Summits accessible by mountain bike in England?

So I know that we have a couple of keen cyclist SOTA activators. It’s something that I have never done myself.

With the hope of the travel restrictions in England being lifted on 12th, I’m hoping to get a couple of SOTA activations in & wondered what the best summits were for “mountain biking SOTA activations”

I’m definitely not a keen cyclist (far from it). The way I see it is that if I can use a bike I can get to the summit quicker, that gives me more time on the summit, and I can also carry heavier equipment (batteries, more antennas for several bands etc).

I’m basically looking for summits which meet the following criteria:-

  • Relatively easy cycling (preferably with a footpath) up to around 30 minutes ride from the car.
  • To be able to take the bike all the way to the summit.
  • Obviously an area where bikes are allowed (I’ve seen a few summits with “no cycling” signs. Clearly I don’t want to be breaking any regulations).
  • Ideally a fairly quiet summit with not too many people.
  • Looking mainly around the Pennines, but often visit Wales, Lake District & other parts of England.

The two summits which immediately spring into my mind are G/SP-004 Shining Tor (which I seem to recall had a track all the way to the top) & possibly G/DC-001 High Willhays (which from memory had a rough track for most of the way, I can’t remember if the final bit to the summit would be ridable).

Any other suggestions that anyone can think of?

Thanks folks.

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Round Hill Urra Moor G/TW-001
Gisborough Moor G/TW-003
Bishop Wilton Wold G/TW-004
Normanby Top G/TW-005

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I know you asked about England but I remember thinking ‘this would be perfect for cycling up’ when I did Foel Cedig GW/NW-034 last year.

From the west there is a decent track all the way to the top. You could even cycle in from further than the typical parking place, but don’t do what a road cyclist did as I was leaving and fall off on the sharp bend in the road. Poor chap broke his pelvis, was an orthopaedic surgeon of all things too.

Thanks Phil.

I had previously considered activating all of the summits in the G/TW region. I’ve never activated in that region before. Given that there are only 5 summits, that could make an interesting 2-3 day trip.

You cannot cycle on footpaths so SP004 is out.

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True, but I did also say that I often visit Wales. I’ve had a quick look on Google Earth & it looks like a nice summit to have a go at.

Definitely one to add to the list for a later date (I’m not sure on the situation with crossing borders at the moment, even when restrictions in England are eased on 12th April).


That’s a shame. Oh well.

I’ll probably still have another go at that one on foot as I recall that being a very nice stroll.

The Cloud is technically possible on a bike but I would not bother as you will have to carry it much of the way. There is also often an anti-cycling curmudgeon up there. A few easy ones in Wales.


I seem to recall that for the The Cloud G/SP-015 that a one point cycling was banned on there and there were clear signs stating this also, but despite this some cyclists choose to ignore this. However I believe that the some reason this ban has now been lifted and cycling is allowed on there once again!

Jimmy M0HGY

:thinking: :smile:

GW/NW-070 Great Orme - it’s not quiet, but you can usually get out of the way of the crowds.
GW/NW-076 Mynydd y Cwm
G/LD-045 Dent

and others

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Thanks, added to my list of summits to look up.

Cleeve Hill. G/CE-001

Bredon Hill G/CE-003

Worcestershire Beacon G/WB-009

May Hill G/WB-019

Ruardean Hill G/WB-021

Hegdon Hill is one of the easiest, being on the main road… G/WB-023

Other easy access ones to consider are Aconbury Hill G/WB-024 and Craig y LLyn GW/SW-010.

I’ve just got back from Garth Hill GW/SW-034, and it’s another easy option. About half a dozen MTBs there today. I’ll probably cycle it next time.

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Same for Gisborough Moor G/TW-003. Happy to be corrected on this.

Other parts of England:-

Three come to mind with tarmac to the top, so a mountain bike would seem to be over kill.
Kit Hill G/DC-003
Boniface Down G/SE-008
Crowborough G/SE-007

Many of the G/SC G/SE and G/DC would be mountain bike possible to the top.

I did both summits in a day on the Isle of Wight by Brompton bike.

73 de

Andrew G4VFL

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G/NP-029 Sharp Haw 2M FM SOTA activation (SOTA cycling weekend 2015) - YouTube

G/NP-028 Rombalds Moor 2M FM SOTA activation (SOTA cycling weekend 2013) - YouTube

Just look for summits with bridleways or byways going to or close to the summit. Pushing your bike from a bridleway to the summit isn’t cycling. The CROW Act doesn’t permit cycling on Access land unfortunately so just stick to the PRoWs.

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