The Best 23 Gravel Rides of 2023
It’s time for our big guide to the year. We have 36 UK gravel rides to come over the next 12 months as well as bucket list rides in Romania, Slovenia & more. Check out our guide below to the best 23 rides of 2023 including the most suitable events for first timers, best rides for climbers, the most beautiful routes in the UK & the ultimate multi day gravel rides.
The Most Beautiful Rides in the UK:
1st April – Peak District Gravel X: More Info
15th April – North Wales Gravel X: More Info
7th May – Yorkshire Dales Gravel Epic: More Info
13th May – Wessex Gravel Epic: More Info
3rd June – Wight Roads Gravel Epic: More Info
15th July – Lake District Gravel Epic: More Info
From the bluebell woods and west country ridgeways of Wessex to the rolling hills of the Yorkshire Dales, we head to some of the most stunning corners of the UK in 2023.
We love the coastal gravel roads in the Isle of Wight (if you have not ridden here, make sure it’s on your to do list soon) and by contrast, the hills & forests of North Wales make this one of our most popular rides.
If you love the Peaks but don’t want a day full of climbing, check out the Peak District Gravel X on flat & rolling terrain but still with the amazing scenery of this amazing national park.
Finally, the Lake District Epic in the middle of summer is unmissable. Taking in climbs, back roads and excellent gravel through Grizedale Forest, this has to be one of the most beautiful 90km routes in Europe let alone the UK.
Best Rides for Pure Gravel
30th April – Salisbury Plain Gravel Epic: More Info
27th May – Dunoon Gravel Epic: More Info
29th May – Aberfoyle Gravel Epic: More Info
9th Sept – Kielder Forest Gravel Epic: More Info
For the best gravel, you’ve got to get away from the crowds and normally into the big forests in the UK where there is a need to maintain gravel roads for loggers during the week. The main exception to that is the brilliant Salisbury Plain which is used for army training so contains a vast network of excellent gravel trails.
Arguably the best gravel in England can be found in it’s largest forest – Kielder in the very northern tip.
Maybe even better than Kielder, there are several amazing pockets of Scotland that include phenomenal gravel with varied scenery in glorious remote countryside. Our pick is the iconic Aberfoyle and stunning Dunoon.
Best for Climbers
22nd April – Lake District Gravel Fella: More Info
10th June – Yorkshire Moors Gravel Epic: More Info
24th June – Eryri Gravel Epic: More Info
1st July – South Downs Gravel Epic: More Info
Four epic off roaders, all on fantastic gravel, with super punchy long routes including around 2,000m of elevation & plenty of tough climbs.
We start in the Lakes taking in the only mountain forest in England – an absolutely stunning ride! In June, we go to the Yorkshire Moors, home to some of our favourite gravel in the UK before a new event for 23, the Eryri (formerly Snowdonia) Gravel Epic. This route packs in the longest climbs of the year with both hills and scenery to take your breath away.
Finally, the South Downs Epic in July takes in the beautiful hills on the south coast with some short, sharp inclines and glorious sections on the tops with views of the sea.
Best First Gravel Rides
11th March – Sherwood Forest Gravel X: More Info
25th March – Cannock Chase Gravel X: More Info
20th May – Cotswolds Gravel X: More Info
6th Aug – Kent Gravel Epic: More Info
2nd Sept – Essex Gravel Epic: More Info
Most of our rides have a short & medium route suitable for all abilities. We have no time cut offs & van support is just a phone call away if you need it. New to gravel riding? Hire a Sonder Camino for the day to see if you like it, we think you will be hooked after one ride!
These routes are all a nice mix of not too much climbing, smooth gravel and alternating sections on back roads with sections on gravel so you can keep rolling through the day.
Sherwood takes us into the woods with some lovely forest trails. Cannock Chase is simply beautiful. The Cotswolds has some hills but great gravel before two late summer classics in Kent & Essex where you can do the full routes (100km) without having to be a super experienced off roader due to the relatively flat routes.
Best Multi Day Gravel Rides
20th to 25th Jun – OffRoader Slovenia: More Info
26th to 28th Aug – King Alfred’s Way: More Info
25th to 30th Sep – OffRoader Transylvania: More Info
Coming Soon – OffRoader Portugal
The highlight of any cycling season. We have a network of local guides & an international events manager scouring the planet for the best gravel in the world. We aim for off the beaten track destinations where we explore the heart of a local culture and discover parts of the country tourists don’t get to see. All with great ride support and social pre & post ride meals.
Our 4.5 stage route in Slovenia goes from the shores of Lake Bled to the Adriatic through the foothills of the Julian Alps, deep forests and rolling hills.
Closer to home, the King Alfred’s Way takes riders into remote parts of Southern England past ancient sites and pretty villages.
Our most adventurous ride of the year takes us into rural Romania for 4.5 stages in stunning Transylvania and launching very soon is OffRoader Portugal with an amazing route in the Algarve on their network of back country gravel lanes.
Wherever you ride in 2023, we can’t wait to see you and share stories and a beer at the finish line.