Ashton Court and Leigh Woods Mountain Bike Trails

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Type of Trail(s)
Trail Distance(s)

Location

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Address
Ashton Court Estate, Long Ashton, Bristol, BS41 9JN
Directions
If you are arriving by car, please use the Church Lodge car park (access via Ashton Road situated on the B3128 – by the Dovecote pub) and ride up through the estate to the trail.
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Ashton Court and Leigh Woods mountain bike trails are based just on the outskirts of Bristol in the South West of England. They are two MTB trails close enough to each other (just separated literally by a road) to be discussed together.

The first Ashton Court is in the country grounds of one of those old stately homes amongst a host of other outdoor activities (like golf) and the other is as the name describes a decent woodland called Leigh woods. Each of these trail heads have one mainly blue graded trail with optional red sections. For clarity that means there are two blue graded trails in total, each with red sections.

There is also a small skills area. 

Ashton Court - Nova Trail (Blue with optional Red Sections) 

  • The Nova Trail is a blue graded (moderate ability and effort required) 6.6 km trail. It has a flowing feel with numerous twists, turns and drops that gradually build up your confidence. There is also a short 860 metre Super Nova optional red section (difficult) that steps it up a gear. 
  • There is a cafe associated with the bike friendly golf centre at Ashton Court and plans for a bike hire are afoot. 

Leigh woods - Yer Tiz Trails (Blue) 

  • Leigh Woods is owned by Forestry commission and is just across the road from Ashton Court. This is a purpose built trail that takes you through mixed woodland and overlooks Avon Gorge and Clifton Suspension bridge. It is a moderate level blue grade and again has an optional red option (known as the Gert Lush section).

Leigh Woods - Keener Skills Loop

  • Focused on young people the Keener skills loop is for beginners and delivers progressive skill development. This is graded blue and has some more difficult sections also. It's short as you would expect from a skills loop and is approximately 500 meters long.

Important Stuff

  • Car Parking is limited but you are a short ride from the Bristol main station. 
  • Being a country park and with a blue grade focus their is mixed traffic of  slow riders, fast riders, dog walkers and horse riding etc so bring patience, a considerate outlook and be aware. 

Other Stuff

  • Ashton Court and the country park are managed by Bristol City council and Leigh woods by the Forestry commission. These trails are set in an extensive 850 acres of parkland.
  • Both these developments have been born from a history of mountain bike riding heritage over many years as testified from my mates who live down Bristol way.
  • Pivotal to their success to become a purpose built trail base and a well managed facility has been the involvement of the Bristol Trails Group and 1 South West as well as Bristol City council and the Forestry Commission. 
  • Ashton Court and Leigh Woods are part of a larger network of trails in the South West and so forms part of this wider 1 South West project that is creating an off-road cycling region for people to enjoy adventurous off-road cycling and progress their ride. Part of this network contains trails such as The Forest of Dean and Haldon Forest amongst others.
  • Some of these trails were designed by top trail builder Phil Saxena.

Map

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User reviews

5 reviews

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4 stars
 
(1)
3 stars
 
(3)
2 stars
 
(1)
1 star
 
(0)
Overall rating 
 
2.9
Grin Factor 
 
2.6  (5)
Trail Variety 
 
2.5  (5)
Skills Development 
 
2.9  (5)
Trail Quality  
 
3.5  (5)
Facilities 
 
3.3  (5)
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Ratings
Grin Factor
Level of fun had, or to be had
Trail Variety
Variety of specific trail or overall trail centre. Mix of obstacles, berms, jumps, drops, shore etc.
Skills Development
Did it develop or push your skills and leave you with more to come back and learn
Trail Quality
Are the trails well built /maintained using sustainable techniques?
Facilities
From cafe post ride grub to bike wash. Did it meet your expectations?
User Review
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Marin Trail at Ashton Court
Overall rating 
 
4.2
Grin Factor 
 
3.5
Trail Variety 
 
4.0
Skills Development 
 
5.0
Trail Quality  
 
4.5
Facilities 
 
4.0
The Marin trails at Leigh woods and Ashton court are the ideal starting point for riders wanting to improve there skills. The newish trail centre has pretty good food .

I ride the trail every week with my 10 year old son and has done wonders for his riding....

User Review

Good Points
Great local riding for any age and great for improving your riding skills for bigger things. Leigh woods has some really good off piste riding.
Bad Points
Don't expect a Cwmcarn etc . This trail is at the edge of the city.
Would you recommend?
Yes
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 3 0
Some fun descents
Overall rating 
 
2.8
Grin Factor 
 
3.0
Trail Variety 
 
2.5
Skills Development 
 
3.0
Trail Quality  
 
2.0
Facilities 
 
3.5
Ashton court and leigh woods trails are very much the same so can be looped together to make a good ride.
They have small jumps/rollers scattered around, and a couple of really fun descents that swoop you round going down longer than you think is possible for the small amount of climbing you have done. The trails are all surfaced with quite a few wheel bouncing stones that have been exposed.
Ashton court and leigh woods are definitely worth the visit but maybe don't plan to do more than one day. As they're quite short they're perfect to stop off at on the way back from wales as we did. There is a small cafe and toilets up the top. Just don't park at the bottom car park as you will have a long walk up the big hill, and an even longer ride down the fire road.

User Review

Good Points
There are a couple of fairly fun descents
Bad Points
Not too much elavatiob
Would you recommend?
Yes
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0
Impressive
Overall rating 
 
2.8
Grin Factor 
 
3.0
Trail Variety 
 
3.0
Skills Development 
 
2.0
Trail Quality  
 
3.0
Facilities 
 
3.5

User Review

Good Points
Don't visit expecting it to be anything like what Wales/Scotland/FoD/Cannock/Swinley etc. have to offer. For trails so close to a city centre, it's actually quite impressive (except for one minor gripe below). My advice is to lower your expectations, and don't try to ride either the Nova Trail, Yer Tiz, or Keener flat out. I had more fun by slowing down a bit, taking my time, and looking for the best lines to have fun on the berms/obstacles. I was overtaken by a lyca clad 29er trail warrior who shouted from 20 metres back for me to get out of the way, he then proceeded to cut every possible corner on the way down one of the most enjoyable sections. What's the point in that? Ditch Strava, don't chase times, and have a blast pumping turns and jumping the obstacles on the red sections. These are great trails if you are already in Bristol, as I was.
Bad Points
The Nova Trail at Ashton Court starts well, but there is a long section of a VERY shallow climb with rather unnecessary bends put into it that only prolong this uneventful part of the trail. It's not a steep climb by any means (even for beginners) so it should be straight in my opinion.
Would you recommend?
Yes
J
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 1 0
Good local resource, but probably not worth a drive
Overall rating 
 
2.7
Grin Factor 
 
2.5
Trail Variety 
 
1.5
Skills Development 
 
2.5
Trail Quality  
 
4.0
Facilities 
 
3.5
If you're based around the Bristol area and want a quick blast or a night ride this is probably ideal, however if you're used to some of the bigger trail centres or the Lakes/Peaks you're probably going to be disappointed.Also the road that needs to be crossed from the carpark to the trails is very busy and definetely not ideal.

There are some good 'cheeky' bits of trail, but not something you would know about unless you had a local in tow.
B
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 2 0
Ashton Court New trails only not the off piste stuff
(Updated: December 18, 2012)
Overall rating 
 
2.0
Grin Factor 
 
1.0
Trail Variety 
 
1.5
Skills Development 
 
2.0
Trail Quality  
 
4.0
Facilities 
 
2.0

User Review

Good Points
Its near to Bristol so great for locals
Bad Points
For the £400,000 they cost its a big disappointment, if you've ridden Cwmcarn, Afan, Forest of Dean then prepare to lower your expectations - trail is tight with not much flow and the red sections are laughably short - add not easy to get to and parking can be tricky at busy times.
Would you recommend?
No
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 6