If you are looking for somewhere new to go mountain biking, or are thinking of a trip to the North East then look no further. I’ve found a few of these also make great stop offs on the way up to Scotland if you ever want to plan a road trip.
Located in Blayden, near Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, Chopwell offers one of the shortest and most feature packed trails I have ever ridden. These woods are home to the famous ‘Power Line’ trail. Graded red with some optional black features. Though this isn’t a specific downhill trail, it could be treated as such, due to it being almost two miles of downhill riding (followed by fire road climb back up).
There are other unofficial routes and trails to explore around the woods, as well as some waymarked blue and green trails that take in views over the Derwent Valley.
Dalby Forest offers an incredible collection of trails suitable for all mountain biking abilities, graded from green to black.
There are four brilliant red routes, which can all be connected to make for an epic twenty mile ride. The black route also leads off the red to make this even longer. I would say that parts of the red trail are particularly technical, so it’s not the best trail for beginners.
There is a bike park here too, located at Dixons Hollow. This is an accident hotspot so be careful! In the busier, summer months the Air Ambulance is called out here pretty much daily.
Parking at Dalby is steep at £7. There is a lot packed in however, so you could easily spend a full day riding.
Based around 10km south of Durham, there is a great network of various graded mountain biking trails to play around on. There is also a well-established bike park, offering one of the only places in the North East to have official, downhill trails. This is a popular location for downhill riders and races are often held here.
Kielder Reservoir is a beautiful part of the world and has a number of routes to choose from, offering different distances and varying levels of difficulty, there is something for everyone here.
From the 9km Borderline blue trail, giving some easy riding and stunning views, the 16km Deadwater technical red graded trail, to the 48km Cross Border trail, which gets its red grading thanks to the challenging distance it covers, taking you over the border into Scotland and back.
There are a few other trails too, including a black trail called the ‘Up and Over’, which is worth a go for the more experienced riders.
Located on the very tip of North Yorkshire, Guisborough offers two official waymarked trails, a blue of 7km and a red route of 12km.
However, the star performers at Guisborough are the unofficial single track routes. Well known locally and maintained by volunteers. I haven’t actually ridden much here, but thought it was worth a mention due its excellent mtb community (and if anyone wants to volunteer to educate me further on these trails I’m always up for a day out).