Redbull recently highlighted the Forest of Dean as one of the best places in the UK to spend a ‘dirty’ weekend, and it’s not hard to see why!
The FOD, as it’s known locally, is a bit of a mecca for off road cycling.
Starting with the Family Cycle Trail, a 10 mile circular route that starts and finishes here at Pedalabikeaway, it’s perfect for all levels! The gradients are gentle, and it’s a very scenic amble around some historic parts of the forest.
If you don’t fancy the whole loop or have young children cycling, you can do the shorter length Hicksters loop, which is under half the distance and fully way-marked too.
To extend it, then why not take the short diversion down to the beautiful Mallards Pike Lake? It’s the perfect place for a picnic, and there is even an amazing cafe on site as well! The below shot was from the mini freeze we had this time last winter!
You also have the option of accessing the Family Cycle Trail via the Lydbrook, Coleford and Parkend links so you can ride to and from your accommodation!
Talking of accommodation, there is a massive amount of choice in the Forest for your stay. The Wye Dean tourism site is a great place to start, but a personal favourite is the Fountain Inn run by Alan, who helps dig and maintain the trails here in the FOD, while Broadstone Farm is a fantastic little campsite with great homemade cider and superb access to the Forest!
If you are a little more adventurous, then the mountain biking on offer is almost limitless. All the way-marked trails start and finish here from the centre, including the blue-graded Verderers trail, the red-graded Freeminers trail and several downhill tracks. There is also a pump track and advanced skills area with jumps and drops, and a huge amount of off-piste tracks to explore!
You can get an idea of what some of them are like, by checking out our You tube site
To maximise your riding time, you could hire an e-bike (check out our previous blog on the Whyte Bikes E-150 ) or book on to one of Wye MTB’s uplift assisted trips to explore the beautiful Wye Valley. They also offer trips further afield into the beautiful Welsh Black Mountains and Brecon Beacons, which are less than 45 minutes away.
You’ll have loads to do for the little ones as well. There is a Go-Ape Mini’s site just a 10 minute walk from the centre, Puzzlewood – the enchanted forest (where some of Star Wars was filmed), Canoeing on the River Wye, Clearwell Caves or why not try Battlesports?
When you are all done, then don’t forget to call back into the cafe! We pride ourselves on serving the best coffee and cake in the forest. Perfect for that caffeine hit to keep you awake on the drive home!