The Forest of Dean is a beautiful, wild, and ancient forest. Weaving through the commercial trees and the ancient reminders of the mining past are some of the friendliest and some the most exciting ‘blue’ and ‘red’ bike rides in the country. Bring your own bike or hire. You can go native in the 42 sq mile Forest’s miles of hard tracks and paths or follow some outstanding dedicated bike rides. The 20km family route is a doddle for the kids and follows way marked routes along the old miner’s tramway-tracks past rare skew-bridges and unique egg-shaped railway tunnels. There are lakes, blue bell woods, wild deer and boar, and strategic ice-cream stalls. Leave the family behind and launch a mountain bike onto the 4.5km Freeminer’s single track ‘red’ trail which thrills with rooty drops and hairpin bends. Or take-off on the Verderer’s 11km ‘blue’ cross-country route. Only the tough should tackle the aptly named downhill tracks. Smack in the centre of this wild paradise is the Pedalabikeaway Cycle Centre with cycle hire, maps, advice and a smart café to recover in.
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