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Cycling

South Derbyshire and The National Forest provide an ideal environment for Cycling, which has become an increasingly popular pastime in recent years.  Sites where you can indulge a passion for cycling, or simply give it a go include:

Cycling at Rosliston Forestry Centre

Rosliston Forestry Centre was the first visitor centre in The National Forest, created on 90 ha of former farmland in the Mease Lowlands. Here you can saddle up for Roslistonís very own pedal powered forest adventure. Thereís no need to bring your own bike, as whether itís adult bikes, kids bikes or child bikes, our cycle hire takes care of the whole family Ė including child seats and trailers too. So, all you need to do is choose which cycle routes to take!

For gentle exercise and a relaxed couple of hours, stick to the surfaced paths. For more adventurous cycling, burn off the calories with a spin around the more challenging grassy routes bordering the site perimeter.

The centre provides a good range of facilities and events programme. Three waymarked trails, including an all-abilities track, take you around the site to view new woodland, an existing wood, flight ponds and meadows. Craft workshops include a ceramics studio, a natural medicine centre, wood carver and dog grooming service. A bird hide offers the chance to watch the wide variety of native birds which visit and breed on the site, including some of the UK's declining species, such as linnets and skylarks. Woodland Walks, indoor and outdoor play, fishing, gift shop, ABC Crafts and restaurant - there's something for everyone at Rosliston Forestry Centre. There are education programmes, birds of prey, archery, woodland laser and laser clay shooting (pre-booking necessary).

Hicks Lodge: The National Forest Cycle Centre is a fantastic day out for the whole family Ė from budding cyclists to the more confident. Set in beautiful young woodland at the heart of The National Forest, it has been designed with the whole family in mind with a variety of trails to explore. The trails are free to use. There is a small car parking charge: £1 per hour up to a maximum of £3 for the day.

The trails are graded according to their difficulty - so you can choose flat and easy paths or the more difficult twists and turns of the single track trails. The Hicks Lodge Trail, a flat and wide 2km path around the lake, is great for walkers, cyclists and even horses. The Family Forest Trail (2km short loop and 4.5km long loop) takes you on an exploration across the whole site, there are some hilly bits but itís still suitable for bikes, trikes, tagalongs, wheelchairs and pushchairs. The Wood Farm Trail (2.5km) introduces cyclists to easy single track and the Shell Brook Trail (7km) brings on more technical features on a moderate graded single track which is suitable only for mountain bikes.

If youíre making a day of it you can stop halfway round the Family Forest Trail at the fantastic viewpoint for a picnic. Warm up afterwards in the stunning eco-friendly visitor centre with cafť, bike hire and repair shop, showers and a wood-burning stove for chilly days.

The CONKERS Circuit is part of the Heart of the National Forest Foundationís vision for a 1,000 acre woodland park being created around CONKERS, the family attraction at the heart of The National Forest.

It is a circular route ideal for all users and ages including walkers, cyclists and, in part, horse riders. It is easy to follow using the special CONKERS Circuit markers, has only gentle gradients in places and includes selected loops for people wanting a shorter route.

It has many features from spectacular views to bird spotting sites, newly planted woods to peaceful trails. It offers the ideal opportunity for getting outdoors and exploring the National Forest and has many different attractions along its way. These include: CONKERS Waterside and Discovery, Sarahís Wood, the National Forest Youth Hostel, Albert Village Lake and Woodlands, Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Woodland, Church Gresley Wood and Moira Furnace.

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