Bikemagic trail guide: Innerleithen

Destination: Innerleithen, Scottish Borders

Just a few miles south of Glentress, without its own facilities or green or blue runs, it tends to be quieter and frequented by more experienced riders. It’s got a brilliant red cross-country trail though and superb downhill runs.

How to get there

From Edinburgh join the A703 to Peebles just south of the Edinburgh City Bypass (A720). Note that the road becomes the A701 between Penicuik and Leadburn, but reverts to being the A703 from Leadburn to Peebles.

Caning it in another downhill race. Image by Pete B Robinson Photography via Flickr

At Peebles, take a left at the roundabout where the A703 meets the A72. Follow the A72 east towards Innerleithen.

Go past Glentress and continue along the main road to Innerleithen.

Once in the village, turn right following signs to Traquair. The car park is on your left at the T-junction.

Sat Nav: EH44 6PD

Facilities

Just parking onsite but you’ve got all the facilities of Glentress just up the road.

Trails

The 19km red graded cross-country trail is not to be taken lightly. Half is predominately climbing including the ascent to the summit of Minch Moor, which is long, steep and technical.

Innerleithen’s downhill races are popular with riders and photographers. Image by Zorker via Flickr

You get payback though with some thrilling singletrack descending. There are jumps and drop-offs and some optional black graded features. If you’re not too confident in your skills everything, apart from the rock drops at the top, can be rolled at a mellow pace.

Most riders come to Innerleithen for the downhill though and you won’t be disappointed. There’s a plethora of classic trails and four tracks crafted by renowned local trail builder Dik Hamilton.

If you go fast enough, the colour can’t keep up. That’s Einstein, that is. Image by Pete B Robinson Photography via Flickr

There are signed push-up paths from the car-park but it’s 300 m vertical and you’re looking at 45-60 minutes of slog. Far better check out the Uplift Scotland link below or contact David ‘Tally’ Tallontine on 07709 144 299 and save yourself the leg work.

Nearest bike shop

Alpine Bike, Innerleithen

Other info

Parking is £3 for the day and, as quite a lot of racing and events take place there, it’s worth checking the sites below.

The chaps from local lights company Full Beam, out for a pootle. Image by Steve Wyper via Flickr

Useful sites

7stanes, Glesstress & Innerleithen
Uplift Scotland
Innerleithen Mountain Bike Racing


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  1. David Hodgson

    That’s me in the Full Beam shot! We’re laughing ’cause we’re actually track standing pretending we’re being all “gnar” ’cause Steve had trouble getting a shot when we rode fast.

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Bikemagic Trail Guide: Glentress, Scottish Borders