From cycling round the edge of a glimmering loch, to cycling through a crowd of New Forest ponies, the UK is home to some of the most beautiful and exciting forest cycling trails. With so many options to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to start. Find inspiration in our list of the best forest cycling trails in the UK and the best place to stay nearby.
Distance: 17.6km (11 miles)
Driving through the heart of the Cairngorms National park, the trail connecting Aviemore and Carrbridge incorporates everything this part of the country has to offer including stunning scenery and diverse wildlife. This trail picks up at Aviemore, a town popular for skiing, and finishes at Carrbridge - a picturesque village surrounded by an ancient pine forest.
Meandering for around 11 miles, this route passes through Boat of Garten, sometimes labelled at Osprey Village, due to its abundant population of the majestic bird of the same name. Taking around 55 minutes to complete, this trail runs parallel with the steam railway line that winds through the countryside. Take advantage of the wonderful photographic opportunity at Carrbridge – the bridge here, from which the village is named, is the oldest stone bridge in the Highlands. The trail begins beside the police station in Aviemore, a 10-minute bike ride from our Glenmore campsite.
Distance: 14.5km (9 miles)
With specially surfaced paths, the Family Cycle Trail is an ideal trail for anyone wanting to explore the beauty of the Forest of Dean with children. Following the historic Severn and Wye railway line with remnants of former coal mines, this circular route connects the forest to local villages. You can either bring your own bike or hire some from Pedalabikeaway.
Circling the forest for around 9 miles, this trail is best followed clockwise and gently slopes with one steep downhill section. This trail also passes various picnic sites, so why not pack a lunch and make an afternoon of it? The route starts in the Cannop Valley, just over 4 miles from our Bracelands campsite.
Distance: 28km (17 miles)
Tracing the western edge of Loch Lomond, the West Loch Lomond Forest Cycle Path exhibits breath-taking panoramic views of the largest lake in Great Britain. With plenty of loch-side picnic spots along the way, this route also passes the charming village of Luss and Scotland’s most southerly Munro, Ben Lomond.
Finishing in the small village of Tarbet, this trail encompasses 17 miles of all the untamed beauty that the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park has to offer. Stop off at Luss Pier to hop aboard a scenic loch cruise. This trail starts at the Visit Scotland Visitor Centre in Balloch, a short drive from our serene Cashel campsite.
Distance: 3.2km (2 miles)
The New Forest boasts over 100 miles of traffic-free, approved cycle trails – making it a haven for cyclists of all abilities. Perhaps the most popular route for families is the riverside trail between Beaulieu and Buckler’s Hard.
Combining thinly populated forestry, picture-postcard villages and tourist attractions, this route is ideal for anyone wanting to explore the New Forest with children. This two mile footpath starts in the charming village of Beaulieu and finishes in the 18th century village and shipbuilding yard of Buckler’s Hard. This route is within driving distance of our Holmsley Campsite.
Take a look at some of our recommended places to hire bikes in the New Forest.
Crossing the North Wessex Downs and the Savernake Forest, the National Cycle Route 403 links Chippenham to Marlborough and the Kennet and Avon Canal. If you are staying at our Postern Hill campsite, in the heart of the Savernake Forest, you can navigate the most picturesque part of 403, between Calne and Chippenham.
This flat path runs along the old railway line and was set up by the old North Wiltshire District Council. The trail leads you through the middle of Capability Brown’s famous “Grand Avenue”, an avenue lined with beech trees. At over 4 miles long, it stands in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest avenue in Britain. If you are looking for a longer, more challenging ride, follow the trail all the way to either Marlborough or Chippenham depending on which direction you’re heading.
Distance: 4.8km (3 miles)
Combining quiet forest roads and off-road trails, the Family Cycle Trail is the perfect path for anyone exploring Sherwood Forest with children. This circular route starts and ends at the Visitor Centre and is suitable for cycling in any weather – although extra caution should be taken during rain. Looping around the forest, this 3 mile route takes in a variety of habitats and views that Sherwood Forest has to offer.
Taking approximately 1 hour to complete when approached at a leisurely pace, the Family Cycle Trail also passes a number of picnic benches that are dotted around the forest, providing the ideal resting spot to unpack your picnic. This trail is also suitable for off-road wheel chairs, prams and all terrain scooters. Take a look at some more cycling trails near to our Sherwood Pines campsite.
Full route (green)
Still looking for more things to do on your next camping trip? Take a look at some of our favourite things to do near our campsites. Thinking of taking your dog camping with you? Take a look at our dog-friendly campsites.
Please note: Take care of yourself and the environment when cycling in the forest. You can cycle on public roads, byways open to all traffic, public bridleways, restricted bridleways, and dedicated cycle routes. You are not permitted to ride over the Open Forest, or on Forestry England tracks which are not dedicated cycle routes. Cycling on public footpaths is also not permitted.
Follow the highway code for cyclists
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