Where To Ride a Gravel Bike

Where To Ride a Gravel Bike

In the realm of cycling, there’s a breed of enthusiasts who seek more than just smooth pavement beneath their tires. They crave the rugged, the adventurous, the untamed paths that lead to breathtaking vistas and unforgettable experiences. For these aficionados, the gravel bike is not just a means of transportation; it’s a ticket to exploration and discovery. In this guide, we’ll traverse the globe to uncover the top destinations where gravel bike enthusiasts can indulge in their passion for off-road riding. Enter the realm of gravel biking – a discipline that embraces the rough and tumble terrain, inviting riders to explore off the beaten path. And in the United Kingdom, a land rich with diverse landscapes and historic trails, the opportunities for gravel biking are boundless.



How to Find Gravel Biking Routes



An addition to guides like this one, it’s also a good idea to use cycle route planning apps like Komoot or Strava to discover more routes in your local area. You could also join a cycling Facebook group for further route recommendations.

If you fancy a challenge, there is also a wide range of gravel events that take place throughout the year across the UK and abroad. Some of the most popular UK gravel events include:


  • Dirty Reiver – Kielder Castle Forest Park, Northumberland
  • Gritfest – Upper Towy Valley, Mid Wales
  • The Muck N Mac Fest – Traquair House, Tweed Valley
  • Cotswold’s Cross – Cotswold Hills, Cotswold’s
  • Raiders Gravel – Galloway Forest Park, Scotland


Young adult using electric bike in the country side




Unearthing the Best Routes


Are ready to embrace the excitement of gravel biking? Here’s a guide to some of the most spectacular routes and destinations where you can unleash your gravel bike’s potential.



Exploring the Heart of England: The Cotswolds Circuit



Nestled in the picturesque countryside of central England lies the Cotswolds. A region renowned for its rolling hills, charming villages, and quintessential English landscapes. The Cotswolds Circuit offers gravel bike enthusiasts a delightful mix of quiet country lanes, bridleways, and ancient trails. As you pedal through this idyllic countryside, you’ll be treated to sweeping vistas of golden fields, lush green meadows, and centuries-old stone cottages, the Cotswolds Circuit is perfect for riders of all skill levels looking to immerse themselves in the beauty of rural England.





Chasing Adventure in Wales: Brecon Beacons National Park



For those craving a challenging ride, look no further than the Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales. This rugged expanse of mountains, moors, exhilarating climbs, and breathtaking views at every turn. The park boasts an extensive network of gravel trails and forest tracks, allowing riders to explore its wild and untamed beauty. From the dizzying heights of Pen y Fan to the serene waters of Llyn y Fan Fach. The Brecon Beacons National Park is a playground for gravel bike enthusiasts seeking a taste of adventure.




Coastal Charms: The Jurassic Coastline of Dorset




Who prefer their gravel biking with a side of sea breeze and salt spray, the Jurassic Coastline of Dorset beckons. Stretching for 95 miles along the southwestern, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a treasure trove of geological wonders. The gravel trails that wind their way along the coastline offer riders a thrilling blend of challenging terrain and breathtaking scenery. If you’re navigating the rocky shores of Lulworth Cove the Jurassic Coastline promises an unforgettable gravel biking experience.





Highland Havens: The Scottish Highlands




For the ultimate gravel biking adventure, head north to the rugged landscapes of the Scottish Highlands. Here, you’ll find some of the most exhilarating and remote gravel trails in the UK. From the world-famous North Coast 500 route to the hidden gems of the Cairngorms National Park, the Scottish Highlands offer endless opportunities for exploration and discovery. Whether you’re tackling steep mountain passes or meandering along ancient drovers’ roads, the rugged beauty of the Highlands will leave you awe-inspired and hungry for more.





Gear Up and Go: Tips for Gravel Bike Adventures



Before embarking on your gravel biking adventure, it’s essential to ensure you have the right gear and equipment. A sturdy gravel bike equipped with wide tires, disc brakes, and ample clearance is essential for tackling varied terrain and rough trails. Additionally, be sure to pack plenty of water, snacks, and a repair kit to keep you fueled and prepared for any eventuality.


When planning your route, consider factors such as distance, elevation gain, and trail conditions to ensure a safe and enjoyable ride. Be sure to check local regulations and obtain any necessary permits or permissions before venturing into protected areas or private land. Above all, embrace the spirit of adventure and exploration that gravel biking embodies.


In conclusion, the United Kingdom offers a diverse and captivating landscape for gravel bike enthusiasts to explore. From the gentle hills of the Cotswolds to the rugged wilderness of the Scottish Highlands, there’s a route to suit every taste and skill level. So gear up, saddle up, and embark on your own gravel biking adventure – the open road awaits!






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