Located south-west of Manchester, Delamere Forest is very easy to get to by car or public transport. Facilities at the forest are excellent thanks to the brand new visitor centre and huge car park. The centre has a cafe, outdoor eating areas and toilets. It’s also worth noting that bike hire is available from the Tracs on-site bike shop. The shop offers a wide selection of equipment, from childrens bikes to tag-along trailer bikes and ‘proper’ mountain bikes for enthusiasts.
There are 2 waymarked cycling trails in the forest, the Hunger Hill Trail and the Whitemoor Trail. At 4 miles and 6.8 miles respectively, they are great for families and make a good introduction to off-road cycling.
Hunger Hill Trail (4 miles)
This route takes you on wide forest roads and includes some short sharp climbs with lovely views of Blakemere Moss from Hunger Hill. At just 4 miles long this would be suitable for younger children or beginners looking for a gentle off-road route. All the forest roads are well maintained and provide picturesque views of the forest.
Although the trail is waymarked I didn’t find the signs particularly well labelled and sometimes found it difficult to tell which trail to take when reaching a cross-roads. For this reason I would recommend purchasing the trail map from the on-site bike shop.
Whitemoor Trail (6.8 miles)
This longer route takes you to some of the quieter areas of the forest including the lesser known meres and mosses. At almost 7 miles long this provides more of a challenge but is still mostly flat and easy going.
Again I didn’t find the trail particularly well waymarked so having the trail map would be advisable. And of course if you were looking for a longer ride you could do both trails.
If you are looking for something a bit more challenging then it’s worth doing some exploring to find the many singletrack trails scattered throughout the forest. I particularly enjoyed one trail known as ‘Foxhowel Dash’ which you can see at the end of my video.
I think some of the best riding can be found by going through Whitefield Car Park and out towards the edge of the forest. Here you’ll find a mix of double-track and fast single-track trails.
Manley Hill Bike Park
Manley Hill Bike Park is a small skills park located in the western region of Delamere Forest. The park consists of a 4x track, dirt jumps, berms and a short downhill track. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to get to the park on the day, but it’s somewhere I plan to ride on my next visit.The park can be accessed via a fireroad near the Outdoor Education Centre at the bottom of Ashton Road. Parking is available on lay-bys along Ashton Road.
- Excellent on-site facilities including bike hire
- Picturesque and well-maintained cycling trails
- Suitable for all skill levels including families
- Fast singletrack trails for more experienced riders
- Official fireroad routes may be a little tame for the enthusiast
- Some of the best singletrack trails are difficult to find