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Looking south from Worcester Beacon

Cycling Around Malvern

The Malvern Hills may dominate the scenery, but there is a mixture of cycling country around Malvern. This page should help you get out there and enjoy being on your bike.

Also See


On the Road and Trail

Enjoy riding on the Malvern Hills

The main Hills paths vary from the odd tarmac ones via reasonably well drained and level to rough, rocky and quite steep. You'll need to be confident in your brakes and experience for the latter. There can be a lot of walkers, from families with toddlers to serious ramblers, so please be considerate. The southern end of the hills generally has fewer people around, but also less tracks.

The Malvern Hill Conservators (responsible for most of the land) have produced various codes of conduct (walkers, horse riders as well as cyclists), as plasticated green cards, also available on their website as pdfs. Code for cyclists main points: only use the bridleways (get a map* or stick to the obvious paths); give way to walkers and horse riders; avoid bunching. They also suggest avoiding busy periods (weekends, especially summer) and slowing down at corners and downhill to avoid accidents. Careless cyclists do have accidents with walkers (we've seen 'em) and cause a nuisance to others. (NB The old and misleading 'no wheeled vehicles' signs should now be retired.)

Back on Track (see Bike Shops) has details of 3 off-road routes on the hills (easy, medium and hard) on its web site. Some of the paths they mention are small and busy (not sure that they all conform to the Code), particularly at the northern end.

* We suggest OS Explorer 190 (scale 1:25,000), which covers Bredon too, or Harvey's Malvern Hills Superwalker (1:10,000). See Outdoor Links for more map info.

cyclists, snow, hill

Cycle info

Cycle parking on the Hills include Sheffield style tubular racks at the following car parks: North Malvern and Tank Quarries (latter by geology trail), Upper Wyche (right at the top), Wynds Point (British Camp, on the left looking from the road). Racks are also available at Swinyard car park, top of Castlemorton Common, at our request - this is a great place to start a walk such as our Three Counties Loop. Download GPX file of bike rack locations.

Local Cycling Routes

Printed maps and guides listed below should be available from relevant Tourist Information Centres (TICs) in Herefordshire or Worcestershire. Link to Malvern TIC.

There isn't yet much in the way of National Cycle Routes (Sustrans) in the area - see Cycle Malvern routes info for what may be planned for the future.

To give you an idea of the network of roads (and some paths) we enjoy cycling in the area, a whole bunch of GPS logs have been compiled into an outline ride guide graphic. We might provide some annotation in a while, but meanwhile you can enjoy identifying key spots (a clue or two: north west corner is Bromyard, south west is Ross).

Around Malvern

Herefordshire side

In Worcestershire

Bike Ride Guides for the wider area

Come Cycling Ledbury has info on local accommodation, food & drink, biek maps etc. (some overlap with MalvernTrail).

CycleTours around Gloucester and Hereford is one of the Philip's/Ordnance Survey guides, this one including both on and off road routes taking less than a day. £8-99, ISBN 0-540-08198-1. Buy from Amazon.co.uk

On Your Bike: The Cotswolds Twenty circular cycle rides. Countryside Books, 8-95, ISBN 1853066664, or buy from Amazon.co.uk.

A series of Cotswolds cycle routes that also aim to give local businesses a boost were launched April 2007. From Glos Rural Community Council.

Cotswold And Severn Vale Cycling Companion Six on road routes from 12 to 24 miles, £3-95. Tewkesbury Tourism/CTC; via Reardon Publishing (check our Publishers info page) or tourist info site.

Cotswolds Cycling Routes 15 road, 12 off-road (ISBN 1-85965 130 5) - Goldeneye Guides. There is a Cotswolds Mountain Bike Routes guide (Feb 05) ISBN 1-85965 162 3. Buy from Amazon.co.uk.

Cycling in the Cotswolds 25 cycle tours in the area. Collins, ISBN 0004486803 - out of print?. Buy from Amazon.co.uk.

Cycling in the Cotswolds 18 circular routes. Sigma Press, ISBN 1850583544. Buy from Amazon.co.uk.

Herefordshire Cycle Guide is a free leaflet from Herefordshire Council (revised April 03), available from the local Tourist Info Centres. It has town maps for Ledbury, Bromyard, Ross, Hereford, Leominster and Kington, showing a few recommended routes, cycle shops etc.

The National Byway Route Map: West Midlands (currently entitled Midlands) details the route between Chester and Cirencester, passing through Cheshire, Shropshire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire. It goes via Ledbury, which has a Loop off.

Cycling in South Wales and the Wye Valley (published 2001 - out of print?) Twenty-five varied cycle rides. HarperCollins, ISBN 0007103751.

Cycling for Pleasure in the Marches 3 leaflets (£1-95 each or £5-50 for the set) covering Western, Eastern and Southern areas of Shropshire and Herefordshire border country. From Shropshire Books - see Publishers page.

Other Maps

See our Outdoor Links page for online and print sources. Try CycleCityGuides for urban places, and cyclemaps.org.uk for official council ones.

.Going north

Getting to the start

See Getting to Malvern for local train and general bus info. A to B magazine (folding cycle enthusiasts) has a section on Bike/Rail with loads of detail.

The Malvern Hills Hopper (service 244) has been discontinued - a bus service designed mainly for walkers visiting the Hills also able to take a couple of bicycles. Check Getting to Malvern for any updates.

GG Carriages appears to have closed (no website May 2011). Was based in Cardiff, with for hire a 16 bike trailer towed behind a 16 seat Mercedes minibus, taking groups to and from quite a wide area (have done bookings from Lands End to St Davids).

More cycling around the area

Forest of Dean Cycling Association. Concentrating on keeping their forest trail in good repair.

See Pedalaway under Cycle Hire - they put together rides on and off road around Forest of Dean area.

Gloucestershire County Council has some cycle maps for around the area, including the countryside.

Waterscape has some info on cycling based on canals and other waterways. This includes Worcester to Birmingham.

Further afield

Cycling Sideways Put together by the Beano people (see Holidays), a guide to cycling in their speciality areas: Wales and the Marches.

Rough Rides Web site has various off-road routes starting near pubs around Kington (Welsh borders), and they seem to keep an eye on the local conditions (e.g. forestry works). Useful local info and links too.

Llanwrtyd Wells is a good base in mid-Wales, accessible by train via the Heart of Wales line. You get the bonus of a scenic rail trip but should book the bike in advance - check bike info page at Arriva Trains Wales web site. A four day mountain bike festival is held here early August - see Green Events.

The official tourism sites are Visit Wales which has suggestions for on and off-road routes and cycling holidays. Mountain Biking Wales. Also see Ride North Wales. North Wales Mountain Bike Association has a page giving advice on getting to their area by train.

Beacons Bus These operate to and around the Brecon Beacons in the summer (late May to early September), and some have trailers taking up to 24 bikes - the Cardiff-Brecon-Abergavenny service. Check the Brecon Beacons Travel site. If our link is out of date, try searching the main Brecon Beacons National Park web site. Other Brecon sites to visit: Cycling in Brecon Beacons National Park and Mountain Biking routes in Brecon Beacons.

There's an official Shropshire Cycling tourism site, or also see the council site with links to info on market towns cycle rides leafets and more.