Legally riding off-road in the UK is essentially limited to green laning (i.e., off-road trails), MX tracks (i.e., motocross) and enduro track riding.
And if you’re in any way unfamiliar with the term “green laning”, then do not worry; as I’ll be covering all of the above in the rest of this post.
We will cover exactly what green lanes are, how to legally ride them, and ways to locate and track them, using the tools and tips we recommend to fast-track your planning.
And if you’re more the thrill-seeking type, then you’ll enjoy the later part of this post, as I list 29 local motocross tracks you can book and ride in the future.
So, as we love to say here at Piston Tribe “rev up and ride in” as there’s a ton in store for you to learn today!
What are “Green Lanes”? And how are they legal to Ride?
Green Lanes are public properties (i.e., roads) that are prepared and managed by local highway authorities to comply with the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (CROW Act).
This is a legal document that is produced, updated and presented in the form of a definitive map to define public ‘right of way’ by county, council or unitary authority across England and Wales.
This means the general public is welcome to use and operate these routes subject to complying with the local bylaws of the area. Which also translates that you must have a full UK driver’s license, tax, MOT and legal insurance.
The varying ‘rights of way’ that you may typically come across are:
- Footpaths – Used for foot traffic (i.e. walking)
- Bridleways – Used for horseback riding, walking and cycling
- Byways Open To all traffic (Also known as ‘Byway Or BOAT’) – A track which is too minor to be called a road, “open to all users” and can be used by all types of traffic (i.e. cars, quads and motorbikes too).
- Restricted Byways – These types of roads can be used as footpaths, cycling paths and horseback riding paths (and are NOT to be used with mechanically propelled vehicles such as motorbikes and cars)
Riding On Private Land
You can legally ride on private land when:
- The landowner has given you permission to do so
- The land has been used as a public right of way (i.e. when BOAT is applicable for motorcyclists) for at least 20 years and no one has asked them to stop.
And if you’re a private landowner that wants to learn more about your rights and responsibilities of open access land management you can do so here.
Researching & Planning Your Trip
Now that you’re legal, we can dive into properly preparing for an off-road trip.
The earliest part of your research should be focused on the difficulty of the route and your level of riding experience.
A great way to gauge the most suitable route to ride is by researching the style, length and weather conditions of where you plan to ride. Now if you’re riding on a well-managed track, then most of this is done for you, as many beginners get their feet wet (no pun intended) by riding a motocross or enduro track and then go off riding on their own or with fellowships later on.
That said, you can also join a fellowship where you can ride with others of the same or higher experience level using off-road trails and your own bike, but more on this later.
Are you legally permitted to ride this route?
A TRO (traffic regulation Order) is an official bylaw (in line with The Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984) produced by local authorities to temporarily or permanently prohibit or restrict the traffic on particular roads, motorways and highway networks.
Privately owned land along with possible start and finish points are also vital to familiarize yourself with before heading out on the roads.
There are tools you can use to help you plan and prepare such as YouTube videos, Google maps and definitive maps which will give you a combination of relevant updated information in a nice understandable digital format.
Sidenote: I personally use definitive maps at first and then plan my route from the current location of beginning of the trail or location using Google maps.
Below are two videos that are great examples of how to plan for an off-road experience.
Tools To Help With Planning Your Routes
So earlier I mentioned that you can join a fellowship (i.e., a club comprising other trail riders) which is also a great way for gaining access to tools.
Many are on a subscription basis and come free as part of a package when subscribed to the fellowship. Not only that, but they’re also a great source of inside information as many fellowships know of routes that are not available to the public.
In the following section is a list of my recommended free and paid tools you can use for planning an off-road trail ride.
County Council websites (definitive maps)
While councils are required to produce and update their definitive maps, you may still encounter arriving at a location with a TRO. This is simply because the council may have not updated their website which is why it’s good to network or speak to others before setting out to ride.
TRF Green Road Mapping Tool (comprising byways and unclassified roads)
The TRF (Trail Riders Fellowship) is an organisation based in the UK made up of riders from different counties that come together, share and ride trails with one another (to say the least, they are much more than just an “organisation” as you’ll find there are many people within this community that are useful far beyond the scope of trail riding alone).
The TRF Green Road mapping tool is particularly useful for its accuracy and consistently updated information as you can see both new and existing routes from current users.
So if you’d like to ride in a specific area, then this tool will give you access to all the recorded routes for the given section of the country.
Vieweranger is a free online route planning tool that allows you to plan and create off-road riding routes or download existing routes created by others (but make sure to do your research as routes created by others are not always legal to ride).
Each route will contain information on distance, level of difficulty to ride, estimated time to complete as well as waypoints (i.e., stopping points within the route).
Now while you can use Viewranger as a standalone application, the TRF has in fact teamed up with the company to provide riders with offline mapping, group navigation (i.e., you and a group of others all ride together with real-time locations), and a network of rights of way officers that consistently update legalities.
The app is compatible with both android and iOS and also offers web-based route planning.
This means when you plan on the computer (in full screen) the route is also automatically synced to the mobile app in real-time.
OS Maps Website and App (perfect for new riders)
Ordinance Survey is the national mapping agency for Great Britain that creates digital and paper maps for businesses, governments and consumers. Their maps contain detailed information about towns, cities, byways, A & B roads, motorways, rivers and woodlands.
I find the web application (desktop) is better for planning and the app more useful for riding.
Planning a route is as simple as selecting the start and finish points of the byway you’d like to ride via desktop. And the app will then sync the route to the mobile app with information about the distance (in ‘km’ or ‘m’, you choose), estimated time to complete and the varying gradients included (i.e., “elevation”).
Flight mode (or “fly through mode”) has to be the coolest part of this app, as it allows you to visualise your route in 3d (via web version only) with information on the total ascent, low and high points and points of interest along the route.
Price: £39.99 for a 12-month subscription
TrailWise 2 By Green Lane Association (TW2)
TrailWise 2 is a web-based route planning application created by the Green Lane Association (GLASS) which is an organisation that works to protect the ‘rights of way’ for motorised users (i.e. riders and drivers), walkers, horse riders and cyclists.
Sidenote: I'm oblivious to why it's called "TrailWise 2" as opposed to "TrailWise 1" (or even just TrailWise), but I can only assume there was previously a version 1 that has been updated over the years.
The app works by presenting information on BOAT (byways open to all traffic) in ‘RED’ and UCR’s (unclassified county roads) in ‘BLUE’.
This app is particularly useful for finding restrictions as you can easily access comments from others who have ridden the route and locate the available routes within a given area when filtering by postcode, longitude/latitude, route ID or grid reference (grid references provided on the app).
Unfortunately, the biggest drawback to using this application is that it’s purely web-based and nothing else.
This means there is no mobile application, so even when using TW2 on mobile you will still need to go to their website, log in to use the app, and view a desktop version on your mobile browser.
So there’s a little work to do there on their end, but regardless this is still a great app to have for its accuracy and updated information (i.e. restrictions) on routes.
Price: £44/year subscription and comes with an app called Trailwise
Maybe the most obvious but undeniably useful for planning a trip via desktop or mobile. Google maps is great for viewing byways, streets, and entry and exit points in closer detail.
As previously mentioned, I tend to use Google maps for just about everything outside of physically being on the trail. I use it to ride to the entry point, ride from the exit point home, drive my car to new locations and riding abroad.
It’s by far the most comprehensive broad information-based mapping tool but is not specifically designed for riders which is why I have listed other tools prior to this.
Tips For Planning And Riding an off-road trail
- Check weather and road conditions ahead of time
- Bring area-specific maps and route descriptions
- Carry plenty of water
- Bring adequate fuel (duh!)
- Carry a spare tire, jack, tools, shovel, blanket, etc.
- Remember that signing and fencing are for your safety
- Tread Lightly on the land
- Full face helmet
- Recovery Kit (i.e. drag rope and pulley for unexpected detours)
- LED flashlight
- Body Armour
- Knee pads
- Puncture repair kit
A list Of MX Tracks, Clubs And Parks Where You Can Legally Ride Off-Road In The UK Now
We get to the all-important, the mighty, the… ok! maybe not that exciting but certainly exciting when you ride them, yes, it’s 29 locations that I’ve researched or ridden across the UK that you can book and ride too.
Sidenote: Just to be clear these are off-road motocross and enduro tracks that are organised and managed by staff (i.e., these are NOT off-road trails, as the previous part of this post explained how to find those)
1. APEX MOTOCROSS (near Birmingham)
This a great all-weather track that’s suitable for both beginners to pro-level riders. The staff are fantastic with managing track conditions and provide you with a tremendous amount of riding time too.
- Difficulty: Easy
- Length: 1500m
- Price: £45 per adult / £35 Kids (per day)
- Location: M5, Tibberton, Worcester WR4 0AA
- Phone: 07989098289
- Website: https://apexmotocross.com/
2. ACTION TRAX, EXEDOWN (Kent Area)
- Difficulty: Medium
- Price: £55 (average event day price)
- Location: Exedown Rd, Sevenoaks TN15
- Phone: 01732 850055
- Website: https://www.actiontrax.co.uk/
3. ASHDOWN MOTOCROSS TRACK OXFORDSHIRE
This location has two tracks with one being for adults and the other for children. Both tracks are well managed and suitable for all weather conditions by friendly welcoming staff.
The most challenging part of the track has to be the large hill on the adult track due to its blind spots over the approach.
- Difficulty: Medium / Hard
- Location: Just off of the A417 Nr to Cholsey / Moulsford Wallingford, Oxfordshire
- Phone: 01235850108
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/AshdownOldSkoolMx/
4. ARNCOTT MOTO PARK (Between Oxford and Northampton)
Just the layout of this track looks fun and to top it off it’s well managed making the track suitable for all weather conditions.
Unfortunately, there aren’t many riding days held here within the year so it’s best to check their FaceBook page for updated information on public riding days before attending.
- Difficulty: Medium
- Location: Murcott Rd, Upper Arncott, Bicester OX25 1QH, United Kingdom
- Phone: 07377 988580
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/ArncottMotoPark
5. ASTLEY RACEWAY MX (Near Manchester)
This track is well maintained with great staff and a burger van that turns up on most days. Good solid ground to ride on, and open to all riders near enough every day of the week. For kids to adults, it’s a great place to ride for beginner to intermediate-level riders.
- Difficulty: Medium
- Location: Bridgewater Canal (Leigh Branch) Tow Path, Astley, Manchester M29
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/people/Astley-Raceway-Mx/100064506680104/
6. HORSHAM MX TRACK (surrey Area)
I actually live near this track and still haven’t ridden here yet. That being said, the reviews for the track are mixed of good and bad but people I have personally spoken to absolutely love it.
The track appears to be well managed, but there is a local walkway just right beside it which can annoy the locals with noise.
Regardless, you can only ride this track on SMX (southern motocross) days which are run around 45 times per year.
- Difficulty: Easy/Medium
- Location: Horsham Mx Track, Unnamed Road, Horsham RH13 6PH
- Phone: 07553 885849
- Website: https://www.southernmotocross.co.uk/
7. SWANMORE MOTOCROSS TRACK (Southcoast Of England)
This track is great for beginner to intermediate-level riders as there are no extreme jumps or unbalanced ground that you ride through.
Regardless, there are still many slopes, uphill climbs and angles that are great for improving your speed and handling on track days. The track is open Monday to Saturday from 10:00 AM to 16:00 PM but I believe it’s also open on Sundays from 11:00 AM to 16:00 PM.
This track is slightly difficult to find information on as the company doesn’t really have much of an online presence (to say the least).
That being said, if you’re down anywhere in the Portsmouth area looking for a cool place to ride, then this is probably a great place to try out.
- Difficulty: Easy
- Location: Droxford, Southampton SO32 1GB
8. MICKLEFIELD MX TRACK (Leeds Area)
There are 2 tracks here which are both well taken care of with good clean toilets, polite staff and a cafe (always a nice touch!). This location is a lovely day out with the kids and is open from 10:00 AM to 16:00 PM on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
- Location: The 4ED, Great N Rd, Micklefield, Leeds
- Phone: 07471935533
- Price: Starts at £5/day (for under 5’s) up to £30/day (for juniors and adults)
- Website: http://www.leedsmotocross.co.uk/
9. UNCLE EDDIE’S MOTOCROSS PARK
Open from 9:00 AM to 15:30PM on Tuesday through to Saturday, Uncle Eddies MX Park has a great track, enduro course and kids track. It’s also well maintained during all seasons so you can safely ride during the winter months too.
- Price: £25/day
- Location: The Motorcycle Park, Bentley Moor Lane, Carcroft DN6 7BD Doncaster
- Phone: 07779 664046
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/carcroftmotocross/
10. WOOLEY GRANGE, MOTOCROSS TRACK
This track is always nice and dry and is open from Monday to Saturday 8:00 AM to 18:00 PM. Catering to all age ranges with kids track days and over 40s events.
Unfortunately, there is no contact number, email or website I could find for this track so it’s luck of the draw if you choose to pop your head in.
- Location: Brancepeth, Crook DL15 0TS
Other Clubs To Check Out In England
11. KICKSTART MX CLUB (Essex Area)
- Location: Watlington Rd, Benfleet SS7 5DR
- Phone: 07903519000
12. LITTLE SILVER MOTOCROSS PARK
Exceptionally well taken care of track with many events for kids during each season.
- Location: Days-Pottles Ln, Exminster, Exeter EX6 8BB
- Phone: 07828 180868
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/littlesilvermotocrosspark/photos
Republic Of Ireland
13. DIRTBIKE TOURS IRELAND (Off-Road Tour Experience)
Dirtbike Tours is a great place where new riders can learn with E-motorcycles riding on and off-road with guidance.
Note that you’ll probably attend this type of track as a one-off as opposed to a regular ride as it will set you back around £180 to £230 for a day’s ride.
- Difficulty: Easy/moderate
- Price: £200/Average
- Location: 15 Gortin Road, Omagh, County Tyrone, BT79 7DH
- Phone: 07801473775
- Website: https://dirtbiketoursireland.com/
14. DESERTMARTIN MOTOCROSS TRACK (North Of Ireland)
Many have reported this track to be the best in the world and a British Motorcross championship was in fact also held here back in 2011. This is a great track for all age ranges, is well-maintained and has varying levels of difficulty.
There’s no doubt that the energy and atmosphere at this track will dramatically improve your riding skills.
- Location: Rectory Rd, Desertmartin, Magherafelt BT45 5QW
- Website: http://www.cookstownanddistrictmotocrossclub.co.uk/
- Phone: 07731438170
15. GORMANSTON MX TRACK
- Location: Irishtown, Co. Meath, Ireland
- Phone: +353872352853
16. ROBINSON MX PARK (North Of Ireland)
Not much information can be found for this track, but you can find a lot of information on their social media regarding events and open track days.
- Difficulty: Medium/hard
- Location: 87 Cumber Rd, Claudy, Londonderry BT47 4JA
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/northof.motorclub/
17. ETRAX-NI (North Of Ireland)
This is an indoor off-roading experience as you ride in an enclosed environment that has a dirt track with lots of bends for fun. It’s a little pricey for what you get as renting the E Motorbike and gaining track access will cost £25/day for those under 13 and £38/day for 14+ (adults included).
Open to the public on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 15:00 PM to 22:00 PM.
- Location: 20 Lisnabilla Rd, Moira, Craigavon BT67 0JW
- Phone: 028 9261 7321
- Website: https://www.etrax-ni.co.uk/
18. DUNS MOTOCROSS
Anyone with a 2-wheeled motorcycle can attend this venue and use the beginner track (i.e. kids and beginner adults) and practice track (for more experienced riders).
There are also mechanic workshops and race days held regularly that provide you with a consistent learning experience.
- Location: Langton Lees, Duns TD11 3NS
- Phone: 07900568365
- Website: http://www.dunsmotocross.co.uk/
19. TAIN MOTOCROSS
- Location: Tain IV20 1RT
20. DOUNE MOTO PARC
- Location: Deanston Stirling FK16 6EN
- Phone: 07890484787
21. CARDENDEN MOTOCROSS TRACK
- Location: B9149, Lochgelly KY2 5YF
- Phone: 07921857283
- Website: http://www.kingdomoffroad.co.uk/
22. WOODSIDE MOTOCROSS TRACK
- Location: Elgin IV30 8BN
23. STRAITON SANDS MX TRACK
- Location: Newport-on-Tay DD6 8RF
24. HAWKSTONE PARK MX TRACK
By far this is the most popular off-road track in Wales (heck, maybe even within the entire UK) which is why some of the best professional riders from the UK have ridden here.
- Location: Hawkstone Park MX Track, Shrewsbury, SY4 4NA
- Phone: 07966 367456 (Gary Ford)
- Website: http://hawkstoneinternationalmx.com/
25. CEFN PARC MOTOCROSS TRACK
- Location: Ffordd-Y-Gyfraith, Cefn Cribwr, Bridgend CF32 0BS
- Location: Tynewydd Farm, Battle, Brecon LD3 9RW
- Website: https://www.battlemx.co.uk/
27. ABERBEEG ENDURO TRACK
- Difficulty: Very hard
- Location: Unnamed Road, Abertillery NP13 2ER
28. BWL MX
- Location: Llanwonno, Pontypridd CF37 3PH
29. BABELL MX
- Location: Unnamed Road, Mold CH7 5UN
Before you ride, ask yourself:
Here are a few questions I’d be asking myself before heading out to ride an off-road track or trail:
- Are there TROs on this route? if so then how do I locate up-to-date information for them (local council website)
- How difficult will this ride be? (i.e. length, gradient, waypoints)
- Shall I consider riding this with others?
- Will my bike handle this route?
- Do I need some practice first before heading out on a trail?
- What type of experience am I seeking? (i.e. speed, fun, random mix of both)
You may have noticed, I put a TON of effort into this post, so why not give it a share? or give me feedback on anything you found was missing and need help with (i promise to fix it).
Whether you’re riding trail or off-road track, remember to plan, plan and plan ahead of time. Ride with a friend in the earlier days and even join a fellowship as it’s a great place to start and meet other like-minded individuals.
Happy riding and most importantly remember to stay safe.