Destination: Swinley Forest, Berkshire
I’ve got a real soft spot for Swinley Forest and the Look Out as it was the place where I first mountain biked ‘for real’ and, during my eight year incarceration in London, was, along with the Surrey Hills, my biking bolt hole. There are loads of great trails but none are way-marked so it’s a case of heading to the Expert Mountain Biking Area and having a good old-fashioned explore.
How to get there
From the M3 take junction three or from the M4 take junction ten. Then follow signs to Bracknell and the Look Out Discovery Centre is opposite Coral Reef – look out for the brown signs three miles from Bracknell town centre. Sat Nav: RG12 7QW
Full visitor centre with cafe, including strange pop-up animals, bike hire and bike wash.
Roll away from the centre of wide forest tracks and, once you’ve hauled yourself up Surrey Hill, just keep an eye out for the multitude of trails diving off in every direction. Exercise a bit of caution as, although many are fun – swooping and twisting through the trees Return of the Jedi style – others are steep with some unavoidable drops and jumps. Look before you leap. A bit of googling will unearth you some GPX files but we’d recommend just following your nose.
We went to Swinley Forest earlier this year to check out the trails. Take a look at the video below.
Nearest bike shop
Wellington Trek www.wellingtontrek.co.uk
Mountain Trax www.mountain-trax.com
You need to get a £2 permit to ride from the MBSAor from the centre. From September 17th 2012 there will also be a £2 parking charge.
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