The south-west has plenty of off-road routes to suit all abilities and levels of cycling. These include energetic mountain bike trails and leisurely off road routes.
If you fancy going off the beaten path, many of the mountain bike clubs in the area will be familiar with the best places to ride.
The following places are the most popular for mountain biking in and around Bristol and North Somerset, but there are plenty of other places waiting to be explored.
Off road trails
Where: Ashton Court Estate is two miles west of Bristol City Centre Centre. The main entrances are off the A369 Portishead Road at Kennel Lodge Road, for the mansion and centre of the estate, and at Clifton Lodge for the golf course and top of the estate. There is an easy and pleasant walking and cycling route from Bristol or Pill via the River Avon Trail and regular buses run close to the main entrance.
This track is sponsored by Avanti.
Where: Off Beggar Bush Lane, east of Weir Lane, Abbots Leigh, Bristol (map). The yellow trail in 50-Acre Wood is a great place for youngsters or inexperienced riders to have a go on the rough tracks because the route is not too technical More adventurous mountain bikers can follow the pink trail to test out their skills on more rugged terrain. These trails are close to the trails in Ashton Court Estate.
The Mendip Hills
Where: Black Down, near Burrington Combe, North Somerset .Miles of trails cater for various level of experience from novices to expert mountain bikers. These routes involve longer distances and involve more on-road routes than the leisure rides. The routes may involve some cycling on busier roads. Find out more: www.activemendip.co.uk
Abbots Pool Wood
Where: Abbot's Pool Wood is next to the village of Abbots Leigh, about 3 miles west of Bristol. Several paths lead to the woodland but the easiest route to the pond and cascades is via the track from the car park.
Ashton Hill Wood
Where: You can get to Ashton Hill Plantation from the B3129 at Failand. There is a car park at the site.
Avon Valley Woodlands
Where: The River Avon Trail provides easy and pleasant access to the reserve on foot or by bike from the centre of Bristol.
Where: Main entrance to the Wood are at Lakewood Road (off Lake Road) and Doncaster Road. Car parking is available on adjacent roads. Please park with consideration for local residents.
Where: Carrs Woodland is located in Twerton on the western edge of Bath. It is about 20 hectares in size and there is access throughout. Due to the hilly nature of the site there is not access for all. During the summer months part of the site is grazed with cattle.
Where: You can get to the Ellen's Wood from Badgers Lane / Monmouth Hill (running between Over and Almondsbury). The site can also be accessed via a number of public footpaths and permissive paths.
Where: The main entrance to Wick Golden Valley is on the A420 near the Carpenters Arms in South Gloucestershire. Bus services are available along the A420 and bicycle locks are provided near to the entrance. There are also public footpaths that connect the reserve with nearby towns and villages. Visitors by car can use the Wick Village Hall car park, which is signposted off the A420 near the Rose and Crown pub. Blue badge holders can use two accessible parking bays at the Carpenters Arms.
Jubilee Stone Wood
Where: Jubilee Stone Wood is on the south side of the A370 at Backwell, about 7 miles south-west of Bristol. The woodland can be accessed via footpaths from Church Town but the all-ability trail begins at the south end of the site.
Where: From the A46, the main entrance to Lower Woods is off the road between Hawksebury Upton and Wickwar. You can park at Lower Woods Lodge or in Wickwar, which allows a pleasant walk across open countryside to the reserve.
Manor Road woodland
Where: You can get to the Manor Road woodland directly from Manor Road between Keynsham and Saltford.
Meadow Drive Farm
Where: Meadow Drive Farm is a woodland of just over 9 hectares, close to the River Avon between Keynsham and Bitton. The farm can only be accessed via public footpaths. You can get to Meadow Drive Farm Woodland via the Monarch’s Way long distance route (a public right of way), on the section that runs between Keynsham and Bitton. You can join this section of the Monarch’s Way from the River Avon Trail (at point OS Explorer 155 ST663693) or from the Bristol & Bath Railway Path (at point OS Explorer 155 ST675696). The access point for the site is mid-way along this section of the Monarch’s Way (OS Explorer 155 ST 670694).
Oke Park Wood
Where: Oke Park Wood is in Brentry, north Bristol. The site can be accessed via Okebourne Road to the west, Chakeshill Close to the east and Knole Lane to the south.
Where: You can get to Overscourt Wood from Siston Lane, which runs between Pucklechurch and Bridge Yate. There is a small car parking area - coming south from Siston, take the first left along a farm track immediately after the bridge over Siston Brook.
Where: Ridgewood is between Yate and Chipping Sodbury, about 12 miles north of Bristol. There are a number of entrances to the site. The Frome Valley Walkway passes the south entrance of the Reserve and then continues to the Cotswold Hills.
Where: Silver Street Local Nature Reserve lies close to the southern edge of Midsomer Norton.
Where: Three Brooks Nature Reserve is in South Gloucestershire, six miles north of Bristol. The Reserve is accessible from Bradley Stoke Leisure Centre and Library, where there is parking, toilets and a cafe.
Where: Troopers Hill is in St George, two miles east of Bristol City Centre. You can easily walk or cycle to the site from Bristol along the River Avon Trail.
Warmley Forest Park
Where: The main entrance is on the A420 at Warmley, next to the crossing point of the Bristol & Bath Railway Path.
Where: Weston Woods runs along the northern edge of Weston super Mare allowing easy access on foot or by bike. There are a number of entrances including Worlebury Hill Road for the top of the site and Kewstoke Road at the base of the Woods. Car parking is available at Sand Bay (off Beach Rd) or on Worlebury Hill Road.
West Tanpit Wood
Where: West Tanpit Wood is in North Somerset, four miles west of Bristol. Turn down the clearly named ‘Sandy Lane' from the sharp bend in the A369 at Abbots Leigh and follow this narrow road for one mile to reach a small car parking area at the woodland entrance.
Wheat Hill Farm
Where: Wheat Hill Farm is a new broadleaved woodland of some 8 hectares (19.5 acres) near Easter Compton, situated on the Community Forest Path. Wheat Hill Farm can only be accessed via public footpaths.
Where: You can get to Wooscombe Wood from Slate Lane in Compton Dando. There is a small car parking area on Slate Lane.