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Two of us girls are going out to the UK in May. I'm really stoked about it. What I'm wondering the most is should I drive/train/bus/plane to get around? It doesn't worry me about driving on the other side of the road, I'm more worried about getting lost and frustrated. Thoughts? Nothing is set yet but we're planning Ireland, England and Scotland. I have a good friend in Scotland so I know I can get on the bike there, what about the other spots?
 

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U.K. in May

I went to the UK in May in 2003 on a cycling trip, i had been there a couple times previous to that, though. Cycling is the way to go IMO , but if that's not an option the car gives you the most flexibility. Where to go? I would fly into Manchester, get your car go to Yorkshire Dales, stay on the B roads and smaller but maybe use the A series and the M series highways to get to the Dales, Northumberland, Lake District (Hardknott Pass/Wrynose Pass, Honister Pass makes a good circular route), then up through Scotland and the Isle of Skye (or save that for before Ireland) Northwest of Scotland is very good right up to Durness , the Borders, check out the small roads stay out of the cities......that's my advice. Never been to Ireland, yet ............have a good trip
 

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Utahgirl,

I went to UK this past May, and it was awesome. I would suggest you rent a small mini van to get around on the mainland.

Scotland has awesome mountain biking, check out the 7Stanes ride centers. Basing out of Dumfries is a good bet.

Northern England had a few really good ride centers in the lake country.

Wales is also great.

Weather in May is supposed to be best time of year, but we did see a fair bit of rain in Scotland.

Woody
 

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We went this last October for a couple of weeks. I only got out on the bike one day, the forest of Dean, but it was pretty fun. We flew in and out of London...no need for a car there. If you're going to London, I wouldn't bother renting a car while you're there, just take a train to your next destination and get a car there. We found having a gps with turn by turn directions to be really REALLY nice, handy to know which of 6 exits to take on roundabouts that are everywhere. The transportation system is awesome over there but if you're away from the large cities I really think you'll want a car.
 

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Hi, most of what Hillsy says makes sense. Driving really is the best way to get about, especially in more rural/scenic area's where most good biking places are. A lot depends on how long you're here for, what kind of biking you want and what else you want to see or do. If you're flying into London you may want to spend a couple of days there to see the sights but after that you could do with getting further north, maybe by train to save a lot of headaches. Unless you'd like to skip London if Manchester is an option?
Anyway most of the national parks in England are up north and most of these offer plenty choice from natural riding in the fells and mountains, MTB trail centre's or scenic road riding. You could work your way up either side of the M6 motorway, follow this up to Scotland and depending how far up you want to go maybe stay close to the A75. This road leads to Stranraer which is where the ferries leave for Ireland. A word of warning though, off-road routes are limited with many places off limits to bikes and as such MTB'ing hasn't got as big a scene over there! It might be better to explore Scotland a bit more unless you want to go for the craic!
Check out Google Maps UK and you'll see the parks marked in green and/or look at the Forestry Commission website for lots of info. My choice would be to do the natural rides using the trail centre's as backup if the weathers bad. A lot of tourists just ride the man-made stuff, usually missing out the best rides/scenery each county/country has to offer! The MTB# website has lots of routes for the whole country but you'll need mapping software to view them, though saying that I'm sure their links page has sites with these routes marked out or at least the directions for them.
I hope this gives you an idea of what's on offer and helps plan your trip, DF.:)
p.s. Re-post this thread in the Europe forum and you should get plenty more suggestions!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all the thoughts! It really helps me wrap my head around options!
D45yth how do you re-post a thread? Is it just making a new one? Sorry I'm new to the forum so I'm still trying to work everything out.
 
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You mean driving on the proper side of the road.....

:)

Theres not a whole lot to do in south east england to be honest (where I am), i'd stick with Wales (Forest of Dean and tons of trail centers around, lots of very fun stuff there), Scotland, and Lake District.
Never actually ridden in th elake district but hiked there on three separate holidays, theres plenty of good cycling there.

Oh, by the way, no matter when you go to wales, it'll rain :thumbsup:
 

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Just remember the price of fuel is more than double. Trains and bikes usually work.
Cornwall (southwest) was drier than northern England the year I was there, a very wet year and there's a MTB club. Exmore and the New Forest were beautiful, Stonehenge is fascinating.
 

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Theres not a whole lot to do in south east england to be honest (where I am
I'd ignore that statement if I were you theres a load of good riding in the South East of England

Ok so there no mountains (But Lets face it we dont have mountains in England just Big Hills ) - but there is plenty of sweet singletrack if you know where to find it

If you want a guide to some of the best rides on the South Downs (I live near Brighton), and the best trails on the Surrey Hills (Just south of London) - let me know

I might even be able to persuade my wife to put you up for a couple of nights if you do decide to ride down our way

I'll be visiting the USA my self this april - I'm currently planning on being in Moab on 24th & 25 April before hitting Fruita for a couple of days and then over to St George before flying home from Las veags on 1st of May - But i see Orem is miles away from any of the places I riding

heres a few pics from around where we live to give you an idea whats it like south downs = rolling hills - with singletarck hidden away in pockets of wood land, surrey hills = hilly woods bursting at the seams with singletrack goodness











Make sure you get up to the lake district though thats were some of our most seanic trails are at , the welsh trail centers are ok but you tend to just get views of wall to wall conifers and end up doing a lot of ridig on fire roads to get to the single track. But if I'm being very honest I'd rather be riding the deserts of South West USA myself - but as you visiitng our fair wet isle I'm sure the radical difference will mean you'll enjoy everything we have to offer

As others have said

1) Gas is expensive - if you do rent a car make sure its a desiel to get mosty miles per gallon

2) Our roads are rubbish - it will take you ages to get any where

3) Public transport imho is also rubbish - you are better off with your own vehicle

Other places that would be good to ride at would be Exmoor & the Quantocks (Somerset) and Dartmoor (Devon)

Cheers

Zinger
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks so much Zinger! I don't know that we are going to make it past London. But I'll talk to my friend and maybe we'll get down your way. Moab is a little over 3 hours from my place. We go a few times each summer. I was down there in December, cold, but at least you could still ride :) Keep in touch and a group of us will meet up with you to ride down there. It's always fun to get away! If your at all interested you can travel up to Orem, we have tons of amazing single track. I'm very spoiled :) I don't have any pics on this comp but I'll find them and pass them along. Either way though, I understand if things are set. :)

So diesel car cause the public transportation is rubbish. Check. k I'll start looking at cars and such. Can you take a car across the waters from Ireland? Or should I get a new one once I reach Scotland? Thanks everyone for your thoughts! It's really helps!
 

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utahgirlcycling said:
Keep in touch and a group of us will meet up with you to ride down there. It's always fun to get away! If your at all interested you can travel up to Orem, we have tons of amazing single track. I'm very spoiled :) I don't have any pics on this comp but I'll find them and pass them along. Either way though, I understand if things are set. :)
Hi

So how long are you coming over for ? - the distances look short on a map but in reality it will take ages for you to get anywhere - it might be worth using internal flights or trains to get over the long distances (But it wont be cheap doing that), then rent a vehicle when you get to your destination.

Are you bringing your own bikes over with you ? - I always do when i come to the states but its easier in the sattes as SUV rentals are cheap - it might not be so easy in england.

The website has a good forum - where you'll be able to get beta on trails all around the UK

www.singletrackworld.co.uk

These sites have pic's and gps trails etc on them

http://www.mtbbritain.co.uk/route_guides.html
http://www.mtbsharp.co.uk/

Unfortunately my trip to the states this time round is all fixed 100% in place, I tend to go a bit made with my planning , so have all my hotels booked , car rental sorted and the rides i intend to do mapped in my GPS - so I wont be able to get up to Orem - but it will definitely go on a my list of places to stop at in a future trip

But it would be good to hook up in Moab

I'll be rolling into Moab early afternoon on Saturday 24th April (I will have ridden down in Cortez in the morning), then I was thinking about riding amasa back in the afternoon - maybe a night ride on slick rock trail

Then on Sunday 25th April my plan is to get a shuttle up to the upper porcupin rim trail

On 26th April I'm off to Fruita - going to ride 18 rd trails & koko

on 27th April I'm hoping to ride up at Pallisades and then on 28th i'll be driving to St George via a ride Thunder Mountain, I'll have a few days there staying with a friend before flying home from las vegas

Cheers

Gordon
 

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Really good trail centres all over wales especially at coed y brenin in wales, Glentress up in scotland is awesome.

But for pure wilderness...nothing is better than the lake district, yorkshire, peak district

One of our bike magazines with lots of routes uploaded by locals
http://www.bikeradar.com/mtb/routes/

http://www.mtbtrailfinder.co.uk/html/routes/publications/mbr/mbr_2009.htm
http://www.mtb-wales.com/

probably be best to hire a car when you get here as can take a few hours to get to a particular area.
 

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If you make it up to Scotland and fancy riding some non trail centre stuff in real mountains, A friend and I are planning a long weekend based in Aviemore over 7-8-9 May.

We'll be camping, but there may be a bunkhouse option. There are some natural great trails up there and the landscape is simply beautiful. If you are near Edinburgh on the 7th we might be able to arrange a ride too.

mail me - mcmoonter at yahoo dot co do uk
 
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