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Dalby Forest

Cyclists in Dalby Forest photo courtesy of Forestry CommissionCyclists in Dalby Forest photo courtesy of Forestry Commission

Dalby Forest – on the southern slopes of the National Park – is the standard-bearer for North York Moors' cycling and is one of the best places in Britain for off-road biking.

There are 70km of cycle trails snaking across 8,000 acres – up hill, down dale, through the forest and across the moorland plateau – with separate routes catering for children and families as well as experienced mountain-bikers.

There's a Forestry England Visitor Centre, Dalby Forest Cycle Hub offering bikes hire, and cafés at Low Dalby.

Nearby in the village of Thornton le Dale, you'll find Dalby Bike Barn with bike hire and an excellent cycle shop. There's also a bike-friendly café at Dalby Activity Centre, near Dixon's Hollow (open weekends and daily in school holidays).

Out on the trails

As well as the world-class cross-country trails in Dalby Forest, there are also 'green' routes suitable for families and beginners.

  • Ellerburn Family Cycle Route - 1.7-mile green route with optional 1.1-mile extension; a multi-user pathway for disabled cyclists, walkers, and wheelchair users
  • Adderstone Cycle Trail - 8-mile green route with optional 4-mile extension suitable for beginners or novice cyclists, including children's bikes, tag-alongs and bike trailers.
  • Other trails, from 'blue' to 'red' (hard) and 'black' (severe), including Jubilee Blue Trail (6-miles for intermediate cyclists or mountain bikers with basic off-road riding skills), Jerry Noddle Bike Trail (7-mile red trail for those with good off-roading skills) and the challenging black World Cup Cycle Trail
  • Dixon's Hollow Bike Park – 4X skills course, dirt jumps for experienced riders, and pump track
  • Cycle skills area - aimed at those building their confidence with humps, banks and small jumps, especially younger riders

Dalby Forest Loop

To give you a taste of Dalby Forest and the dramatic moorland surroundings, we've put together a 14.5-mile (23km) circular 'Explorer' ride, suitable for beginners, families and cyclists of all abilities. Read about the route and download the guide.

Getting there

Dalby Forest is 2 miles northeast of Thornton le Dale, and can also be reached via the A169 Pickering to Whitby road. Look out for the brown tourist signs.

Forestry England Visitor Centre, Low Dalby, Thornton le Dale, Pickering, North Yorkshire, YO18 7LT.

Please note – admission by car to Dalby Forest is via a toll road, but it's free for cyclists and walkers.