Mountain biking paradise

It’s easy to understand why mountain bikers go starry eyed when you mention the Scottish Borders and Northumberland.

Between them the two regions have a superstar status that draws riders from far and wide, eager to test themselves against challenging tracks that cut their way through wild landscapes.

This is a land where just about everywhere is off the beaten track but never too far away from a rich history, culture and, just what you need after a hard slog, exceptional hospitality.

The mountain biking hot spots in the Scottish Borders and Northumberland are Keilder Water and Forest Park and Glentress in the Tweed Valley respectively.

They boast testing trails that will take your breath away and tailor made for those who are looking to ‘go extreme.’

Glentress, cross-crossed by graded green, blue, red and black trails, is part of the 7stanes network that crosses southern Scotland and welcomes over 400,000 bikers every year. A little further down the road and you have the tempting charms of Innerleithen’s hair raising downhill trails that will test the best.

It’s the home of several top biking events and the renowned Make or Brake and XC routes – not for the faint hearted.

The exceptional mountain biking appeal in the area – for eventers and the independant rider alike – has made Innerleithen the mountain biking capital of the Borders and a popular base for the mountain biking fraternity.

The second of the 7stanes offers in the Borders is in Newcastleton south of Hawick where trails for all skill levels and the family friendly Cadrouns Blue Trail.

There are some excellent mountain biking offers in and around Jedburgh beautiful contryside, too. The Oxnam Loop, the Scraesburgh Loop and a 32km Kalemnouth and Nisbet route are well described in a Local Cycling Trails leaflet available from Visit Scotland.

Kielder Water & Forest Park boasts some of the best single-track trails in the UK with breathtaking views. The black graded Deadwater Fell will push you to the limits while the 33km Bloody Bush trail offers links to the 7 Stanes bike centre in the Scottish Borders.

Kielder Water & Forest Park also boasts the Castlewood Skills Loop, which features decking and bridges to test your skills on before deciding which trail is for you, and a Trails Park for practicing skills or learning new tricks.

For those wanting something a little different there’s the superb Coast and Castles cycle route and the Hadrian’s Wall trail over wonderful countryside.

Useful links…
www.cyclescottishborders.com
www.7stanesmountainbiking.com
www.jedforesttrails.org
www.visitnorthumberland.com/activities/cycling/mountain-biking

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