Mountain bike camping adventures on the wild trails of Britain book

Cycling journalist Laurence McJannet embarks on an off-road adventure to bike and wild camp his way along 30 of Britain’s most beautiful off-road trails and ancient trackways.

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Lightweight ‘bikepacking’ is a fast growing international trend. Essentially it’s backpacking with a bike – or any ride that includes an overnight stay. So why not try an off-road micro-adventure with a difference, exploring Britain’s hidden trails and tracks? The is the first ever UK book on bikepacking and provides:

  • 30 of the finest off-road rides our island has to offer, from the Isle of Wight to the Scottish Highlands
  • Tips for picturesque camping, biking, packing and exploring
  • Ideas for family adventures
  • Engaging travelogue and inspiring photography
  • The best routes for mountain trails, night rides, adventures, stargazing, forest single track and more – all just a short train ride away

This unique guide will appeal to cyclists, micro-adventurers or those seeking the ultimate wild British cycling adventure.

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Laurence McJannet is a writer and journalist who cut his teeth in Beirut before forging a career in cycle journalism, interviewing Tour de France winner Carlos Sastre and British cycling legend Chris Boardman for the UK’s bike press.  A regular contributor to publications including What Mountain Bike, MBUK, ProCycling and Cycling Plus, as well as Triathlon Plus, Outdoor Fitness, and Sustrans. Now living with his young family in Somerset, he runs a custom bike building business and is establishing a vintage cycle cafe outside Bristol – the UK’s first designated Cycling City.


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Introduction 11
Fat Tyres & Campfires 12
Ride, Eat, Sleep, Repeat 16
Tarpology 22
Planning a Ride 27

Best for Epic Wilderness Rides 33
Best for Technical Trails 35
Best for Family Rides 37
Best for Coastal Trails 39
Best for Winter Rides 41
Best for Hills and Mountains 43

The South West 45
The South East 91
Midlands and The North 135
Scotland and Wales 195
Epilogue 248


Press contact

Daniel Start
07761 375717


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The rides

01 The Deverills in the Detail
This route through Wiltshire’s Wylye Valley to the Somerset border will immerse you in quintessential rolling English countryside

02 Avon Calling
A family-friendly journey from a Somerset market town to  the picturesque Kennet & Avon Canal, via Bath’s splendid  Roman baths

03 Cresting the Quantocks
Ridgeline views out to the Bristol Channel and deep into west Somerset abound on this challenging West Country classic

04 A Studland Sortie
At the eastern tip of the Jurassic Coast lies a wealth of fabulous trail riding, from exposed clifftops to dense pine forests

05 Jurassic Roller Coaster
At the Jurassic Coast’s western extremity lies a roller coaster ride that delivers stunning coastal vistas at the top of every climb

06 Valley of the Rocks – an Exmoor Epic
Between Lynton and Tarr Steps lies a journey of extremes, which will take you from rugged coast to verdant valley via hushed, desolate moors

07 A Taste of the Tors
A testing trail in the National Park’s northwest corner will give you a taste of true moorland wilderness tempered by lush wooded valleys

08 A Green Ribbon through the Big Smoke
Ride through the capital’s busy southwest corner, across Royal parks and commons and along the Thames, hardly ever touching tarmac

09 London’s Greenest Gateway
Another leafy escape from the confines of the capital, through this ancient Royal hunting forest’s quiet corridor to the Lee Valley’s green expanse

10 Finding Efrafa
Follow this peaceful trail from the Savernake forest over rolling Hampshire hills and discover that these fabled warrens are far from fictional

11 Wonder Weald
Using the North Downs Way’s finest ridable sections, this route touches Kent’s famous coastal flats but delivers more dynamic riding too

12 The Beautiful South
Beginning and ending so close to the south coast, the hilly inland splendour of the South Downs Way is as much a highlight of this ride

13 Sanctuary on the Solent
From Yarmouth harbour to Newport via Brighstone Forest’s snaking singletrack, this has all the ingredients for a memorable microadventure

14 Stane Street Revisited
The faint trace of a Roman road cuts a picturesque path from Leith Hill, the southeast’s highest point, to the famous racecourse at Epsom

15 From Fen to Forest
This little-known long distance path of Roman origin scythes through a fascinating, ever-changing East Anglian landscape

16 A Drift through Wild Midland Meadows
A lovely undulating route weaves its way from the Vale of Belvoir to Rutland Water, and proves there is good riding to be found in the East Midlands

17 A Wold Away
What better place to experience serene, bucolic English countryside than the heart of the glorious Costwolds

18 Malvern’s Great Sentinel
From the highest point of the highest place in Worcestershire is the most wonderful of wild camps, and an unparalleled panorama encompassing 15 counties

19 Riding on the Edge
From reservoir shores to the highest of moors, this journey through the Dark Peaks offers contrasts and challenges aplenty

20 Yorkshire’s Bleak Beauty
Rudland Rigg forms the spine of this arduous yet ultimately rewarding tour across the moors from the handsome town of Helmsley

21 High Hills, Deep Dales
The rewards for conquering the towering Fremington Edge are flowing moorland trails and views of the Swale Valley to die for

22 Rising to the Challenge
Between the serene waters of Ennerdale and Buttermere lies the Scarth Gap Pass, as demanding and starkly beautiful as any Lake District climb

23 Taming the Wilds of Windermere
A more leisurely Lake District ride, skirting between Grizedale Forest and England’s largest lake, and hugely fulfilling for bikepackers of all ages

24 A Room with a View
This haunting route through silent forests and glens to a remote cabin captures the essence of the Western Isles in all their wild glory

25 Between a Loch and a Hard Place
A night’s stay at an idyllic loch-side bothy punctuates this Highland journey around – and across – the largest inland stretch of water in Britain

26 Mountain Bikes and Bothy Nights
At the foot of the Cairngorms awaits the perfect bikepacking adventure; an isolated bothy amid a bleak, beautiful glen, and a trail running through it…

27 Surf’s Up
Turn your back on Swansea’s crowded seafront and ride. Before long your trail will beckon you west to the breathtakingly beautiful Rhossili Bay

28 Touching the Sky
Snaking through wooded valleys and past lake shores, this route culminates in an ascent of the highest rideable climb in Britain

29 Break for the Border
An epic off-road ride that spans half the length of Wales, following Offa’s Dyke across the Clwydian Range and Berwyn Hills to Clun

30 Along the Edge of the Realm
This southern half of a journey inspired by the old Mercian frontier leaves the Shropshire Hills behind and heads beyond the Black Mountains


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