A Cyclist’s Guide to the Forest of Dean – Tips and Trails

Welcome to A Cyclist’s Guide to the Forest of Dean. If you’re into cycling, mountain biking or you’re planning a holiday in the area and you would love to explore on two wheels then you’ve come to the right place!

The Forest of Dean, nestled in rural Gloucestershire between the River Severn and River Wye, offers a mix of hills, valleys, woodlands, and lakes with stunning viewpoints. This hidden gem is perfect for all cyclists, from pros seeking adrenaline-pumping trails to families wanting a relaxed ride through beautiful scenery. In ‘A Cyclist’s Guide to the Forest of Dean,’ we’ll share bike hire options, top trails, and handy cycling tips. Let’s jump right in!

 

James and Sarah from Willow Forest Stays share their favorite cycling routes

Both James and Sarah enjoy road cycling.  Sarah enjoys cycling along the roads at Lydbrook following the winding River Wye.  James prefers the countryside, especially the route from Cinderford to Chepstow, passing through scenic villages like St. Briavels.

 

Heather (@the_lockdown_cyclist) shares her favorite places to cycle and her top tips!

Heather enjoys cycling off-road through the forest exploring places like Mallard’s Pike, Steam Mills Lake, Speech House Lake, Cannop Ponds, Waterloo Screens, the Sculpture Trail and St. Anthony’s Well.  Click the link below to check out her reel for inspiration on cycling in the Forest of Dean and her Top Tips and Advice for Cycling.

https://www.instagram.com/reel/C7l-a5UIG1x/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link&igsh=MzRlODBiNWFlZA==

 

Cycling Routes in the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley

The Colliers Trail (formerly The Family Cycling Trail)

Easy/ Family Friendly – 9 miles

This mostly off-road cycling trail is perfect for the whole family. Start from our holiday cottages or any cycle hire centre. Follow the yellow waymarkers through the beautiful forest, along old railway lines, and beside small streams and lakes. Enjoy well-surfaced paths and gentle slopes. Keep an eye out for wildlife like deer, and take care at the road crossing.

Colliers trail at Mallards Pike | Forestry England

 

Newent Loop Cycling Trail

The Newent Loop is a 28-mile cycling route on quiet countryside roads, with two shorter 19-mile options. The routes are signposted and can be ridden clockwise or anti-clockwise. Be cautious at busy road crossings and please dismount between Church Way and Court Road in Newent.

Newent Loop inside A4 2019 (visitdeanwye.co.uk)

Here are some other cycling routes in and around Newent

Top 11 Bike Rides and Cycling Routes around Newent | Komoot

 

Symonds Yat Cycling Routes

There are several cycling trails at Symonds Yat

Symonds Yat Rock Cycling Trail

A short 2.7 mile  linear trail on surfaced roads Symonds Yat Rock Cycle Trail | Forestry England

Bracelands Cycle Trail

Easy route – a short 1.5 mile trail near the town of Coleford exploring Highmeadow Woods great for mountain bikingBracelands Cycle Trail, Gloucestershire, England – 23 Reviews, Map | AllTrails

Peregrine Path

Easy – 7.5 mile route beside the River Wye on the National Cycle Network connecting Symonds Yat Rock to Monmouth.  Ideal for family’s the path is mainly traffic free

Peregrine Path – Sustrans.org.uk

 

Parkend to Coleford Cycling Trail

Easy 3 mile route – starting at Dean Forest Cycles at Parkend and finishing at Coleford.  Following the old Coleford to Parkend railway line.

dean-forest-cycles_map (deanforestcycles.co.uk)

 

Here are some further cycling routes in the Forest of Dean – the first one focusing on cycle routes in and around Cinderford and the second is cycling routes across the Forest of Dean.

Top 20 Bike Rides and Cycling Routes around Cinderford | Komoot

Top 20 Most Beautiful Road Biking Routes around the Forest Of Dean | Komoot

The Wye Valley Greenway

Opened in 2021 this is a 5 mile off-road pathway between Chepstow and Tintern.

Wye Valley Greenway

Here are some further cycling routes in the Wye Valley in and around Tintern (which is 15.7 miles away from our holiday homes)

Top 10 Bike Rides and Cycling Routes around Wye Valley | Komoot

 

Gloucester & Sharpness Canal Route

If you feel like swapping the forests with viewpoints for the canal paths beside the river then there are cycling routes starting from Gloucester City (some 14.7 miles away from our holiday homes) to Sharpness Canal a 16 mile route.

Gloucester and Sharpness Canal Walking and Cycle Route (gps-routes.co.uk)

Mountain Biking in the Forest of Dean

The Forest of Dean is perfect for mountain biking, offering excitement for all skill levels. Whether you’re a pro or just starting out, our clearly marked trails have something for everyone. Imagine cycling through ancient woodlands, beside bubbling streams and lakes, and up challenging inclines, with chances to spot local wildlife along the way. The Forest of Dean is also very accessible, with excellent facilities at Pedalabikeaway, Dean Forest Cycles, and Wye-Bikes.

The Verderers Trail (BLUE) awarded Best Blue Trail in the Country 2021 Verderers trail at Forest of Dean Cycle Centre | Forestry England

The Freeminers Trail (RED) Freeminers trail at Forest of Dean Cycle Centre | Forestry England  

The Downhill Trails (Graded) Downhill trails at the Forest of Dean Cycle Centre | Forestry England

Pump and Skills Areas (Graded) Pump track and Skills areas at Forest of Dean Cycle Centre | Forestry England

A guide to mountain biking in the Forest of Dean 

Forest of Dean Mountain Biking (fodmtb.com)

 

Bring your own bike or hire a bike?

You can bring your own bikes to Wyldwood Cottage and 24 at St. John’s, where you’ll find lockable storage and space for washing and maintenance. Alternatively, you can hire bikes from one of the three nearby bike hire centres.

The closest is Pedalabikeaway (B4226), just an 8-minute drive away. It’s also the starting point for various cycling trails and mountain biking tracks.

Dean Forest Cycles in Parkend, 11 minutes away, offers access to the Colliers Trail and some of the UK’s best mountain biking trails. Check out their offerings at Dean Forest Cycles.

Wye-Bikes at Bell’s Hotel & Country Club is 13 minutes away. You can hire bikes directly or have them delivered to our holiday accommodation. Explore more at Wye-Bikes – Cycle Routes, Trails and Tracks in Wye Valley.

Looking For A Place To Stay ?

Planning a cycling holiday and looking for a place to stay?  We have two holiday homes that  fit the bill.

WYLDWOOD COTTAGE
  • Upside-down house.  Sleeps 4 with two bedrooms, an en-suite and a full bathroom
  • Open plan upstairs with a fully equipped kitchen, dining nook and comfortable living space with reclining chairs, smart tv and wi-fi
  • Outside the courtyard garden is set to astro-turf featuring a living wall and a private hot tub.
  • We welcome up to two dogs with walks from the door
  • Wyldwood Cottage is situated next to a nature trail.  You can use this trail as a short cut to access the Colliers Trail (be careful crossing the road into the Linear Park)
24 AT ST. JOHN’S
  • Old miners cottage converted into a spacious and charming holiday home.
  • Sleeps 6 with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms
  • An open plan, fully equipped kitchen and dining space
  • Cosy snug with, reclining chairs, log burner and SKY TV
  • Sunroom with comfortable sofas, smart TV and wi-fi
  • Outside there is an enclosed garden with raised patio, seating and coal BBQ.
  • A lawn and a private hot tub.
  • We welcome up to 2 dogs with walks from the door.
  • 24 at St Johns is situated close to Colliers Trail.  You can reach it via road or via the nature trail for a more off-road experience.

Visit our website to check availability, prices to take advantage of instant book http://willowforeststays.com

If you find “A Cyclist’s Guide to the Forest of Dean – tips and tracks” helpful to plan your cycling holiday in the forest of dean or if you visit any of the cycling routes and mountain biking trails in the area we would love it if you could tag us @willowforeststays

 

Are you enjoying your dog-friendly holiday but wondering what other activities you can do together?  Check out our blog for inspiration.

5 DOG FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES IN THE FOREST OF DEAN

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