Why England is great for mountain biking families

Why England is great for mountain biking families

Sep 11 , 2023

Feva Marketing

When you think of the English landscape, mountains are probably not what first comes to mind! And it’s true, whilst the UK mountains are situated mainly in Wales and Scotland, England still boasts some spectacular ‘big hills’ that will satisfy even the most hardened MTBer!

Just to clarify, a mountain in England is any hill that rises at least 2,000 feet (610 metres) above sea level… And we do have them!

North - The Pennines

Known affectionately as the backbone of Britain, the Pennines are a chain of mountains that run from near the Scottish border down to the north of the Midlands. From here you can visit Chatsworth House, Chester Zoo or High Force Waterfall.

These scenic hills are protected by national parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, making them host to some of the best views in the north of England. You can stay at any number of local hotels, country houses and camping/glamping sites with easy access to the 40+ MTB trails. And quite usefully, Komoot has identified their top 20 of them to help you choose.

Mid-West - The Shropshire Hills

Technically not mountains, but these hills do reach 540m at their highest point (Brown Clee). The Shropshire Hills are known for their ‘whaleback’ hills adorned with woodlands on their slopes and open moorland on the top.

📷By George Mahoney, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12297362

The region contains two Special Areas of Conservation and a nature reserve, so are perfect for those who want to spot some typical English residents!

There are 10 hills to explore in all, all with quiet roads or trails to take you through the countryside, and once again, you can check out Komoot’s top 20. Once you’re done mountain biking, you could also visit Shrewsbury to see the prison, museum or the National Trust property Attingham Park.

South East – The Chilterns

A popular destination for mountain biking, The Chilterns host The Chilterns Classic and the Chilterns Ridge trail rides. Although the highest peak here is Haddington Hill at 867ft (267m), it still makes for a thrilling MTB experience.

📷By GameKeeper - Own work (My digital photo), CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=686948

These chalk hills have over 2,000km (1,200m) of footpaths and cycle routes to choose from with the top 20 available on Komoot. This is a great place to base yourself if you’d also like to visit Oxford to see the famous universities and museums, or Waddesdon Manor in Bucks.

South West – Dartmoor

The highest point on Dartmoor is High Willhays at 2,037ft (621m), so just about qualifies as a mountain! Formed of granite, you will frequently come across the natural stone in the many streams that criss-cross the moor - Possibly what made the location a perfect filming spot for Sherlock Holmes’ Hounds of the Baskervilles…

📷By Myself - Herby talk thyme - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4900784

The National Park covers 954 square kilometres (368m²) with an extensive network of quiet lanes and designated cycle routes, together with bridleways and byways. The top 20 of which has been collated by, you guessed it, Komoot!

Beware though – you may come across any number of cattle, sheep and ponies roaming on your path! If you like the coast, this would be a great place to visit, with Torquay Beach (nicknamed the English Riviera) around 40 minutes’ drive away.