Rowan Sorrell: My 5 favourite places to ride in the UK

Rowan Sorrell is an expert trail builder and incredible bike rider. He’s ridden throughout the World and built most of the trails you ride.

Here are Rowan Sorrell’s top 5 places to ride in the UK.

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Mr Rowan Sorrell. If anyone can tell you where to ride this weekend, it’s this chap. Jacob Gibbins Photo.

Tweed Valley

While the official trails at Innerleithen and Glentress are all decent in their own right, some of the off-piste riding in this area is amazing, as highlighted by last year’s EWS.  Check out Wideopenmag’s Mark Scott riding some secret Tweed Valley trails here.

7Stanes website.

Mark Scott and Josh Lewis up high in the Tweed Valley. The riding and the views up there are incredible. It’s one of our top destinations too!

South Wales Valleys

While this choice of course, includes Cwmcarn and BikePark Wales as two great official centres, the reason I really love my home is more for the mile after mile of natural and off-piste singletrack tucked away in the woods.

As a rule of thumb, if there is a forest on a hill in any of the valleys, then you can bet your bottom dollar there is a pretty damn good mountain bike trail lurking in there. I won’t name names, but one of my favourite trails in the UK and my regular haunt is tucked away in a steep sided valley in the woods in South East Wales.

I like the balance of riding available now with the BikePark and the natural trails so depending how I feel that day I can ride something that fits the bill.

Visit the Cognation website for South Wales mountain bike info and the Bikepark Wales website for the bikepark.

Bike Park Wales took our “best uplift venue of 2014” award. Get over there if you like fun trails, fast uplifts and tasty beer!

Chipshop Woodlands and Gawton

A great scene in the South West; the original sites that helped develop the scene and lead to many more riding spots subsequently popping up in this part of the country. Woodlands is developed and maintained by a passionate group of individuals who do a brilliant job of keeping it both challenging and fun and Gawton is great for doing runs on the downhill bike. You can see Gawton in action on Episode 1 of Kye Forte’s Road Trip mini-series.

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Visit the Gawton Gravity Hub website for more info.

Kye Forte on Gawton's Proper Job - a fast, fun and flowy trail. Try the Egypt trail if you prefer steep and technical!
Kye Forte on Gawton’s Proper Job – a fast, fun and flowy trail. Try the Egypt trail if you prefer steep and technical!

North Wales

I can’t choose one favourite venue but it’s a great long weekend trip now that we have Llangollen, Revolution Bikepark and Antur Stiniog all close by. Both Llangollen and Revolution are up there with some of my favourite DH riding. They’re natural, challenging and pretty steep.

Visit the One Giant Leap Llangollen website and the Revolution Bikepark website.

Here’s Joe Smith flying down Llangollen. Just one of North Wales’ amazing places to ride.

Cwm Rhaeadr and Brechfa

“Cwm Rhaeadr is hands-down my number one trail in the UK”

Cwm Rhaeadr is hands-down my number one trail in the UK. It’s perfect, unspoilt and still so much fun. I’ve never had a bad ride there. Brechfa is in a stunning and quiet part of the country with decent trails to match. Well worth a visit if the sun is shining.

Visit the MBWales website for more info.

Thanks to Rowan for his trail tips!

What are your favourite places to ride in the UK? Tell us over on the Wideopenmag Twitter!