Probably anyone who’s into mountain biking and lives around London has heard of Swinley Forest. It has about 25 km of purpose built trails that are divided into three main routes – Green, Blue and Red. Unless you’re riding your granny’s folding bike there’s no need to take the green one but the other two routes offer hours of fun and encourage you to come back.
A direct train from Clapham Junction takes you to Martin Herons train station in 49 minutes and from there it’s only about a 10 minutes long ride to get to the Lookout Centre where the Swinley Bike Hub is located. Over there you can buy some gear, get a basic bike service or even wash your bike after the ride for a small fee. Those who don’t own a mountain bike can also hire one.
Once you’re ready go pass the Swinely Bike Hub where the blue trail starts. If you follow the small wooden signposts in the right order in about 5 km they take you to the starting point of the red route where the proper fun begins. Again, just follow the signposts (in the ascending order) marked with red colour and a number and enjoy the ride. I usually do the red route twice and then take the 2nd part of the blue trail back to the Lookout Centre and continue to the train station. The whole ride including going from and to the train station takes me slightly over 3 hours.
Although I’ve recorded the whole mtb route (gps coordinates below) often there are diversion as some parts are being repaired or improved. This, however, doesn’t spoil the ride because everything is very well marked and you just skip a short part of the route.
Btw. when you arrive to the 20th signpost of the red trail you can either turn left and go through the ‘Labyrinth’ or you can carry on a few meters straight and enjoy three downhills of different difficulties. That’s one of the reasons I always do the red route twice – so I get to ride both.
If you guys have any question, just drop me a message in the comments below. If not, have a fun day full of mountain biking and I’ll see you in Swinley…
You can download the gps coordinates (in the gpx format) below the map.