Destination: Thetford Forest, Norfolk
Mountain biking might not be the first activity you think of if you're considering visiting one of the flattest part of the country, but if you’re willing to put in the pedal strokes and aren’t just a gravity junkie, there’s a lot of fun to be had. If the twisting singletrack trails through the trees aren’t fast enough for you, MTFU, shift up a gear or two and work those legs.
Thetford Forest has been an off-road hotbed since before there were mountain bikes. We have the motorcycle enduro riders to thank for blazing a lot of Thetford's singletrack. Once a moto route has bedded in, it makes a great twisty mountain bike trail. Throw in the famous Thetford bomb holes and you've got a series of fun challenges as long as you don't slack off.
How to get there
From Thetford, take the B1107 north towards Brandon. The trails start at the High Lodge Forest Centre, which is on your left.
Sat Nav: IP27 0AF
High Lodge Forest Centre has all the usual Forestry Commission facilities including a cafe, adventure playground and hoards of screaming kids.
There are four way-marked trails. The 10 km green grade Shepherd Trail is your usual Forestry Commission family trail affair with wide and generally well surfaced forest trails.
Next is the 13 km blue grade Poacher Trail. The surfaces are a bit rougher than the green but, with no hills to speak of, is still a very mellow ride.
The 18 km red Beater Trail will be more of interest to most riders and consists of plenty of sinuously snaking forest single-track. Excellent fun as long as you’re willing to pedal hard.
Finally, there's the 16 km Black Lime Burners Trail. It’s got bomb holes and plenty of single-track but nothing technically too hard and the black grading is certainly relative. Ride it hard though and nailing all the twists and turns smoothly is a real challenge. The Beast at the end will definitely put a grin on your face.
Nearest bike shop
Brace yourself for the parking/entrance fee. £1.90 per hour or a whopping £10.00 for the day.
TIMBER - Thetford Improved Mountain Biking EnviRonment - is the local mountain bike club. Originally founded as a trail-building grounp it's not a fully-fledged club with a coach, rides and races.
Thetford MTB Racing does what it says on the tin. Organising body for Thetford races including the famous Dusk Till Dawn overnight endurance race.
High Lodge Forest Centre - The Forestry Commission's official site for the area