Going Off-Road with Toad Hall Cottages

From scenic trails to adrenaline rushing descents, the West Country off-road biking scene is very much alive and peddling and remains one our guests’ top holiday activities. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely day out on easy-going terrain or the thrill of a white-knuckle ride through a pine needle forest, we’ve got the trail for you. So, saddle up and discover some of the region’s best mountain bike rides…


Lanhydrock, near Bodmin (easy-going)

Part of the magnificent National Trust estate, Lanhydrock offers trails for all abilities allowing you to explore the ancient woodlands both at pace and at leisure. A great ride for all the family with a selection of trails to choose from, plus some easy technical features if you fancied more of a challenge; also suitable for tagalongs and disability bikes.

Goss Moor, near St Austell (easy to moderate)

A seven-mile circular trail across the Goss Moor nature reserve. The going is described as relatively easy with linking routes to nearby Tregoss Moor if you fancied a detour.

The Bodmin Beast (moderate to expert)

An exhilarating twelve-kilometre trail exploring the wooded slopes of the Cardinham Valley. Expect to encounter a number of technical climbs and descents plus berm corners, step downs, rollers and table tops. Suitable for those with moderate off-road experience and a ‘dope’ trail for seasoned mountain bikers.

Dope adj. Good. “That trail was dope.”

Tamar Trails, near Tavistock (easy to moderate)

The Tamar Trails offers twenty-five kilometres of off-road mountain biking with routes to suit both young families and seasoned riders. The going is mostly easy along compacted stone tracks – plus the odd steeper gradient – and the routes are open all year round and free to use. The Mineral Railway Trail is considered the best option for families with young children and ‘newbie’ riders, while the steep descents and climbs of the Wheal Maria Trail offer a more challenging ride with stunning views of the Tamar Valley.

Gawton Downhill & Tavi Woods, Tamar Valley (moderate to expert)

Four belting downhill tracks offering more than five hundred feet of “gravity-fed descent”. These highly addictive trails guarantee a fast-flowing and steep downward pitch with the added bonus of an uplift service. ‘Tavi’ woods offers a series of downhill, sandy trails in various styles from the rapid ‘corkscrew’ descent to the slower, technical rides.
Both these quirky trails have become UK ‘hotspots’ for downhillers. The rides are members only, for more information click here.

The Camel Trail, mid-Cornwall (easy-going)

An eighteen-mile multi-use trail along a disused railway line encompassing the beautiful Cornish countryside between Wenfordbridge, Bodmin, Wadebridge and Padstow. The Camel Trail consists of three main sections:
• Padstow to Wadebridge – 5.5 Miles (8.8Km)
• Wadebridge to Bodmin (Boscarne) – 5.75 Miles (9.25Km)
• Bodmin to Wenfordbridge – 6.25 Miles (10.1 Km)


The Mineral Tramways, mid-Cornwall (easy-going)

Discover Cornwall’s rich mining ancestry when you explore the thirty-seven miles plus of multi-activity trails that form The Mineral Tramways. Many of these old routes follow the tramways and railway tracks once used to supply the then burgeoning tin and copper mines and ran to and from coastal ports, such as Devoran and Portreath.

The Clay Trails, near St Austell (easy-going)

A quintet of off-road clay trails around the historic Cornish town of St Austell across landscape well-known for its clay tips and pits, the tell-tale signs of a once thriving clay mining industry now transformed by tree-planting and regrowth. These quiet Clay Trails allow you to enjoy the county’s unique, open countryside and the captivating wildlife that inhabits it.

Cann Wood, near Plymton (moderate to expert)

A veritable maze of criss-crossing, downhill woodland trails with plenty of jumps and berms to add to the thrill. The tracks at Cann Wood are relatively short but there are enough of them for you to spend the whole day exploring and they all score well on the fun factor ratings.

Berm: noun. A banked corner that can be ridden faster than a flat corner; a common feature on a trail: “I flew around that berm.”

Haldon Forest, near Exeter (easy to expert)

The Ridge Ride Trail at Haldon Forest is a six-mile red graded track with the option of a black grade loop for the more technically-minded riders. This “fast-flowing” course offers up some tight corners and quick downhill descents, enough to test the most daring of bikers. There are also plenty of easy-going trails for beginners with the added bonus of some lovely views towards the cathedral city of Exeter.

Gear up for an unforgettable holiday with Toad Hall Cottages. With 800 properties throughout the South West, we can provide the perfect base for your next adventure.