclist.
4. Sherwood Pines, Nottinghamshire
The Family Cycle Trail (5 km) at the regions premier venue for off-road cycling is ideal for those with small children, and the Adventure Cycle Trail (10 km) is a great choice for those looking for a longer ride with picnic stops.
5. Thetford Forest, Norfolk
The Shepherd Trail (8 km) is ideal for beginners offering wide forest roads suitable for bikes with tagalongs, trailers and child seats. The Poacher Trail (16 km) is slightly harder on a more challenging surface for families looking for more of an adventure.
6. Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest, Kent
Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest cycle trails offer something for everyone, from beginners and families looking for a fun day out, to adrenalin junkies looking for a challenge. There’s 10km of waymarked family cycle track and over 13km of single-track. Once you’ve mastered the 10km trail there are lots of other routes to explore around this 2000 acre forest.
7. Haldon Forest Park, Devon
The Discovery Trail (2.5 km) is an all-ability trail with fun features for children and regular resting points. For those building their off-road skills, two blue-graded and one red-graded mountain bike trails beckon with more challenging terrain.
8. Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire
Start your cycling adventure at Cannop Cycle Centre, and then proceed to enjoy a gentle ride through the forest on the Family Cycle Trail (14.5 km). The waymarked circular route follows former railway lines with connecting routes to villages. The route has been especially surfaced and is suitable for all ages and abilities. The route takes you through wonderful scenery with plenty of beautiful spots to top for a picnic.
9. Alice Holt, Surrey
The Family Cycle Trail (5 km) is a fantastic way to explore the forest. With a robust surface suitable for all bikes including those with trailers, be prepared for the up and down hill sections. There is a fantastic picnic spot next to lodge pond about 1km round the trail.
10.New Forest, Hampshire
Exploring this ancient forest by bicycle is the ideal way to discover the beauty and fascinating wildlife. Particularly popular with families is the Bolderwood Green Trail (12 km).
On-site bike hire is also on hand to equip you with everything from adult bikes to tagalongs, electric and adaptive bikes.
With some of the best off-road cycling in the country, you will discover green spaces, dedicated cycling trails, skills areas and beginner mountain bike trails perfect for starting your children on their cycling journey.