Child on balance bike in Hamsterley Forest
Jerry Tatton

Our favourite places for a family cycle

Kielder Water and Forest Park

Kielder Forest (North East)

Perfect for families, the Borderline Cycle Trail (11 kilometers) runs along a former railway line. The route is relatively flat and easy to ride, great for little ones just learning their cycling skills.

Nearest town: Bellingham 
Sat nav: NE48 1ER

Dalby Forest (North Yorkshire)

Test your cycling skills at the cycle skills area before heading on the Ellerburn Family Cycle Trail (4 kilometers). Offering an easy ride through mixed terrain, it's a great choice for parents with young children. 

Nearest town: Pickering
Sat Nav: YO18 7LT

Child mountain biking in Hamsterley Forest
Jerry Tatton
Family cycling away from the visitor centre

Hicks Lodge (East Midlands)

A great day out for any budding cyclist, from complete beginners to the more confident rider. Situated in young woodland, the site has been designed with the whole family in mind with great family cycling trails.

Nearest town: Ashby-de-la-Zouch
Sat Nav: LE65 2UP


Sherwood Pines (East Midlands)

The regions premier venue for off-road cycling. The Family Cycle Trail (5 kilometers) is ideal for those with small children, and the Adventure Cycle Trail (10 kilometers) is a great choice for those looking for a longer ride with picnic stops.

Nearest town: Mansfield
Sat Nav: NG21 9JH

family cycling through the forest
Family on bike ride in the forest

Thetford Forest (East)

The Shepherd Trail (8 kilometers) is ideal for beginners offering wide forest roads suitable for bikes with tagalongs, trailers and child seats. The Poacher Trail (16 kilometers) is slightly harder on a more challenging surface.

Nearest town: Thetford
Sat Nav: IP27 0AF

Bedgebury Pinetum (South East)

The Family Cycle Trail (9 kilometers) is a great route that allows visitors to enjoy the impressive trees, flowers and wildlife that call Bedgebury Pinetum home. If you have little ones and would prefer a shorter ride with the same benefits, the Family Short Cycle Trail (4 kilometers) is the one for you.

Nearest town: Goudhurst
Sat Nav: TN17 2SJ

Bedgebury National Pinetum Hill's Avenue autumn
Photo credit: David Jenner
Viewpoint over the forest

Haldon Forest Park (South West)

The Discovery Trail (2.5 kilometers) is an all-ability trail with fun features for children and regular resting points. For those building their off-road skills, two blue-graded and one red-graded mountain bike trails beckon with more challenging terrain. On-site bike hire is also on hand to equip the whole family with everything from adult bikes to tag-a-longs.

Nearest town: Exeter
Sat Nav: EX6 7XR

Forest of Dean (South West)

Start your cycling adventure at Cannop Cycle Centre, then proceed to enjoy a gentle ride through the forest on the Verderers’ Trail (11 kilometers) or the Family Cycle Trail (17 kilometers). With wonderful scenery and plenty of beautiful spots for the perfect family picnic.

Nearest town: Coleford
Sat Nav: GL15 4

two boys cycling in the forest on a cycle route
Child outside bike hire shop in the woods

Alice Holt (South)

The Family Cycle Trail (5 kilometers) is a fantastic way to explore the forest. With a robust surface suitable for all bikes including those with trailers, be prepared for the up and down hill sections. There is a fantastic picnic spot next to lodge pond about 1km round the trail. 

Nearest town: Farnham
Sat Nav: GU10 4LS

New Forest (South)

Exploring this ancient forest by bicycle is the ideal way to discover the beauty and fascinating wildlife that can easily be missed by car. The cycle trail that is particularly popular with families is the Bolderwood Green Trail (11 kilometers).

Nearest town: Lyndhurst
Sat Nav: SO43 7NY (This will take you to the New Forest Centre where you can plan your day).

The open forest landscape within the New Forest National Park