Woodsy singletrack and rolling countryside: Bracknell Forest
One of the original post-World War II new towns, Bracknell — sitting bang on the commuter belt, in the heart of pretty Berkshire — is home to a robust network of traffic-free cycling pathways, including almost 100 kilometers of new or improved trails and circular routes that link parks like Lily Hill and Savernake (and are designated by color-coded stickers on lampposts).
But the magic really happens in Bracknell’s nearby Swinley Forest, one of the best mountain bike centres in the South: 24 kilometers of purpose-built singletrack, both family-friendly and technical, weave and roll through the woods. Worried about a washout day? The terrain here is sandy and holds up in wet weather.
For roadies, the quiet roads to Sandhurst or Windsor pass by quaint villages and country pubs, and the annual Three Counties Cycle Ride (3CCR) tours the best of them. If you’re seeking true gravel adventure, you can attempt the Orbital Explorer Route, a 360-km mega-loop that includes Bracknell — or sign up for the Ridgeway Gravel Epic, which follows Britain’s oldest road.