Woodland and forest rides

A family cycle through the woods

Some of the UK's best forests and woodlands are within easy reach of the National Cycle Network. Get back to nature, go exploring, and enjoy the range of activities on offer at some of these fantastic spots. 

1. Wyre Forest, Shropshire

National Route 54 takes you to this fantastic woodland which is home to many rare species of flora and fauna. With mountain bike trails, children's play areas and a Go Ape! course there is so much to see and do. 

2. Alice Holt, near Farnham, Surrey

National Route 22 takes you to Alice Holt where there are a range of cycle trails for every ability. This forest has an eco friendly visitor's centre, a Go Ape! course with its high ropes and swings and a full calendar of fun events. Open 365 days a year there is a great cafe for refreshments or you can hire one of the pre-bookable BBQ's. 

3. Leigh Woods, Bristol

National Route 41 takes you very close to this great woodland on the outskirts of Bristol. Why not try out the 'Yer Tiz' Mountain Bike trail or some of the family cycling paths. Take a picnic and take a rest at one of the viewing spots that looks out over the Avon Gorge. 

4. Galloway Forest Park, Dumfries and Galloway

Take the Lochs and Glens South route from Newton Stewart into the 300 square mile forest park and past three Loch's - Trool, Dee and Clatteringshaws. Make sure you stop at Clatteringshaws visitor centre for refreshments and to take in the stunning views. The forest is a haven for wildlife so keep on the lookout for red squirrels, otter, pine marten, black grouse, golden eagles and red deer.

5. Whinlatter Forest Park, Braithwaite, Cumbria

Follow National Route 71 from Keswick into this fantastic mountainous forest. There is a WildPlay zone for kids, mountain bike trails, a Go Ape! course for the adrenaline junkies and bird lovers can try and spot a bassenthwaite osprey. There is also a cafe and shop selling artisan food and gifts. 

6. Coed-y-Brenin, Gwynedd

National Route 82 is challenging and you can follow it via Coed y Brenin if you take the route inland instead of via the coast. Starting or finishing at either Dollegau or Porthmadog it includes a pass that climbs to over 400 meters above sea level. It's well worth the effort if you're a mountain biker because Coed y Brenin is home to the largest trail centre in the UK. If gentler pursuits are what you're after then try orienteering or geo-cashing instead. 

7. Afan Forest, Port Talbot

The Afan Valley route travels between Port Talbot and the gorgeous Afan Forest. The area is a haven for all sorts of wonderful wildlife and has world-class mountain bike trails.

8. Kielder Forest, Northumberland

National Route 10 travels through this beautiful forest. Leaving Carlisle heading north the route heads into Kershope Forest followed by an extensive traffic-free section deep into the Kielder Forest to the reservoir where it continues on minor roads to Bellingham.

Check out more of our favourite routes for nature lovers.

Read about our rides to fun, family friendly days out.