Destination: Glentress, Scottish Borders
Located in the Tweed Valley, Glentress has the reputation of being one of, if not the, best trail centre in the UK. The facilities are brilliant and the trails, from green through to black, are genuine mountain biking trails with no forest road bimbles.
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.
At Peebles, take a left at the roundabout where the A703 meets the A72. Follow the A72 east towards Innerleithen. Glentress is signposted, with the 7stanes trails signposted a little further on. Follow the road for around 3.5km. The entrance to Glentress is on the left.
Sat Nav: EH45 8NB
Car parking and bike wash. The Peel Gateway Building with toilets, showers and changing rooms. Bike shop and bike hire and the Glentress Peel Cafe.
Kicking off is is the skills area that has green, blue and red loops with features that are representative of what you’re likely to find on the trails for real. A great way to make sure you don’t bite off more than you can chew. You can start the green trail from either the Buzzards Nest car-park (4.5km) or from Glentress Peel (3.5km), either way it’s completely different from most green trails and, although never steep or technical, it twists and turns and genuinely feels like mountain biking.
There’s 16km of blue graded trails equally spread between and upper and lower loop. It’s a definite step up from the green and is fast and flowing. Check out YouTube sensation Callum riding Berm Baby Berm:
Onto the 18km red and, with 65% singletrack, it has everything a red trail should: tough climbs, fast descents, jumps, berms, elevated timber, roots and rocks. Cross-country riding at its very best.
The 29km black packs in 75% singletrack and is a genuine epic. With infamous sections such as Deliverance, The Bitch and Britney Spears, it’s just one technical challenge after another.
Unfortunately the timber features in the Ewok Village have been removed but, for those who love to balance on logs, they still make an appearance elsewhere on the trail.
Finally, for those who like to jump, there’s a Freeride Park with a range of jumps, drops and north shore features.
Nearest bike shop
Car parking is £3 for the day.
If you’re traveling from a distance, Peebles has lots of accommodation. The Prince of India does a good curry and one of the pubs does karaoke, but we’re darned if we can remember which one. It was a big night…