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Swinley Forest ... Worth the journey‽
#1
Now the weather's getting better and there's some exciting times ahead for my son and I regarding MTBing I was thinking about checking out some venues a little further away to mix up our experiences and bank of venues visited.

I've seen good reviews & videos of Swinley and I drove past there yesterday so I'm wondering ...

With Bedgebury only 20 mins away from me and Swinley 1¾hrs away ... is Swinley significantly enough better than Bedgebury to warrant making the trip‽

As it's so far away I'm thinking about taking my boy for a full day, maybe do the blue route gently before lunch, then check out all that the Red/Black/Orange Routes have to offer after lunch.

A quick search of the forum shows that a few of you frequent both sites ... Lee Gee- your name comes up most about it ... so .. whaddya reckon? Is it worth the effort?
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#2
I'd say yes - it is worth the trip - as much for something different rather than to ride there over Bedgebury every time

Swinley is longer, faster and in places harder than Bedgebury but it is all ridable and is similarly waymarked. There is a nice cafe if you want to ride either side of lunch and make a day of it

Bear in mind that the red is an extension of the blue so if you decide to ride blue then red, you'll still end up riding the blue twice. The blue is good though so it is no bad thing Big Grin
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#3
Yep definitely worth it. Was there on Saturday and there are a couple of new bits since i was there last with some EPIC berms that are more like wall rides. It is harder than Bedge, but if you pace yourself you'll be fine. There is so much more there than Bedge, there's the jump gully and a DH area with about 5 trails that come out in roughly the same place so you can have some fun there before carrying on round the red.
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#4
I'll echo pittgoat and TH, while swinley isn't anything too extreme its a nice progression from bedgebury and is worth the trip. The new surface is well bedded in now.

Worth a trip but on a weekend the carpark is very full so make it an early start.
Keep it foolish...
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#5
Brilliant! Thanks fellas ...

How much is parking? or is there a Bedgebury-esque nearby-layby that I could park at and ride in for free?
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#6
Was at Swinley on Sat with Andy(Treehugger).Very busy and great weather.Carpark is £4 all day,or £2 for 3 or 4 hours.Much better than Bedgebury.
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#7
That's much more reasonable than Bedge. Reckon I could front £4! Lol
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#8
Here's a thought dude, I was gonna put this above, but risked teaching my granny to suck eggs.

There's a nice cafe at Swinley but it's always pretty busy, as is the sandwich table area directly outside. It's also quite expensive. As you're gonna end up making a day of it it might be worth taking pasties, crisps and a thermos, it'll save you £15. There's also a big Sainsburys about 5 mins away by bike, have a look on google maps. Maybe the link below might work.

Swinley carpark is cheap enough, but also gets packed at the weekends, try to leave early and make a day of it. Have a good one!

<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="https://www.google.co.uk/maps/search/swinley+forest/@51.3905283,-0.7390433,16z">https://www.google.co.uk/maps/search/sw ... 390433,16z</a><!-- m -->
Keep it foolish...
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#9
Sound advice, cheers mate.

I am well known for being tight as a ducks arse and rarely pay cafe prices at places like this.

My missus gets fed up with me when I insist on taking packups on day outs for a family of 4 but I know that as soon as you put a cafe anywhere near a National Trust/Forestry Commission/English Heratige site you can add £££'s to the cost of anything that would cost pence elsewhere.

Last year I relented when we went to Llanhydrock ... A light lunch for 4 that was overly pretentious for Burger & Chips cost me over £30!!!! And the kids didn't like it.

Never again!
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#10
jonboy1066 Wrote:Sound advice, cheers mate.

I am well known for being tight as a ducks arse and rarely pay cafe prices at places like this.

My missus gets fed up with me when I insist on taking packups on day outs for a family of 4 but I know that as soon as you put a cafe anywhere near a National Trust/Forestry Commission/English Heratige site you can add £££'s to the cost of anything that would cost pence elsewhere.

Last year I relented when we went to Llanhydrock ... A light lunch for 4 that was overly pretentious for Burger & Chips cost me over £30!!!! And the kids didn't like it.

Never again!
But the lasagna and jacket potato is awesome! I'm gutted i didn't have time for that on Saturday.
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