Best MTB Trails in Northern England and Scotland

Best MTB Trails in Scotland and Northern England | The MBA Podcast

In this edition of the Mountain Bikes Apart podcast, we let you know about some of our favourite local trails.

We talk about what you’ll find there, what some of the pros and cons are of each location and what type of mountain biker and indeed mountain bike they suit most.

Colin kicks things off by sharing one of his all time favourite trail centres, which is Glentress.

Glentress and Innerleithen

Glentress is perhaps the most well-known trail centre in the UK, partly due to it’s accessibility but mainly because of the quality of the trails. We talk about our experiences riding there and what the trails have to offer.

We agree that the Black route is quite an epic day out on the bike, being longer but also a lot rougher than the Red loop. In terms of tips, we’d both recommend taking a good amount of food with you, so that you aren’t “hitting the wall” or “bonking” before you finish up the ride!

Close by Glentress is the extremely popular Innerleithen, and this is Colin’s second trail recommendation. Boasting both world class XC and DH trails, “Inners” has something for any type of mountain biker.

We discuss how some of the drops on the XC loop will really test your nerve and skill, as well as the technical features of the climbs, which also keep you on your toes!

More info on the 7Stanes Trail Centres here.

Gisburn Forest

One of my favourite trails in the North of England is Gisburn Forest.

Located near the headquarters of infamous brand Hope Technology, the forest sits close to the Lancashire and Yorkshire border, and is relatively accessible from areas like Leeds and the Lake District.

The trail centre features an 11-mile figure of 8 loop, made up of a Red-grade trail with optional Black sections.

Perhaps the most notable of these are the slab drop about half way through the lap, as well as “Hully Gully”, a downhill section featuring huge berms that go up and down a small valley.

Here’s a video of Hully Gully.

I particularly like this trail because it features a lot of singletrack, has some tough technical features and is just the right length for me to train multiple laps.

The centre also features a downhill that is reminiscent of Glentress’ Spooky Wood descent called the Hope Line, which is a lot of fun to session and to use to work on your skills.


One trail centre that is loved by both myself and Colin is Kirroughtree. This trail centre offers less elevation than some of the others in the 7Stanes group, but instead offers a fast, flowing trail with heaps of interesting technical features.

The trail centre is known for it’s mountain bike playground known as McMoab. Here, the trail takes riders over a huge area of rock, which requires lots of skill and bottle to negotiate all the way to the end.

Colin mentions how grippy the rock here is, and whilst it offers a lot of grip year-round, it also makes for a painful landing if you come unstuck!

Here’s where you can find out more about Kirroughtree.


Colin is also keen to briefly mention Golspie, which whilst being located much further into Scotland, is well worth the drive to ride. This is one trail centre geared up for XC and all-mountain riders alike, featuring a huge climb up and a long descent down.

For more info on Golspie, you can click here.

Sheffield Trails

Towards the end of the podcast, Tom mentions some of his favourite trails located close to the centre of Sheffield. Home to DH legend Steve Peat, Wharncliffe Woods and Greno Woods are well-known for both their XC and more DH-orientated trails.

They offer a nice blend of man-made as well as natural trails, and feature all kinds of jumps, berms and drops that are a lot of fun to session or string together for a longer ride.

In addition to these is a purpose built trail centre only a mile or so from the city centre, called Parkwood Springs. Whilst being very short and in the middle of a public park, the trails are certainly recommended for anyone with an hour or two to spend when visiting Sheffield.

Your Favourite?

Tell us about your favourite trail, as we’d love where you like to visit for great riding. If you’ve got your own stories and experiences from any of the trails we’ve mentioned, we’d also love to hear them. Get in touch with us on Twitter, where Colin can be found at @colinmcgray and Tom at @bytombell, or you can contact Tom through his website at

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