Forests and woodland areas are some of the most exhilarating and beautiful places you can cycle in the UK.

Forest cycling is natural, wild and extensive, with over 1,100km of specially designed and graded cycle trails throughout Britain. In order to inspire people to get out and experience forest cycling, Forest Holidays has scoured the nation to compile the ultimate list of must-try woodland trails. From exhilarating mountain biking trails to leisurely family rides there’s something for everyone on two wheels, regardless of ability.

The top 10 cycle trails to get you started:

  1. Cardinham Woods, Cornwall

The first trail on the list is the Bodmin Beast Trail at Cardinham Woods. Be warned though, this 7.5-mile single track trail is not for the faint-hearted. There are a number of technical climbs and descents, tight corners and table tops, so a solid foundation of off-road cycling experience is a must.

  1. Dalby Forest, North Yorkshire

Dalby Forest is home to the Ellerburn Family Cycle Route. A much more forgiving trail than the first on the list, this gentle 2.5-mile ride is perfect for a ride with the family, especially for those with young children. The route is also accessible for wheelchair users too.

  1. Argyll Forest Park, Scotland

The 8km Cat Craig Loop in Argyll Forest is a must visit for all serious mountain bikers. The trail, which takes its name from the Scottish wildcat which once roamed the forest, winds through the forest before clearing to reveal spectacular views over Loch Long. Not only does the route boast some amazing scenery but it is also home to a variety of different wildlife, making for the perfect forest cycle trail.

  1. Dalby Forest, North Yorkshire

The second Dalby Forest trail to make it on to the list, The World Cup Cycle Trail is also one of the toughest trails in the top 10.  At three miles, the route is slightly longer than its counterpart but what it lacks in length it makes up for with difficulty. Expect steep hills, table tops and more on this exhilarating trail.

  1. Thetford Forest, Norfolk

Thetford Forest is home to all levels of cycle trails which makes it a great location for all abilities. For families of mixed abilities, or for those who prefer a more leisurely cycle, check out the Shepherd Trail. This five-mile route is perfect for beginners, just be careful if visiting in winter as the route can get rather muddy.

  1. Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire

Another trail perfect for families, The Family Cycle Trail is a 9.5-mile waymarked circular route that follows the old railway lines. Better suited to the everyday cyclist than the experienced mountain biker, the surfaced road through the forest makes it accessible for all ages and abilities.

  1. Alice Holt Forest, Hampshire

Alice Holt Forest in Hampshire is home to a beautiful three-mile forest trail that passes through various woodland habitats and clearings with a picnic meadow perfectly situated for a midway rest. The trail features some steep inclines for those looking for a challenge as well as a long downhill section for cyclists that like to ride fast.

  1. Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire

The second Forest of Dean Trail to be included in the top 10 is the Downhill Trail at Cannop Cycle Centre. This extreme trail is seriously hair-raising and allows maximum downhill speed. Designed for expert off-road bikers only, you can expect an adrenaline rush of the highest order.

  1. Sherwood Pines, Nottinghamshire

One of the tougher trails on the list, The Kitchener Trail in Sherwood Forest is host to a number of challenges. The eight-mile single track route is perfect for the experienced cyclist to hone their skills.

  1. Queen Elizabeth Forest Park

The final trail on our list is the family-friendly Eight Mile Cycle Loop at Loch Ard. This easy-going route passes through beautiful forests and rides adjacent to the expansive Loch Ard, immersing you in natural Scotland. A must visit for the amazing views across the loch alone.