Cannock Chase offers up the fun red-graded Follow the Dog cross-country loop plus bike park jumps and drops at Stile Cop, all just a short distance from the centre of Birmingham and easily accessed from the M6 motorway.
Mountain bikers are best off parking at the Birches Valley Forest Centre, which has pretty much everything you'll need, with all the usual cafe facilities plus a bike shop with bike hire, plus there are lots to do here for non-riding family or partners.
While there's unsurprisingly not a huge amount of height or extreme gradient on offer, there's lots of flow and technical fun in sections and it's a good all-weather choice, with most of the riding being in the trees and on hardpacked trails.
The Birches Valley Visitor Centre has an on-site cafe that does hot and cold food and drinks, plus there's a picnic area, toilets and kid's playground. Parking is paid, but there's loads of it.
The on-site bike shop has all the usual spares and kit, with the ability to do repairs if needed. They're a dealer for Santa Cruz, Yeti, Hope and Trek bikes too, just in case you fancy splashing out on a new ride. There's also bike hire, with Trek hardtail and kid's bike available to hire in advance for a full or half-day. A bike wash is on site too.
Bike servicing, sales and repairs
You're spoilt for choice when it comes to bike shops in the local area, with a number of sales and repair shops within a short distance as well as the on-site shop. Run and Ride is a 10-minute drive away from the centre and stocks Scott and Cannondale bikes plus a number of clothing brands.
If you're just after repairs, then nearby Rugeley (6-minute drive) has a couple of options, with Berms and Whips and Rugely Cycle Repairs both offering workshop services.
Food, drink and shops
Once again, you're spoilt for choice with loads of local pubs and shops within a short distance. The Horns Inn at Slitting Mill is a short ride away from the centre and there's a whole load of pubs and restaurants in Rugeley, while Cannock itself (10-minute drive in the opposite direction) also has plenty of highly rated pubs and restaurants to pick from. Both have a full complement of shops, petrol stations and so forth.
Where to stay
Rugeley and Cannock both have loads of accommodation, from B&Bs to hotels. There are lots of camping and caravanning options too, with Chase Glamping pods a very short distance away. The Cannock Chase Camping and Caravanning site is around 10-minutes away, with pitches for tents or camper vans.
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.