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on 17 June 2016
What a great book!!!! Has actually rekindled my interest in MTB as i was slipping over to the insideous world of the roadie. Really like the idea of planning your route using O/S maps and not being spoon fed a Sat Nav style, "Turn Right Here" type guide. This book alows you to get out into the countryside and have a real adventure. It has an excellent guide at the begining of the book telling you how to use it so that you can get the most out of this fantastic resorce.

If you want to get away from the crowds and spoon fed trails this is the book for you!!!!!!!
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on 14 September 2013
Good for identifying an area to ride with route information that confirms that any unfamiliar tracks are at least potentially rideable. Coupled with my Satmap it is very useful.
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on 23 May 2017
Bought as a gift - great book for mountain bikers. Good service
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on 1 May 2011
I have a box of various maps and guides along with several regional guidebooks from a range of sources, including Bike Maps own guides to the Peak district, which are really clear and useful. So having one book with 500 mountain biking areas in it for England and Wales is an excellent idea and this guide does not disappoint. As well as providing routes for local areas, the guide has come in handy for finding routes in new areas I did not know about. It's also really motivating and makes you just want to get out and discover these great new routes! The book is clear, concise and practical, with straightforward easy to follow maps and instructions, including details of where to park, pubs, cafes, and trail conditions and gradients. Really useful features are atlas style maps with all the areas marked and the mini area maps showing where the route is in relation to major towns/villages. Trail centres are also covered, with a description of facilities and route gradings. All in all, at over 600 pages, this book offers incredible value with enough in it to keep all riders of all abilities satisfied.
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on 7 September 2015
I bought this book based on the number of very good reviews it has, expecting it to give me some good ideas for where to ride with my kids, but the reality is that it is completely useless!

The typical profile page is like something which predates the internet. There is a large amount of information telling you things that can be found in 30 seconds flat on Google or Tripadvisor, such as how long it might take to get to a location, whether you can get there by train and what the nearby pubs or bike shops are, but there is next to nothing about the actual riding you'll find when you get there.

A typical example, taken at random, has the following for Henley on Thames.....

Route Idea: Roads S through Harpsden Wood. Trails W through High Wood. Trails W to Rotherfield Peppard. Trails NW to Stoke Row, then on to Nott Wood and D481. Trails and roads back to Henley via Lower Highmoor, Bromsden Farm & Broadplay. Distance 28km.

Other than that, the only indication at all as to the type of riding available is "Great riding through Chiltern beechwoods, best in summer".

Is it singletrack? Is it technical? Who knows? You certainly won't find out from this guide! I can find a bridleway and read contour lines on an OS map without a problem, and now that they're all available online for free, I can easily go looking for potential places to ride anywhere in the country from my computer. What I can't know without local knowledge is what the actual trails are going to be like when I get there.... Is that moderate gradient bridleway a smoothly surfaced double width track through relatively wide spaced trees, or is it a dark, damp, rooty bit of singletrack through dense forest? This is what I was hoping this book would give me an indication of, but there's absolutely nothing at all to give you even a sense of the technical difficulty of the "routes" they suggest. My boys are perfectly happy going round the red routes at places like Swinley, so they're not complete novices, but finding the wrong couple of miles in the middle of a 12 mile ride can completely kill the day and potentially put them off riding natural trails.

Furthermore, thinking of my home riding in the Surrey Hills, you could ride for miles on boring fire roads with no way of knowing that some of the best trails in the country are within yards, but again this guide does absolutely nothing to help you out here beyond saying "to make sure you ride all the best bits, several companies offer guided rides".

This book could be made superb by the use of a bit of modern technology to provide an actual route shown on a map along with an easy/medium/hard rating, or to go one step better, a link to download a GPX file. As it stands though, it's just a collection of very superficial, often out of date information (talking about a new bike park being built in Esher due to open in 2011 which has already closed down, for example) which anyone could improve on given the ability to understand an OS map (which you would still need with this book anyway) and half an hour on the internet. Just start with an online OS mapping tool, find a roughly suitable looking area then google GPX tracks in that area...
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on 9 July 2016
This book is amazing, it pretty much documents every single bit of trail out there and then suggests routes of how to string them up into a rides. So much better than those regional guides where you'd only want to ride a handful of the routes in the book - this does the whole of England and Wales (only the bit's you'd want to ride an MTB mind) in one book. No more endlessly scouring the internet for routes in a particular area for me now, I can just pick up the book and hook myself up a route in seconds!
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on 21 June 2016
This is a really good little book that has made MTB more fun. It has encouraged me to venture away from my standard routes and be more adventurous! I would recommend this for any MTB and makes a great present too.
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on 22 May 2016
It's a pretty good book, informative and lots of info, unfortunately there's probably too much. Let me explain, being so much what is in there is very superficial. A good starting point, but you will need more in depth information.
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on 30 May 2012
I bought this book for my boyfriend as he has just treated himself to a new mountain bike. Now he is going through the book every other night planning his next trip. It is really good to get an idea of areas around you to head off to as well as areas further a field.
Only downside is it doesn't have a bike trail map so you pretty much have to figure it out for yourself when you get there but otherwise highly recommendable!
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on 2 June 2011
Now this simply stays in my car with the relevant OS maps. Ride regularly around South Downs and similar areas....and thought I knew most of the routes! Been VERY useful linking routes as well as highlighting new ones. Make a lot of trips to Afan, Wales and was impressed with the overall quality, coverage and detail this book offers. If you want to expand your riding with minimal 'thinking' then this is an essential purchase! Do it!
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