Whether you want to try some gravel bike racing, discover new places in the UK for gravel riding or simply, be part of the gravel community, attending organised events is a great place to start.
The number of gravel events in the UK is booming and the list we've compiled is likely to only grow as more dates for 2023 are confirmed.
All of the gravel events we've included offer a variety of distances, so you can enter regardless of your fitness and skill level. Remember that not all gravel events are races - even if you're given a timing chip and a rider number. So don't be afraid to enter an event, because inclusivity is what gravel riding is all about - just have fun and ride at your own pace, and enjoy the pasta party afterwards.
16-18 June 2023
Claiming to be the UK’s Premier Gravel Race, Lauf Gritfest is open to all off-road bikes. This year, the biggest Gritfest to date includes a Friday Prologue in the ticket, so you can have a long weekend of incredible riding within the Cambrian Mountains.
The format includes timed special stages on gravel and over a mixture of terrain - so you don’t have to race the distances full on. There are two stages: 65km and 53km, and a 5km prologue on Friday. The entry fee of £120 includes camping.
Entries are open now.
Panaracer Dirty Reiver
21-23 April 2023
The Panaracer Dirty Reiver is perhaps the most well-known, and the largest, gravel event in the UK, with three distance options circling around the stunning Kielder Forest near the Scottish Borders.
The 200km event is one continuous loop with three feed stations, the 130km event follows a similar route to the 200km with two feed stops, and the 65km event has one feed stop.
The course is suitable for any off-road bike with 33c or larger tyres – preferably with an off-road-specific tread. While the course is designed to favour gravel bikes, a hardtail mountain bike or similar will be fine - although be warned, this event is known to be pretty hilly.
Entries open on 1 December 2022 and cost £75 for the 200km and 130km and £55 for the 45km.
The Dukes Weekender
9-10 September 2023
Dukes weekender adaptive cycle, by Dukes Weekender
The Dukes Weekender is a pretty unique event held in Aberfoyle, Scotland. The two-day event consists of a Saturday hill climb and a Sunday Gravel Enduro event, and you can choose to do either or both. The Gravel Enduro route covers 70km and includes six timed segments - so you really don't have to go all in, all the time. And the hill climb is... well, a hill climb. The whole event is also held with inclusivity in mind, and this year the Gravel Enduro included the adaptive cycles category - the first one in the UK!
The event is organised by Bike Trossachs CIC, which means that all profit from the event goes back into the local community, which is very cool.
Registrations are open now and cost £78 for the weekend, or £25 for the hill climb and £58 for the Gravel Enduro.
Stone Circle Gravel Event
24 June 2023
Stone-Circle-Gravel-Hotchillee-Jonathan-Heard(24).jpg, by Hotchillee
Hotchillee says the Stone Circle gravel event's terrain is similar to the iconic US gravel races, and without doubt, this event will become popular quickly, much like its US counterparts. This year's event is the first edition and takes place during the summer solstice in June.
All of the dusty and punchy riding kicks off at dawn from the historic hilltop fort of Old Sarum, and the epic 215km route will pass the iconic landmark of Stonehenge. The challenge is to race the solstice sun and finish before night falls. If you rather not exhaust yourself, there is a 135km option available as well.
The start and finish are on the edge of Salisbury, so it's pretty accessible from major cities - but you better start booking your accommodation and the tickets very soon, as this one will fill up fast.
Entries open on Tuesday 17 January 2023 and prices start from £65.
Salsa Frontier 300
17 June 2023
This coast-to-coast event premiered last year. The 300km route stretches from the Irish Sea to the North Sea, and the organisers say the challenge is more about what lies between those shorelines. The route doesn’t link together iconic roads or tourist honeypots, but journeys through the heart of the old Border Marches, to reach the Salsa beach welcome – food, fire and frontier hospitality.
If you’re wanting to get into some longer-distance riding, this might be a good starting point as it’s fully supported, making refuelling a little easier.
£125 for a solo entry, and entries are open now.
Wild South Downs Way
20 May - 21 May 2023
Wild Cycles x Mason SDW.png, by Wild Cycles
Mason Wild South Downs Way is a two-day self-guided bikepacking adventure along one of the UK's most spectacular and iconic must-ride routes. Wild Cycles, a bikepacking and gravel events organiser, has teamed up with British bike brand Mason Cycles, Neighbourhood Gravel and Cadence for this two-day bikepacking event.
The event kicks off in Winchester (accessible by train from London) on Saturday morning traversing the spectacular South Downs National Park, and the first day takes you to spend the night at the Barn at Mason Cycles. After a well-deserved dinner and rest, the second day will take you to Cadence Café in Eastbourne. This event does require some fitness as the whole 160km route involves over 3,000m of climbing.
Places are limited, but the tickets costing £95 a piece are available now.
31 August - 3 September 2023
Raiders Gravel 2022 hero, by Roo Fowler
Raider’s Gravel took place in the beautiful Dumfries and Galloway for the first time this year, and I actually had a go at riding - read, racing - it, for our very own Team ORCC.
The event spans four days, with each of the three stages offering something slightly different in the Dumfries and Galloway forests. The distances for this year were around 75-80km, so this is a good mid-distance event. The evenings are filled with entertainment and you can choose to camp or find more indoorsy accommodation at Gatehouse of Fleet.
Pre-registration for the 2023 edition closes on 9 November 2022, with the official registration to follow up later.
Muck n Mack Fest
5 - 7 May 2023
Muck_n_Mac_Fest.jpeg, by Matt Page
Muck n' Mac Fest is a weekend of gravel riding, live music, beer, yoga and family friendly activities at Traquair House - Scotland's oldest inhabited house. Expect some premium riding, as this one will take you to the finest gravel trails the Tweed valley has to offer.
The tickets are live now and the entry fee - which includes camping - is £50 for one day, and £97 for the whole weekend.
Hotchillee London to Paris Gravel
20 - 23 July 2023
This one is a rather epic, luxurious experience that takes you out of the UK and into France. This year, Hotchillee launched the gravel edition of the iconic London to Paris route - and you can read this write-up of the event that confirms that this is a once-in-a-lifetime, epic event to do. This is not your regular cycling sportive, but instead a chance for you to have one of the best cycling event experiences of your life, riding all the way from London to Paris on your gravel bike. If you go, make sure to pack tissues as it can get emotional riding around the Arc de Triomphe on closed roads...
Entries for the 2023 edition are open now and the four-day experience sets you back £1,900.
The Wild Westie
27 - 29 May 2023
Glorious Gravel Dunoon Gravel Cycling 1.jpg, by glorious gravel
If you want to experience Scottish gravel riding over multiple days, the Wild Westie offers just that. It's a three-stage off-road rally linking what the organisers say are two of the best gravel regions in the UK – Dunoon & Aberfoyle. Over three days and a total of 389km, the route takes in stunning remote forest gravel roads, coastal sections, wild trails around lochs and a few challenging off-road climbs leading to glorious views over one of Scotland’s most picturesque national parks.
You can choose to ride one, two or all three stages. The price per stage is £59 or you can get all three for £149. Registrations are open now.
The Cotswold Cross
26 March 2023
This is a gravel sportive, starting and finishing at Hartley Farm at the very top of Cheltenham’s iconic Leckhampton Hill. Expect a mix of country lanes, bridleways, green lanes, byways and private land you’ll get to see parts of beautiful Gloucestershire that few others have experienced. All three routes (75km, 55km or 35km) are hilly and so a level of fitness is required - but there's support all along the way, too.
Entries are open now and cost £45.
Battle on the Beach
25-26 March 2023
Battle on the Beach - Charlie.jpg, by Anthony Pease
The name of this one gives it away. You'll be riding your bike on a beach, which in any situation is a battle - and at this event, you'll be doing it with nearly 1000 other cyclists around you.
There will be more information about the 2023 edition published closer to the launch date but, based on this year, you can expect this to be suitable for all ages and abilities. There's a time trial planned on Saturday and the main event on Sunday. The route has been usually three about 15km laps, of which the first 5km is the beach section.
Entries open on 1 January 2023, and this is a popular one so make sure to be there in time!
Trail Break Chilterns Wildwood
26 February 2023
For those who don't mind a little chill, this early-year event is a great way to kick off the year.
Trail Break's Wildwood Gravel is one that keeps you on your toes. The organisers say the route changes constantly; from dirt to tarmac, grass, gravel and hardpack, keeping it varied. The first edition of the event was a mix of bikes but it seems an XC or gravel rig is best suited for the event.
There are three routes to choose from - 40, 60 and 80km, and entries are open now. Prices range from £35 to £37 per day.
The Ridgeway Gravel X
8 April 2023
Glorious Gravel's Ridgeway Gravel event celebrates 50 years of The Ridgeway National Trail - a rather remote part of Southern England - which is great for gravel riding.
There are distances from 50- to 110km to choose from for some gravel riding in Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire with beautiful scenery and gentle rolling hills in all directions.
The tickets, priced at £45 per day are available now and include checkpoints with food, a fully signposted route, and support along the route.
Haldon Heroic Gravel Sportive
16 April 2023
The Haldon Heroic is a CX Sportive / Gravel Ride organised by Sportiva Events Ltd. They offer three routes through Haldon Forest and Teignbridge, Devon, ranging in distance from 15 to 50-miles. The shortest route is fully signposted, whereas the mid-and long-distance ones you need to navigate yourself.
The entries are open now, and tickets range from £35 to £45 and include the usual; event village facilities, some meals, and chip timing.
Wessex Gravel Epic
13 May 2023
This Glorious Gravel event takes you to Somerset and Wiltshire. The organisers promise a route full of climbs leading to long ridgeways and stunning views across Cranbourne Chase. The descents are generally fast and flowing and are a just reward for the hard work riding uphill.
Entries open now, and you can choose a 50, 66 or 100km route, each option costing £45.
Dorset Dirt Dash 50/50 and 100
27 - 28 May 2023
The Dorset Dirt Dash offers two different events on the same route. You can choose the Dirt Dash 50/50 to do this self-supported bikepacking event over two days, while the Dorset Dirt Dash 100 is the ultimate one-day gravel grinder. Both take you around the amazing scenery on the Isle of Purbeck around Swanage. This was one of the first gravel events in the UK and is the perfect way to experience the rugged beauty of Dorset and the Jurassic Coast with fine gravel riding, camaraderie and castles.
Entries are open and the tickets are £95 for 50/50 and £50 for the one day 100.
Dunoon Dirt Dash
23 - 24 September 2023
Dunoon dirt dash, by Markus Stitz
The Dunoon Dirt Dash follows the concept of the above Dorset Dirt Dash, offering two different events on the same route. This event was previously a two-day one, but this year you can smash the 100-mile route in one day if you so wish. What's on offer? Beautiful cycling in Cowal Peninsula, near Glasgow (meaning easy to access), split over two days with an overnight camp, some pretty decent-looking grub and great riding pals. The organisers say this is the perfect way to experience the rugged beauty of Argyll, Scotland’s Adventure Coast.
Entries are open now and the tickets are £95 for 50/50 and £50 for the one-day 100 miler.
South Downs Gravel Epic
1 July 2023
Escape the city and head to the South Coast for this summer gravel epic taking in parts of the South Downs Way and quiet lanes around Lewes & Brighton.
With a choice of routes from 52km to 111km, there is a route suitable for all riders on this challenging terrain with plenty of punchy climbs and stunning long flowing sections on the Downs.
Tickets are available now and cost £45 a piece.
Chilterns Gravel X
19 August 2023
Another one from Glorious Gravel; this one takes you not far from London but well off the beaten track. The Chilterns Gravel X takes in parts of the famous Ridgeway and the glorious hills in the heart of this region.
Nearly all of the route is off-road or on quiet back roads including some secret local spots and a few climbs both on tarmac and gravel.
Again, tickets are £45 and there are two route distances, 62km and 92km to choose from.