For gravity-fuelled adrenaline junkies, the quickest and best way to get to the top of the hill is with an uplift. We’ve compiled a list of the best shuttle services across the UK, in no particular order, so you know where you need to go at the weekend to maximise your time riding, rather than wasting it lugging yourself to the top of the hill.
BikePark Wales, South Wales
Whether you’re on a trail, enduro or downhill bike, BikePark Wales, located just outside Merthyr Tydfil, is guaranteed to be great fun. Open all year round and with 38 trails, there’s something for every type of rider. BikePark Wales’ trails run amazingly no matter the conditions and the uplift is short, regular and convenient. If you’re on a mission, racking up 10 runs is achievable during a day’s riding. Day ride passes are £8 and a weekend uplift ticket costs £38 (this includes your day pass). Check out issue 349 for a Wrecking Crew report on the ‘red plus’-graded trail ‘Root Manouevres’. Remember to book early, though – BPW is extremely popular! Click HERE to book the uplift.
One of the UK’s premier downhill riding spots, the small Scottish town of Innerleithen, near Peebles, is home to plenty of highly successful downhill and enduro riders, and for good reason. The trails are phenomenal no matter the weather or time of year – they’re technical, long and fun. If you’re after a good day on the DH bike, Inners has to be high up on your list of must-go venues with its four downhill tracks. Adrenaline Uplift have recently been awarded the tender to provide uplift services at Innerleithen and Ae Forest, so stay tuned to their Facebook page for more information.
Katy Winton leads out Alex Evans and Ed Thomsett on an MBUK Wrecking Crew trip through the orange larch needles at Inners. Credit: Andy McCandlish
Revolution Bikepark, Llangynog, Mid Wales
Revs is a pure downhill venue in Mid Wales that’ll keep you on your toes with gnarly, fast and steep trails and massive jumps! The 50to01 line, built by the likes of Josh Bryceland and Josh Lewis, is a flowy masterpiece, while ‘Ffar Side’ is steep enough to entertain even the world’s best Downhill World Cup riders. Check out issue 335 of the mag for our Wrecking Crew report. The uplift costs £33 for a day and is open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and you can get up to 18 runs in during the day if you’re pushing hard, so it’s great value for money! Click HERE to book the uplift.
Marc Beaumont hits one of the more natural-feeling trails at Revolution Bikepark in North Wales. Credit: Andy Lloyd
Gawton Gravity Hub, Devon
One of the South West’s best downhill riding spots, Gawton, located north of Plymouth, has four gravity-fuelled tracks that vary from flowy and fun to outright bonkers! There’s also a trail that doubles up as a push-up route and shared use, bi-directional track for beginners. Check out issue 343 for our latest Wrecking Crew report from Gawton. The uplift is run by Flyup Downhill and is open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. A day of uplifting costs £33, but you’ll need to buy a £5 day pass to display in your car’s window in the car park too – this is also valid for nearby Tavi Woodlands, on the day of purchase. Click HERE to book the uplift.
Ed Thomsett and Jasper Flashman ride the Gawton DH tracks during our last MBUK Wrecking Crew visit. Credit: Ian Lean
Fort William, Scotland
The UK’s only World Cup downhill venue, at the Nevis Range Mountain Resort just outside Fort William, is a worthy host for the world’s best racers. The downhill track is flat out, rocky and very rough, and for mere mortals is around six minutes long from top to bottom. You’ll need a downhill bike to have any kind of fun, though! If you’re not a budding World Cup racer, there’s also an easier red descent. Instead of being crammed into a smelly van, Fort William has the luxury of a gondola to whisk you effortlessly to the top of the hill. We reckon that if your arms and hands can take it, you could manage 12 runs at The ‘Bill in a day. A day’s access to the gondola costs £32.50, and you pay on the day at the kiosk.
Joe Breeden launches out of the start gate at the 2017 Fort William World Cup. Credit: Steve Behr
Danny Hart’s Descend Bike Park, County Durham
Two-time downhill world champ Danny Hart cut his teeth at Hamsterley Forest as a young lad. Danny’s now invested his own money into the local riding scene and taken on the Descend Bike Park. Boasting 13 possible trail variations and an uplift service that costs £26 a day, plus an additional £5 for non club members, you’re bound to have a cracking time. You can hope that some of Danny’s skills will rub off on you during the day there! Click HERE to book the uplift.
The MBUK Wrecking Crew rides Hamsterley Forest. Credit: Mick Kirkman
Antur Stiniog, North Wales
Wild and rocky, this Welsh uplift venue is located just north of the Snowdonia National Park. Antur has seven downhill trails, which vary in feel – the blue is mellow and jumpy, while the black trails are full of steep, technical rock plunges. You need to make sure you’ve got your wits about you when riding here. The trails are seriously rocky so come prepared for punctures and potential breakages! You can read about our time at Antur in issue 338 of the mag. A day’s uplift costs £32.50 at the weekend or £29 on weekdays. Antur is open five days a week during the summer season, but that goes down to four in the winter. Click HERE to book the uplift.
Antur Stiniog is one gnarly place to ride! Credit: Andy Lloyd
Forest Of Dean, Gloucestershire
An MBUK favourite, the Forest of Dean has plenty of downhill, XC, enduro and secret trails to keep you going. The uplift is run by Flyup Downhill and gives you access to a dozen downhill tracks that all finish within metres of the pick-up point. FOD has a great cafe, bike shop, suspension tuning centre and bike washing facilities, and the Pedalabikeaway centre is a great base to ride from. You can read our latest Wrecking Crew report in issue 352. The uplift costs £33 and is open from Friday to Monday. Click HERE to book the uplift.
Olly Morris sends it off one of FOD’s many drops. Credit: Steve Behr
417 Bike Park, Gloucestershire
Right next to the A417 near Gloucester, the 417 Bike Park boasts three downhill tracks, a 4X track, dual slalom track, indoor pump track, indoor and outdoor dirt jumps, cafe, bike shop and coaching, among other facilities. Check out issue 336’s Wrecking Crew report to find out how we got on at the 417 Bike Park. Uplift costs £33 for a full day (for non-members) and is open seven days a week. Click HERE to book the uplift.
Tom Gethin leads out the MBUK Wrecking Crew at the 417 Bike Park. Credit: Steve Behr
Woody’s Bike Park, Cornwall
If the massive jumps and wide trails aren’t enough to persuade you to go, then maybe the stunning Cornish countryside will do it. With jumps that range from small to gigantic, Woody’s, on the south coast of Cornwall, is a perfect place to up your skills. Check out issue 345‘s Wrecking Crew report for our take on Woody’s. Uplift costs £34 for a day and is well worth it – you can get a lot of runs in! Click here to find out when Woody’s is open and HERE to book the uplift.
The latest issue of MBUK is out now, so grab a copy for a preview of Woody's Bike Park! We've also headed down to Cornwall to check it out . Here's a quick cut of some of our GoPro highlights with MBUK Team rider Alex Bond, Jasper Flashman & Ian Lean. When the park opens this summer you guys are in for a treat! Full report in the mag coming soon…#gopro #goprouk #woodysbikepark #mbukteam GoPro UK
One of South Wales’ longest-standing uplift venues, Cwmcarn has been off the radar for a while. Now with a revamped bottom section on the Y Mynydd downhill track, it’s back on the map. Cwmdown have been operating the uplift since 2006 and provide a speedy service to the top of the 250m vertical drop DH track. Uplift costs £31.50 at the weekends and bank holidays, and £29.50 during the week. Click here to check for availability and HERE to book the uplift.
Black Mountains Cycle Centre, South Wales
With 14 different trails ranging in difficulty from blue to expert, the BMCC, just north of Abergavenny, is a great place for a day of downhill uplift action. Remember to bring your A-game, though – the jumps on ‘Full Moto’ are massive, but the rest of the park means you can build your confidence up gradually before you hit them. Check out issue 319 for the latest Wrecking Crew report from the BMCC. A day of uplifts cost £36 at weekends, £30 midweek and £6 for a push-up day pass. Uplifts run on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays – click here for more information. Click HERE to book the uplift.
Nikki Whiles lays a flat one at the Black Mountains Cycle Centre. Credit: Andy Lloyd
Two downhill tracks snake their way down the boggy hillside from the top of Glencoe Mountain Resort‘s chairlift and the black run is famed for its gnarliness and temperamental weather conditions. Glencoe will be hosting the 2018 British Downhill National Championships, so if you’re keen to get some practise on the wild track, tickets for the chairlift cost £25 for a day’s riding. Find out more HERE.
Okeford Hill Bike Park, Dorset
Formerly called UK Bike Park, this steep but short hill boasts seven trails with a rapid uplift turnaround. Built on chalky soil, the tracks can be pretty slick when it’s wet, but in the dry the park runs flat out and is an absolute hoot. Check out issue 339 for our latest Wrecking Crew report from Okeford. Uplift costs £25 a day and you can book HERE.
Olly Wilkins leads out old-skool Tim Ponting at Okeford Hill Bike Park. Credit: Robin Kitchin
Ae Forest, Scotland
With two purpose-built downhill tracks accessed by the uplift road and plenty of secret trails hidden away in the woods, Ae Forest is well worth the visit. On-site, there’s a cafe and bike shop should anything go wrong or you fancy a slice of delicious cake. Check out issue 351 for our latest Wrecking Crew report on the trails at Ae. The uplift service will be run by Adrenaline Uplift, who’ve just been awarded the tender – click HERE to find out more.
Ae Forest local Frazer McCubbing hits the much-photographed hip jump on the downhill track. Credit: Tommy Wilkinson
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Alex started racing downhill at the tender age of 11, later going on to compete internationally representing the UK. At 19, he moved to the Alps to pursue a career as a bike bum clocking up moon-mileage riding the famous tracks in and around Morzine, France. In that time, he broke more bikes than he can remember. Alex then moved back to the UK when he landed a job working for Mountain Biking UK as their Features Editor — BikeRadar's sister title — as their features editor. Since working for MBUK, Alex's focus has moved to towards bike tech and he now wants to find out what bikes and components represent the best value for money regardless of discipline. Alex's current fleet includes his trusty commuter bike, a 2017 Marin Gestalt 3, his long term Orange Stage 6 RS enduro bike, a used and abused 2015 GT Sanction Pro, a Scott Voltage YZ dirt jump bike and a Deluxe Pro 2 BMX.