Exploring the mountain bike trails at Sherwood Pines


I might be a road cyclist at heart but mountain biking has always held a certain appeal for me. Perhaps it’s the fact that there are fewer cars and less pollution or, as with trail running, the challenge is more about tackling tricky terrain than pure speed. So with the weather too wintery to make biking on the road fun, I decided it was time to try out the trails at Sherwood Pines.

Managed by the Forestry Commission, this part of Sherwood Forest is a playground for both adrenaline junkies and those who are looking for something a little more sedate. On a sunny day you will see people swinging from the trees at the Go Ape! adventure course, pootling around on Segways, taking a gentle stroll through the woods and, of course, mountain biking along the network of trails, each graded easy to difficult.

This, however, was a dark, dismal day and as my partner drove us into the car park I began to wish I was curled up on the sofa with a cup of tea. We got out the car and put on a few extra layers just as the rain came pelting down and people began scurrying to their cars, making a swift exit towards warm homes.

Undeterred, we picked up our mountain bikes from Sherwood Pines Cycles, the onsite hire shop, and made our way to the trails, which range from the accessible-to-everyone Family Cycle Route to the extreme Kitchener Trail and Bike Skills Park if you want to perfect your technique. We began with one of the easier routes while we got used to the bikes before moving onto some of the more difficult routes.

I’ll admit that my mountain biking technique left a lot to be desired – but as I negotiated the twists and turns, I had started to think more about my body position on the bike and which gears I should be using.

The trails at Sherwood Pines are a firm favourite with mountain bikers from across the country and I could see why. As well as the technical parts, which include climbs, rocky descents and tree roots, you will also find longer stretches where you can pedal faster and build up speed. Not only that but you are also surrounded by a thick forest of pine trees and when the sun decided to make a brief appearance, the light streamed through them creating a magical feeling.

Hurtling up and down the hills had been a memorable experience and by the time we’d finished we were both covered in mud, from our helmets to our shoes. With darkness about to fall we returned our bikes to the hire shop and returned home, tired but exhilarated; we couldn’t wait to come back!

Sherwood Pines’ trails are free to access (although a car parking charge applies). Bikes are available to hire at Sherwood Pines Cycles. Further details on cycling around Nottinghamshire can be found on our website

Posted on 07 January 2015
Featured author: Catherine Allen Marketing Assistant

Arts fan, runner and cyclist who has been living in Nottingham for more than a decade. Loves real ale, craft beer, good food, travelling and sausage dogs.

Comments (1)

Post a comment
  • It is a really great forest to cycle around and the forestry commission have done a great job of creating the trails. Sherwood Pines cycles is a great shop to hire from and get your own bike repaired or buy spares from. There is a also a club – Sherwood Pines Cycling Club which takes guided rides out into the forest and beyond to Clumber and all the surrounding areas on all the bridleways and unknown hidden gems of tracks that exist, find them on Facebook or the web for details of rides. Ladies specific rides are also run.

    Posted by Dan S

Our monthly pick

Matilda, the European Eagle Owl

Birds, herds and beautiful scenery was the focus on my Wildlife Photography Course at Sherwood Hideaway

When I was asked to spend my weekend at Sherwood Hideaway to take part in wildlife activities available there, of course I was only too happy to oblige. It sounded like a wonderful experience and I could think of much worse ways to spend my weekend. Wildlife walks take place each Sunday at Sherwood Hideaway…

Your favourite places

Featured authors

  • Sarah Louise

    A very lucky marketeer in her dream job. Passionate about all things Nottinghamshire and firmly believes if you work really hard and are kind, amazing things will happen!

  • Kinga

    Addicted to music and learning languages. Loves reading, gardening, travelling and everything new media related.

  • Alistair

    Originally from Preston – but now calling Nottingham home – Alistair’s a St Helens rugby league fan who loves travel and music.

  • Natalie

    Proud to represent the county I grew up in. Travel loving devoted mum of two who carries a torch for the city’s unsung hero, Captain Albert Ball VC.

  • Sophie

    Writer and amateur local historian with an affection for English eccentrics. Returned to Nottingham in 2013, only to fall in love with the creative and cultural goings of the city.

Have a go...

madame parboiled nottingham

Madame Parboiled’s Historical Pub Tour

Nottingham is a city steeped in history and its pubs are a living proof of that, they’re a tangible representation of England’s past, and celebration of life before us. To learn how to grow our appreciation for Nottingham’s historic pubs we ventured into a world of Madame Parboiled – the executioner’s wife who knows Nottingham and…