Bikemagic Trail guide: Bedgebury Forest, Kent

Nikalas Cook

Destination: Bedgebury Forest, Kent

Bedgebury regularly hosts races
Image: surfboy2 via Flickr/BFCC

There are some hills in Kent but unfortunately not in the vicinity of Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest. It’s still worth checking out, though, especially if you’re into head down, arse up, ferocious pedaling.

It’s best visited in the dry, when the twisting natural-feeling forest trails are most fun to ride. In the wet it becomes a far less enjoyable mud slog.

How to get there

From Tunbridge Wells, follow the A21 south towards Hastings. After about 9 miles, turn left onto the B2079 and follow signs to Bedgebury.

Sat Nav: TN17 2SJ

Facilities

All the usual Forestry Commission fare and the world’s finest conifer collection in the National Pinetum.

Trails

If you’ve got the kiddies with you there’s a newly surfaced 9 km family trail.

The main trail of interest is the red grade 13 km Single-Track trail. Maybe I was a little harsh in the introduction as there are some ups and downs but, if you’re from anywhere genuinely hilly, even the scarily named Cardiac Hill is a molehill rather than a mountain.

That said, it’s a fun trail to blast round and, after a couple of fast laps, you certainly feel as though you’ve done something and will have had a lot of fun.

Bedgebury Forest Cycling Club are constantly adding new sections and options with some black thrills planned. There’s a dirt jump and free-ride area but the once-extensive North Shore has recently been dismantled.

Nearest bike shop

Quench Cycles (onsite) with bike hire

Other info

Parking and admission is a slightly eye-watering £8.50

Useful links

The Forestry Commission’s Bedgebury cycling guide.

Bedgebury Forest Cycle Club builds trails, and organises rides and events including the Bedgebury Insomnia night race. Membership includes an annual parking pass.

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Next up in Where to Ride

Bikemagic Trail guide: Thetford Forest, Norfolk