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Glentress Ride Guide: Mountain Biking in Scotland

Guide to Glentress which is the UK’s mountain biking mecca and is home to over 50 miles (80 km) of hand built and natural trails.

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Glentress in Tweed Valley

Glentress is the UK’s mountain biking mecca and is home to over 50 miles (80 km) of hand built and natural mountain biking trails.

If you have a full or half day to spare or even a few hours after work in summer and want to take part in some adventure travel activities to get the adrenaline pumping or just want to enjoy a casual ride with the kids through a beautiful setting then Glentress has something for everyone.

Glentress Mountain Biking Trails in Scotland

Photo by addypope

Getting to Glentress

Situated in the heart of Glentress Forest near the village of Peebles in the Scottish Borders it is only a short 40 minute drive from Edinburgh and 1 hr 15 minutes from Glasgow.

It boasts a huge selection of trails with a variety of different skill levels from the gravel and paved green trails to the expert black graded trails which are not for the fainthearted.

If you have never been mountain biking before then don’t be scared. The Glentress Skills Area is the perfect place to start. It is green graded on a simple, safe and not-too-long loop which allows you to build confidence and practice your riding skills on features that you might encounter on the trails further up. Just tackle what you feel comfortable with!

Been mountain biking before (or just want to watch some crazy people in action)? Then the Glentress Freeride Park is where you want to head. With a variety of features including small, medium and large jumps it gives you a chance to showoff and improve your skills.

Glen tress Mountain Biking in Scotland

There really is something for everyone, which is why you can never get sick of the place as there is always new levels to progress to.

Riding at Glentress

When you arrive you have two options. Start at the bottom car park and start a hard thigh burning 20 – 30 min uphill slog. Or start at the second car park half way between all the trails.

I will never forget my first time there, I though I was doing pretty well when we started at the bottom only to watch as a woman boosted past me exclaiming it was her third time up that day!

Arriving in the second car park you can either take various trails back down, spend some time in the free ride park and skills area or keep climbing to reach more trails.

Obviously the higher you go the better the views. Overlooking the picturesque Tweed valley, sprawling green hills and cute houses dot the countryside. Absolutely fantastic on a rare sunny day in Scotland.

Glentress Mountain Biking Tweed Valley view

Photo by squarehead

The best bit about the Glentress mountain bike park is that there are so many trail options you easily can do a different combination every time you go. Personally I like to ride right to the top then head all the way down to the bottom. That way you get at least 40 minutes of downhill.

Alternatively Cole likes to go up and down several smaller sections a few times to break the monotonous climbs. With all the smooth fast flowing trails merging together there are loads of opportunities to get up some serious speed in a controlled manner.

Our favourite blue trails like “Berm Baby Berm” and “Good Game” flow through the dense forest with small tabletop jumps that you can rollover if you are not that confident and berms to get you around the corners faster.

The world famous “Spooky Wood” red trail has a killer climb before one of the best descents ever. Starting with three rock drops the trails then just flows and flows and flows across open hill country before entering the dense forest below.

The Hub at Glentress

The Hub at Glentress where you can enjoy a cake and coffee after riding - Photo by Tuftronic10000

Glentress Facilities

Not only is the biking awesome but the facilities are superb too. There is a new café, plentiful car parking, an excellent bike hire store and a first aid center just in case all located at the brand spanking new Glentress Peel. For more info check out the local Glentress Forestry site with all your trail maps, guides and directions.

All these amenities give Glentress a great vibe and make for an excellent day out. We love sitting outside the café with a hard earned cake/coffee combo soaking up the atmosphere and listening to all the stories of the days riding.

So next time you are looking for some adventure travel activities, pack a picnic, pump up your tires and get out there!

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24 Comments

24 Comments

  1. Laura

    February 27, 2012 at 10:19 AM

    It looks magical! I would definitely go for a ride through all these green forests.

    • Cole

      February 27, 2012 at 7:20 PM

      I hope you get to one day Laura. Have you been mountain biking before?

  2. Caro from Passport and a Toothbrush

    February 27, 2012 at 1:29 PM

    30 minutes uphill! WOO! But really, I never knew of this network of trails, very cool! And the scenery, unsurprisingly, is just stunning! Good work!

    • Cole

      February 27, 2012 at 7:19 PM

      Scotland definitely has some of the best scenery in the world and it is even better when it is from a secluded mountain biking track!

  3. Stephanie - The Travel Chica

    February 29, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    One of my favorite ways to explore an area! I like places that have good bike trails. Much safer 🙂

    • Cole

      March 1, 2012 at 12:14 PM

      Definitely safer. Unless you are a bit reckless like me and get all out of control going downhill haha

    • Cole

      March 1, 2012 at 12:11 PM

      Its a fantastic spot Laurel. Where did you hike?

  4. Laurence

    February 29, 2012 at 6:19 PM

    I’ve always wanted to get more into mountain biking but never quite gotten round to it. This looks like it was a great adventure.. maybe I should just get on with it!

    • Cole

      February 29, 2012 at 9:12 PM

      Definitely start mountain biking Laurence. You can escape to so many places! And you don’t have to be that good to do most trails either especially at a place like Glentress.

  5. Cherina

    March 1, 2012 at 2:24 AM

    This looks beautiful! I didn’t realise it was so close to Edinburgh. I wonder if there is a bus down there. Might have to check it out- could be good thing to do while I’m there in April.

    • Cole

      March 1, 2012 at 12:11 PM

      There is a bus down to Peebles which is a couple of miles down the road. You can hire bikes in Peebles then bike out to Glentress along the cycle routes 🙂 Let us know when you come in April!

  6. Bret@ Green Global Travel

    March 1, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    I’ve been mountain biking a few times, but definitely prefer the flat jungles of Mexico to 30 minutes of hills! Kudos to you for giving it a go…

    • Cole

      March 1, 2012 at 4:56 PM

      We go down every couple of weeks and love it! Although jungles in Mexico sound pretty good. What about the heat?

  7. cheryl

    March 13, 2012 at 10:33 PM

    I’m very sure I’d fail largely at mountain biking … but I’d be willing to try it out for sure! And what a beautiful setting. 🙂

    • Cole

      March 14, 2012 at 9:40 AM

      I am sure you would nail it Cheryl. It is literally like riding a bike 😉

  8. Christina (Jandal Road)

    March 17, 2012 at 2:54 PM

    Ah I love Scotland. Pity I never went on a biking tour there. Only took my bike to uni every morning when I studied there. Good to know about Glentress, looks magical!

    • Cole

      March 18, 2012 at 9:02 AM

      It’s a shame that you didn’t make it to Glentress Christina. We love it there and just waiting for the weather to warm up a bit (and for some more sunshine) so that we can start going every weekend again.

  9. S-J

    March 7, 2013 at 11:12 PM

    Well worth checking out other 7Stanes MTB centres, Glentress is cool but Kirroughtree is my frave and loads quieter even at the height of summer you’ll hardly see a soul on the trails 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      March 8, 2013 at 8:16 AM

      We have actually been to a couple of the other 7Stanes mountain bike parks 😀 Loved Kirroughtree although wish we had a better idea of where we were going since we only had a day there! We are just lucky that Glentress is only about 45 minutes drive from Edinburgh. Makes it a perfect evening trip after work in summertime 😉

  10. Dan @ A Cruising Couple

    May 5, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    Looks beautiful and a looot of fun! We did a 3-day cycling trip but stuck to the roads along the coast of Taiwan. I’d love to give mountain biking a go. Thanks for sharing!

    • Cole Burmester

      May 5, 2013 at 4:19 PM

      Mountain biking is definitely one of the best adventure sports you can do! Especially as most tracks are graded so you are not out of your depth straight away 🙂

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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