The Mr and I always tend to go away for a holiday in the UK around Easter. We’ve always been really lucky with the weather and had some great adventures at that time of year. This year was no different. This year we went to Scotland.
We took a week off work and took our newly camper-converted van for a road trip up the country, stopping off in Kielder, Northumberland, for a couple of nights before hopping across the border to play at some of the 7 Stanes bike parks. It was an utterly brilliant week that left me exhausted but wanting more!
The first day of riding was at Kielder, where we pedalled our way around the Lonesome Pine trail. The trail boasts the longest North Shore section in the country and it was truly stunning riding on it, feeling on top of the world, with beautiful views back down to the Kielder reservoir.
We had to leave the trail on foot temporarily to make our way around a fallen tree and as I was making my way through the beautiful forest, bike in hand, I suddenly lost one leg up to the knee in stinking bog! Thankfully I was able to pull it out, with my shoe still there, but I did stink and had to ride with a rather soggy foot for the rest of the day!
The second location for our week-Long trip was Glentress, one of the 7 Stanes. This place was amazing! The campsite was right next to the bike park, with a great cafe and bike shop onsite. We felt at home straight away as we set up camp, surrounded by other people with bikes.
The riding at Glentress was brilliant too – we spent three days there, enjoying the red and blue trails and playing in the skills area and freeride park. The freeride area is awesome – loads of increasingly difficult features for practicing skills in and having a play. I was super excited as I learnt to jump (small jumps, but jumps none the less) and perfected the art of drop offs. I was able to put the drop off skills into practice on the trails, to add speed where I would have lost it before.
The trails at Glentress are a lot of fun. They very definitely feel man-made, but they’re built for maximum enjoyment, with swoopy berms and whoop sections – the sort of riding where you could just roll or you could push it to fly! I chose the latter and really enjoyed the sunshiny, dusty trails 🙂
It’s worth commenting on the cafe at Glentress too. Their cakes are awesome – particularly the enormous carrot cake – and we really enjoyed a breakfast there too. Tattie scones are my new favourite thing!
From Glentress, we made our way west across Scotland to set up camp near Kirroughtree, another of the 7 Stanes. This would be our base for a few days and we stayed on the most beautiful campsite – Mossyard It was wonderful – right on the beach with farm sounds all around. We enjoyed a barbecue on the beach one evening and were amazed by the stars in this dark sky area.
Kirroughtree provided us with some of my favourite riding from the trip. We played on the red route, which is 90% singletrack. The trail wound it’s way through the forest, which almost glowed from the lush, bright green undergrowth. There are some rocky sections dotted around the flowing track, offering some challenging riding and I was pleased to see my improvement over these on the second day. I really did love it there! And again, the cafe didn’t disappoint 🙂
After Kirroughtree, we had planned on riding at Whinlatter in the Lake District on the way home, but the weather changed and became rather miserable, so we decided to quit while we were ahead and make our way back home.
All in all, the trip was a huge success! I had such a brilliant time, riding everyday and enjoying being somewhere new. our first trip in our converted van was so much fun – I loved the freedom having the van gave us, and waking up to some beautiful views and truly fresh air felt magical. I can’t wait for the next trip…but where to go?!