To celebrate National Bike Week, Forestry Commission England has pinpointed 10 trails to get kids cycling.

Thousands of families use the 1,300km of forest cycle trails and some are perfect for children to learn how to ride a bike. Research has shown that cycling can improve a child’s mood and active travel to school can increase concentration for up to four hours.

Over the summer, six Forestry Commission Sites in England will have an exclusive children’s cycling area. It will provide a safe space where kids aged three-plus can learn essential skills to take them from balance to pedal bike.

Once those pedals are mastered, riders are on track to becoming a Forest Cycle Superstar. Fun, cycling challenges designed to build a child’s confidence and skills on their bike are available to download from https://www.forestry.gov.uk/familycycling

Forestry Commission England’s Top 10 beginner routes are:

  1. The Lake Loop Trail at Hicks Lodge in Leicestershire takes you on an easy loop around the lake, with a bird hide on the way round where you can enjoy a leisurely stop.
  2. The purpose built skills loop at Sherwood Pines in Nottinghamshire is a great place to develop and master those skills.
  3. The All Ability Cycle Track at Alice Holt in Surrey is a fantastic learning track, with a good flat surface and close to all the facilities on offer.
  4. The Ladyhill Trail at Cannock Chase in Staffordshire is perfect for beginners and offers lots of opportunity to get off your bike and enjoy the forest surroundings. Fairy trees, Gruffalo sculptures and open play space to name just a few.
  5. The Family Cycling Trail at Fineshade in Northamptonshire offers a beginners route with optional blue grade taster loops, perfect for keeping families with different skill levels happy.
  6. The Lakeside Way at Kielder Water and Forest Park in Northumberland has spectacular views on wide sweeping tracks with compacted, smooth running surface perfect for beginners.
  7. The Cycling Skills Training Loop at Hamsterley Forest in Durham is a great track for a family to test their skills and hone their riding skills.
  8. The Forest Cycle Track at Salcey Forest in Northamptonshire is perfect for a beginner as it leads them on a firm stone surface through a magnificent woodland setting.
  9. The grass at Beechenhurst in the Forest of Dean is ideal for those learning to ride. The large level grass outside the café is perfect for beginners and you can enjoy home-made cake for afters.
  10. The Shephard Trail at Thetford Forest in East Anglia is a quite family trail, offering relatively flat, wide open forest road, tracks and rides perfect for those staring out.

For more information visit www.forestry.gov.uk/familycycling

Family Fun: Celebrate National Bike Week by riding on a forest trail

Cycling activities can be found at:

Hamsterley Forest, Durham

Kielder Water and Forest Park, Northumberland

Sherwood Pines, Nottinghamshire

Top Lodge, Fineshade Wood, Northamptonshire

Salcey Forest, Northamptonshire

Birches Valley, Cannock Chase Forest, Staffordshire

Hicks Lodge, Leicestershire

Wyre Forest, Shropshire

Beechenhurst Lodge, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire

Alice Holt, Surrey

Moors Valley Country Park, Dorset

Bedgebury Forest and Pinetum, Kent

Dalby Forest,  North Yorkshire

High Lodge, Thetford Forest, Norfolk

 Children’s cycling areas can be found at:

Sherwood Pines, Nottinghamshire

Salcey Forest, Northamptonshire

Birches Valley, Cannock Chase Forest, Staffordshire

Alice Holt, Surrey

Beechenhurst Lodge, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire

Bedgebury Forest and Pinetum, Kent