Just a short bike ride from central Bristol and easily accessed from the M5 motorway, the trails at Ashton Court and Leigh Woods are short and sweet but are well worth a lap or two if you're visiting the area already or just have a half-day to use up.
There's not much height to play with, but the trails are fast and flowing, stand up well in all weathers and offer plenty of fun to novice and experienced riders alike. It's all pretty pedally, so riding a long-travel full suspension enduro or trail bike might get a bit tiresome but the trails are great fun on a hardtail.
The best place to park is at the Ashton Court Golf Course which has toilets, a cafe, a bike shop with hire and other amenities, but there's also free parking slightly further away at the Leigh Woods Forestry car park.
The two waymarked trails are divided by the main road that runs between Leigh Woods and Ashton Court, but it's easy enough to join them together in a figure of eight loop to maximise your riding time - doing multiple laps is also possible to get the lines you might have missed the first time around.
It's also possible to join up both trails to the jump spot at Ashton Hill Plantation (or Belmont as it's also known) via some bridleways if you fancy adding in some serious air time to the mix. It's worth pointing out that Belmont is a no-go in the wet - it's seriously slippy clay and riding it will be both awful and do damage to the volunteer-maintained trails. The same applies to the off-piste trails found in Leigh Woods, most of which are much more technical to begin with and very sketchy in the wet.
You can get hot and cold food and drink from the small on-site cafe at Ashton Court, though it does tend to close fairly early and there's also a toilet block. The Leigh Woods car park has picnic benches and there's often a van offering hot and cold drinks parked up at weekends, but there are no other permanent facilities.
Pedal Progression is based at the Ashton Court site of offers basic spares and repairs as well as bike hire and coaching. They're also heavily involved with the volunteer group that maintains the trails, so supporting them helps ensure their future.
Bike servicing, sales and repairs
Bristol has a whole host of bike shops, so if Pedal Progression can't help you then you're spoilt for choice - though getting in and out of central Bristol can be a very time-consuming exercise. The iconic Mud Dock cafe and bike shop is a relatively short pedal down the hill and along the river, plus Strada Cycles and Psyclewerks are also independent shops around a 10-minute drive from Ashton Court. Apart from that, you're also got Evans Cycles, Halfords and numerous small repair shops around town, plus there's a Trek Concept Store.
Food, drink and shops
Unsurprisingly, finding places to eat and drink isn't a problem in Bristol - the excess of choice may well be. The nearest pubs and restaurants are over the iconic suspension bridge in Clifton, which is also where you'll find shops and takeaways in abundance.
Where to stay
Once again, you're spoilt for choice, with hotels and B&Bs being in plentiful supply for all budgets. You're less spoilt if you want to camp, with your only option being the Baltic Wharf Caravan and Motorhome site around 10-minutes away. Either way, if you're staying overnight, squeezing in some laps of these trails before enjoying the Bristol restaurants and nightlife is probably the best way to go.
Perhaps you're looking for a ride off the beaten trail, or you want to mix your riding up with some nature walks. Be sure to check Komoot to uncover further adventures in this area.