The Forest of Dean is a huge area of woodland that covers an area of over 110 square kilometres and sitting in an area of southern England that borders South Wales to the East and Gloucestershire to the West.
It's long been a playground for mountain bikers thanks to many miles of singletrack hidden amongst the mixed broadleaf and conifer trees that make it up, but the Pedalabikeaway trail centre near Cannop is a relatively new addition.
The centre makes a great base to explore the wider area from, offering plentiful (paid) parking, bike hire, a shop and cafe. Riding-wise, there's something for riders of all abilities right from the gate, with meandering family trails on old railway lines, plus surfaced blue and red trail centre loops, jump and skills loops plus a large number of red and black graded downhill trails. An uplift service is run by FlyUp, though not year-round.
For those willing to explore, there are also plenty of 'wild' off-piste enduro trails hidden in the woods nearby. These are not surfaced so best avoided in poor weather to prevent erosion and are not formally maintained so may have serious and unmarked trail features.
The on-site bike shop stocks a full range of clothing, accessories, tyres, tubes, tools, energy gels, clothing and protective equipment.
The on-site cafe offers a selection of hot and cold freshly prepared food year-round, using produce from local suppliers. Vegetarian and vegan options are available. There are also soft and hot drinks plus local ciders and ales on offer. Free drinking water is available at the back of the cafe.
It's also possible to hire bikes. They offer leisure bikes, standard hardtail mountain bikes, premium full-suspension mountain bikes and e-MTBs, though the latter are only available to those over 14.
Coaching and guiding courses can also be booked at the centre through Wye MTB - https://wyemtb.co.uk/
There is a (paid) jetwash on-site plus full toilet facilities including disabled, though there isn't a shower. There is lots of (paid) parking on site too.
Bike servicing, sales and repairs
Apart from the bike shop at the centre, Dean Forest Cycles is a 7min drive away in nearby Parkend, which also has some small shops and cafes. It offers normal sales and repair facilities, plus bike hire. Sprung Suspension Workshop offers full suspension servicing around 16mins away, though advance booking is generally required.
Food, drink and shops
You're spoilt for choice for pubs in the local area such as The Woodman and The Fountain in Parkend, with pub restaurants of note slightly further afield including The Ostrich in Newland (13mins), The White Horse in Staunton Coleford (12mins) and Butcher's Arms in Clearwell (10mins) amongst many others. Nearby Coleford has a number of chip shops and takeaways, as does Lydney. Both towns have supermarkets and petrol stations amongst other amenities.
Where to stay
There are a load of hotels and B&Bs to pick from in the local area, though Forest Lodges offers pet-friendly self-catering lodges in Coleford and Bracelands Campsite (10mins drive) offers tent or van pitches, plus camping pods.
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.