Destination: Dalbeattie, Dumfries & Galloway
Although it's flatter than other Scottish trail centres, Dalbeatie is still a must-ride location, primarily for its liberal sprinkling of granite boulders.
The Slab is probably one of the most famous and photographed trail features in the UK and, no matter how many times you’ve ridden it, still feels mighty big when you’re teetering on top.
How to get there
Head south west from Dumfries on the A711 for 13 miles to Dalbeattie. Once in Dalbeattie, follow the A710. The car park is on your left a short way south of the town. Sat Nav:DG5 4QU
There’s a bike wash at the trailhead and toilets and bike hire at Gorsebank (400m from trailhead). For sustenance, you’ll have to go to into Dalbeattie itself.
If you’re unsure of your ability, start off your day with a play at the skills area. The obstacles are representative of what you’ll find on the trails and a good way to gauge your ability. The 11.5 km green grade Ironhash trail is mostly forest roads and, although there are two short singletrack sections, is probably best left to family groups. The 14 km blue grade Moyle Hill trail, covers a fair bit of distance and shares some sections with the Hardrock trail. It’s got some singletrack and some timber sections but overall technical level is fairly low and there’s a fair bit of forest road.
You come to Dalbeatie for the 25 km red grade Hardrock trail and it’s a cracker. With the Slab, the Terrible Twins and plenty more granite, it’s a genuinely technical cross-country trail. Keep an eye out for the black graded options and a clean on-sight run is a feather in any rider’s helmet.
Nearest bike shop
Car parking at the trailhead is £3 per day.