Blue at start

Swinley Forest Mountain Bike Centre

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3.8 (43)
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Location

Country
County/State
Trail, Centre or Base
Address
The Lookout Discovery Centre, Nine Mile Ride Bracknell Berkshire RG12 7QW
Directions
It is located between Bracknell and Bagshot to the west of the A322
Map Co-ordinates
SU877661
Sat Nav Co-ordinates
RG12 7
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Swinley Forest Mountain Bike Centre is in Bracknell in England and consists of red, blue and green XC trails. 

Swinley Forest is quite sandy so holds dry well in the winter and rainy months. The area is managed by the Crown Estate working with the TrailTeam Swinley volunteer group.

Blue Loop

  • The Blue moderately graded route is 10.1km  long. The Blue is built for novices and its aim is to inspire confidence. You leave the Lookout past the trig point on Gravel Hill. You then descend to a bermed, single-track section then through a pine forest and finish through Windsor Ride to New England Hill. Incorporates "Full Nine Yards", "Devils Highway" and "Stickler". Around The Stickler point, you have the choice of continuing on the Blue back or taking on the Red. 

Red Loop

  • The Red graded loop is 13km long and mainly resurrects the older trail network (Seagull, Tank Traps, Whole Nine Yards, Deerstalker and Labyrinth etc) into a formal loop but with a couple of new additions.
  • In more detail, the route continues on from the Blue as described above. You enter Tank Traps and then on to Crowthorne Reservoir. On to Satan's Grotto with its tight twisty single track and then crossing Devils Highway onto Seagull. Follows the forest road to Surrey Hill Reservoir down the "F1" descent into the forest then up the tough Boardwalk climb. Down to Deerstalker, through the Labyrinth out onto the forest ride. Some more forest road sections till you hit Cobblers before returning on the Blue trail back. 
  • For clarity, the Red starts at pretty much the midpoint of the Blue and returns at its end again along the Blue.
  • In September 2014 an extension to the Seagull section was opened. The new trail section is the third section of the Seagull trail (Red 8-9), after crossing the fire road, you travel 15m on the old singletrack and then branch off right onto the New. You then have 1.2km of flowing trail to follow. It exits down from Lower Star Post. 

Green Loop 

  • The Green graded Loop is for families and beginners and is 1.2km long. It has gentle dips and rises on a wide track. 

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  • If you have ridden the MTB trails at Swinley then please share your experiences and post your reviews, pictures and videos to this listing. 

Photos

Blue near start
Blue berm section
Blue Trail Section
Trail Map

Map

Swap Start/End

User reviews

43 reviews

 
(10)
 
(25)
 
(4)
 
(2)
 
(2)
Overall rating 
 
3.8
Grin Factor 
 
4.0  (43)
Trail Variety 
 
3.6  (43)
Skills Development 
 
3.8  (43)
Trail Quality  
 
4.0  (43)
Facilities 
 
3.8  (42)
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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
Comments
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Overall rating 
 
3.8
Grin Factor 
 
4.5
Trail Variety 
 
3.5
Skills Development 
 
2.5
Trail Quality  
 
5.0
Facilities 
 
3.5
I went here a few weeks back to ride with my mate who's new to MTB. We decided this would be a good start point as the blue trail looked fun, but was easy enough for him to enjoy. It's about 2 hours from me and I was suprised at how accessible it is-immediately off a main road with connections to the motorway. That said, you can end up encountering traffic as it's so close to London and other surrounding towns.

The riding itself is really, really good-well maintained trails mean that there's minimal distruption when you're hammering the well placed downhill sections complete with high berms and a few rollable jumps. We only did the blue on our first time there, but from what others told us the red is much the same, only more exciting.

If you can get down on a weekday, it will be much better. We went on a saturday and even with the 12 degrees temperature, I had to wait for a parking space. I've booked a day off work to go again as it's too much hassle driving all the way there to pray there's a space for you.

Ultimately, this is an excellent trail centre and is up there with the best England has to offer. I'd even place it higher than Cannock, which is my local, purely because of the trail quality and how well the sections are stitched together.

User Review

Good Points
Trails sections blend together really well for seamless flow
Blue is great fun and easy to get used to-even for beginners
Very well maintained
Great downhill sections well spaced out along the trail network
Bad Points
Can be a little confusing to figure out where to go once you reach the forest roads (handy to have Trailforks installed on your phone)
Car park is VERY busy on a weekend so finding spaces can be difficult
Maybe a little flat for some riders
Would you recommend?
Yes
C
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0
Overall rating 
 
4.2
Grin Factor 
 
4.5
Trail Variety 
 
4.0
Skills Development 
 
3.5
Trail Quality  
 
4.5
Facilities 
 
4.5
My local trail centre as straight up the M27 & M3 for me and ride here about 3 times per month
Have to say this is a great trail centre seeing as there are no big hills around here and they have designed the trails very well to get lots of flowing XC sections.
Great for fitness and can average around 9.5 mph or more on a light hard tail taking it pretty fast.
Blue & Red combined make a great 15 mile route and if you know the area you can add on another 2-3 miles by doing some of Crowthorn Woods.
Best Sections on here for me are the Deerstalker & Labyrinth and also some great fast bermy and jumpy sections on the red & blue.
This and Peaslake (Surrey Hills) are my fav Southern places to ride.
By the way the flow of Swinley is much better than Cannock Chase as completed that twice this year also.

User Review

Good Points
Great use of area as no real big hills
All weather trails red and blue and there is some very good natural bits such as 'The Deerstalker & Labyrinth and first part of the red.
Good parking facilities and only £2 for 4 hours although gets packed at weekends
Some great fast downhills only short but great bermy fun.
50 mins from where i live
Blue & Red Route total 15 miles so a good workout
Bad Points
Gets very busy at weekends after 10.30am as close to London
No long downhills but that's due to height around here

Would you recommend?
Yes
Report this review Comments (2) | Was this review helpful to you? 1 0
One of the best trail centres in the SE
Overall rating 
 
4.1
Grin Factor 
 
5.0
Trail Variety 
 
4.0
Skills Development 
 
3.0
Trail Quality  
 
5.0
Facilities 
 
3.0
One of the best trail centres in the SE. I am lucky enough to live only 30 minutes from there. Most runs are in a good conditions all year. Also good place to spend a weekend with your family.
M
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 1 0
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Grin Factor 
 
4.0
Trail Variety 
 
4.0
Skills Development 
 
3.0
Trail Quality  
 
5.0
Facilities 
 
4.5
I am lucky enough to live local so ride every week. Swinley is mainly cross country style course and the forest is a tranquil place to escape for a few hours.
Would highly recommend it!

User Review

Good Points
Trails are useable year round and this means it's very popular.
Green route is short but fun and blue route has a bit of every thing.
Red is a longer loop with some great fun down hills and small climbs.
Bad Points
Car park can get very busy at weekends so either arrive early or in summer 4pm is a good time to have the trails to yourself. Remember to pay for parking ticket as wardens do patrol throughout the day.
Cafe has basic snacks covered but don't expect a huge choice of full meals.
Would you recommend?
Yes
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 1 0
Swinley forest fun
Overall rating 
 
3.9
Grin Factor 
 
4.0
Trail Variety 
 
3.5
Skills Development 
 
3.5
Trail Quality  
 
4.0
Facilities 
 
5.0
Good fun trails rideable in all weathers

User Review

Good Points
Good fun trails rideable in all weathers
Would you recommend?
Yes
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 1 0
Early risers get empty trails
Overall rating 
 
4.2
Grin Factor 
 
4.5
Trail Variety 
 
4.5
Skills Development 
 
4.5
Trail Quality  
 
4.0
Facilities 
 
3.0
Started out as a couple of times a year visit not we go pretty much every other week - quick run up M3 from Southampton be great when roadworks are finished

Get there early and empty trails

User Review

Good Points
Great trails get there early and pretty clear runs

Bad Points
No changing and limited toilet facilities
Would you recommend?
Yes
JN
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Awesome
Overall rating 
 
4.8
Grin Factor 
 
5.0
Trail Variety 
 
4.0
Skills Development 
 
5.0
Trail Quality  
 
5.0
Facilities 
 
5.0
Swinley is great fun. I learned most of my skills here.
The fatser you ride the more challenging the trails become. I always end up smiling!

User Review

Good Points
All weather trails
Easy access
Trails for all levels
Great riders everywhere
Good facilities, cafe and WC
Excellent bike shop!
Bike wash
Great trails and great fun
Bad Points
Sometimes hard to park
Would you recommend?
Yes
CO
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 1
Great local facility
Overall rating 
 
4.2
Grin Factor 
 
5.0
Trail Variety 
 
3.5
Skills Development 
 
4.5
Trail Quality  
 
4.0
Facilities 
 
3.5
The Golden Retriever makes a good post ride drink / meal!

User Review

Good Points
It is amazing how they fit it all in!

Very close to my place of work, and so ideal for a post work Monday night ride. At this time of day (even in the summer), the trails are very quiet.

The facilities are excellent, and the more I have ridden here, the better I ride!

Fantastic value, as it is just the cost of parking.
Bad Points
As good as it is, I think I would get bored of it after a while.

It would be great if there was a way to do evening hire for bikes (for mates that don't have an MTB)
Would you recommend?
Yes
MJ
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 2 1
Swinley Forest
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Grin Factor 
 
5.0
Trail Variety 
 
3.0
Skills Development 
 
4.0
Trail Quality  
 
4.0
Facilities 
 
4.0
I live locally and feel so lucky to have this on my doorstep.

User Review

Good Points
Maintained trails, well marked. Great job done in design and grading. Has something for most everyone.
Bad Points
Not enough parking at weekends.
Would you recommend?
Yes
AW
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Good Times at Swinley Forest
(Updated: October 01, 2016)
Overall rating 
 
3.9
Grin Factor 
 
4.0
Trail Variety 
 
2.5
Skills Development 
 
4.0
Trail Quality  
 
5.0
Facilities 
 
4.0
(I have only visited twice but plan to go more often now I am closer)
Overall Swinley Forest has extremely well built trails and is great for beginners and slightly advanced, however it needs more variety and options ;)

Definitely needs more trails another blue and another red and a black. Some short red diversions for people wanting to try some red that can go back to blue. Swinley Forest is already very popular and can get pretty over crowded at times, I feel this could be a even bigger and better place with the added suggestions and more trails would take some pressure of the current trails.

User Review

Good Points
Fun factor
Quality of trails
Facilities
Great for Novice - Intermediate
Bad Points
If you are looking for technical or advanced this is not the place as of yet! Better sign posting around the trails
Would you recommend?
Yes
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