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As it says in the title, where can I ride legally ride my mountain bike off road in the UK?

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Vote to Close - This question is limited to a specific geographic area. –  Dustin Sep 2 '10 at 14:01
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What's wrong with that? The UK is a fairly big place and relevant to a lot of people. –  Mark Ingram Sep 2 '10 at 14:46
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@Mark - Please see meta.bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/60/… –  Dustin Sep 2 '10 at 15:14
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You can't legally ride your bike off road? wow! –  dotjoe Sep 2 '10 at 18:18
    
See this meta too: meta.bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/60/… –  sixtyfootersdude Sep 17 '10 at 15:45
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4 Answers 4

up vote 10 down vote accepted

In England, Wales and NI You can legally ride in lots of places:

  • On any bridleway
  • On any Byway open to all traffic (BOAT)
  • Restricted Byways (Used to be called RUPPs)
  • Permisive Bridleways
  • Dedicated MTB trial centres (of which there are now lots)

The first three categories of path can be found on your OS map, although the definitive maps are held by local area councils and the OS map can (very rarely) be wrong. Permissive Bridleways are open to bikes but are not often marked on maps, they are there with the permission of the land owner and aren't a statutory right of way.

In Scotland the rules are differnt and much more liberal - if there is a trail then you can probably ride it. There is a good overview here as to the position in Scotland.

A good way to find your local routes is via your local cycling club if they have an off road section.

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Wikipedia's page on Rights of Way in England and Wales may be of use in understanding this question. –  Drew Stephens Sep 17 '10 at 16:13
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Sustrans has created a lot of of road cycle paths in the UK, details on there website

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Cannock Chase have some good (handbuilt) trails - http://www.chasetrails.co.uk.

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Here are a couple of links to sites with information about trail centres in the UK:

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