The MBUK Wrecking crew are joined by Martha Gill and Tracy Moseley at Glentress. Credit: Steve Behr

Is Glentress still one of the best places for mountain biking in the UK?

The 7stanes trail centre at Glentress has long been one of the best places to go mountain biking in the UK. We returned there after a while away to see if its trails and facilities are still up there with the best

Glentress in Scotland is one of the more established trail centres in the UK and is a hugely popular destination. Situated in the Tweed Valley in the Scottish Borders, it’s home to 73km of waymarked trails, with something to suit every ability. For a few of the team it had been quite some time since their last visit, which they remembered fondly. They were keen to find out how the trails had developed and what had changed since their last outing. So on our return journey from this year’s Fort William World Cup, we stopped in and hooked up with former downhill and enduro world champion Tracy Moseley and rising star Martha Gill for a blast round some of its best trails. You can find out more about our adventures in issue 346 of MBUK, and discover all the info you need for a great day on the bike at Glentress below…

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The Trails

For a PDF trail map of Glentress, click HERE.

The MBUK Wrecking Crew checks out the gorgeous scenery and riding at Glentress in Scotland. Credit: Steve Behr
The MBUK crew and guest riders Tracy Moseley and Martha Gill check out the gorgeous scenery and decide which trail to hit next. Credit: Steve Behr

Skills area: 1.5km. This green-graded loop gives beginners a chance to get used to their bikes and riding off-road.

Green trail: 3.5km or 4.5km. There’s a choice of two trails here, one from the Buzzard’s Nest car park halfway up the hill and one starting at the cafe down at the bottom. Both feature smooth singletrack.

The MBUK Wrecking crew are joined by Martha Gill and Tracy Moseley at Glentress. Credit: Steve Behr

Clear signage and trail grading makes it easy to find your way around Glentress. Credit: Steve Behr

Blue trail: 8 to 16km. The blue route is made up of two 8km loops, which can be ridden one after another or on their own. It’s characterised by flowing singletrack and sweeping corners, and includes rollable tabletop jumps and steps, plus optional red-graded obstacles.

Red trail: 18km. The red trail includes sections such as Spooky Woods and Pie Run – classic Glentress descents filled with rocky drops-offs, 180-degree berms and rollable jumps. It’ll leave you grinning from ear to ear.

Scotland turned up the goods with the weather at Glentress Credit: Steve Behr

Switchbacks, stunning scenery and optional technical sections ensure the climbs at Glentress are no chore. Credit: Steve Behr

Martha Gill hits one of the top drops on the Spooky Woods descent! Credit: Steve Behr

Martha Gill hits one of the top drops on the Spooky Woods descent. Credit: Steve Behr

Black trail: 29km. All but 4km of this challenging route is superb singletrack, with switchback descents, rocky climbs and thrilling swoopy sections. Make sure you pack your sarnies!

Freeride park: This is an ideal spot for riders looking to push their skill levels, style it up and learn new tricks. It has loads of advanced-level features including multiple jump lines, wallrides and North Shore woodwork, plus an area with smaller features for beginners.

The freeride park at Glentress is perfect for honing your skills. Credit: Steve Behr

The freeride park at Glentress is perfect for honing your skills. Credit: Steve Behr

Tracy Moseley schooled MBUK at the Glentress freeride park, hitting the wallride with ease! Credit: Steve Behr

Tracy Moseley schooled us in the freeride park, hitting the wallride with ease! Credit: Steve Behr

Essential information

Getting there

Glentress is between Peebles and Innerleithen on the A72. The postcode EH45 8NB will get you to the visitor centre at the bottom of the hill. You can start the blue and red routes from here, or join them at the Buzzard’s Nest car park halfway up.

Facilities

Bike shop, cafe, showers, parking, toilets, bike hire, bike wash.

Contact

www.scotland.forestry.gov.uk

Closest bike shops

There’s a branch of Alpine Bikes on site, complete with hire bikes from Santa Cruz, Whyte, Trek and Cube. Their staff know the trails, so can always offer friendly advice.

What else is nearby?

Innerleithen: Just 10 minutes’ drive (or a 20-minute ride) away, this 7stanes centre offers some amazing, gnarly and rugged riding. With a rad XC route (with an optional black section) and several orange (extreme) DH runs on offer, be sure to pack a set of balls with your sandwiches! Inners has some great off-piste trails too – keep those eyes peeled!

Ae Forest: Around an hour away, Ae is another 7stanes trail centre. It’s got green, blue and red XC loops, some optional black sections and two orange DH runs.

Jimmer and JCW unload the MBUK van at Glentress. Credit: Steve Behr

Jimmer and JCW unload the MBUK van in the Buzzard’s Nest car park. Credit: Steve Behr

Martha Gill has style for miles as she hits one of the enduro trails. Credit: Steve Behr

Martha Gill has style for miles as she hits one of the unmarked enduro trails. Credit: Steve Behr

MBUK’s verdict

Why ride here?

Loads of flowing singletrack, both manmade and natural, plus great facilities on hand.

What’s rad and what’s bad?

Rad

  • Whether flat-out tracks filled with berms and rollers are your thing or you prefer tight singletrack through the trees, there’s something for you here.
  • The descents will keep you smiling while you’re bashing out yet another lap!
  • It’s close enough to other trail centres to make a great base for a riding holiday.

Bad

  • If it’s a bad year for midgies, make sure to pack the Smidge!

The bottom line

Glentress provided us with a great reminder of how trail centre riding can be just as fun and varied as natural, off-piste tracks. Although we only managed to ride a handful of the trails on offer during our short visit, there was enough variety to keep all of us happy, including a photographer on an e-bike, a world champion on a 29er trail bike and Jimmer on a caffeine-fuelled rampage! We all agreed that Glentress was a place we’d love to revisit, which is saying a lot considering that we hadn’t even left by the time we said that!

For our complete report on Glentress and more, grab a copy of issue 346, on sale now!

MBUK 346 cover

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