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Venue: Swanley

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No. of Trails: 1
Car Park
From Stonehaven head out past the garden centre and turn left on the Auchenblae road. Take the 2nd right up the hill past Blairs to the FC car park on your left at the top of the hill.

Click here to see a detailed map and information about any additional locations.
The Hill of Swanley is the east-most tip of the massive Fetteresso Forest. Various natural trails have been created in and around Swanley by local riders due to its easy access from Stonehaven. The trails which are there are nearly all forest floor mulch, muddy, rooty, ‘through the trees’ type singletrack.

There used to be a good number of man-made wooden jumps, drops, and other obstacles in Swanley, but these were ultimately deemed to be too risky by the Forestry Commission and were removed. What’s left is the raw trails themselves and all the naturally occurring technical features that come with them.

Swanley can be a bit of a mud-fest in wet weather, and there are sections which very rarely (if ever) dry out completely. But if you’ve got a good set of knobblies and aren’t scared of a few wet roots, this is a great venue.

Trails at Swanley


Trail TitleLength (Miles)Ascent (Mtrs)Time (Hrs)Tech GradeFitness Grade
Neep Route (inc scree)11.24883 Moderate Moderate

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Comments and ratings for Neep Route (inc scree)
Tried this 2 weeks ago. It obviously has fallen out of popularity and is overgrown in parts. The section around the field boundary between tags 13 and 14 are not passable without a strimmer!
skiiter2 gave this trail 3 stars about 1 year ago
stoneymtb gave this trail 4 stars about 7 years ago
I start at point 13 and do a reverse, Swanley is easily riden in both directions. I try to stay at that side although there is a rangers track that links both sides. I also do several paths at the rui... read whole comment...
spanishfly gave this trail 3 stars about 8 years ago
I live locally so I’m in Swanley quite a lot. It’s a great ride when you're in the mood for a good old 'Natural' forest experience.
wayne gave this trail 3 stars about 9 years ago

Neep Route (inc scree)

Viewed 3452 times
Length: 11.2 Miles
Ascent: 488 m
Time: 3 hrs
Tech Grade: Moderate
Fitness Grade: Moderate
Av. Trail Rating:
(4 votes so far)
This is the standard route used by the ‘Ecurie Neep’ MTB club. This version includes the section to the north of the road to do the ‘Scree Slope’. This section can be missed out if you want to make the ride shorter.

This ride is mainly of ‘Moderate’ technical difficulty. But there are several sections which are in the ‘Hard’ or ‘Very Hard’ category.

From the car park the optional first section goes down the road a short while and then descends on a rough firetrack which soon turns to singletrack for a fast little blast. Then you climb up the hill and go along to Tag1 which is the ‘Scree Slope'. This is a very steep ‘Can’t stop’, ‘hang off the back of the bike’, ‘modulate the breaks or crash’ kind’a descent. And it is quite long too. Definitely a ‘Very Hard’ rated section, but great fun if you have the nerves and the bike control to do it. After this you just do a loop up over the forest towards the slug road and back up to the car park where you started (which is why it is easy to miss this section out if you want).

From the car park it is all fireroad up and over to Tag2 where you turn left down some tight twisty rooty singletrack through the trees, ultimately coming back in a loop up to the same fireroad you came from.

At Tag3 you turn into a tunnel of overgrowth which soon starts to descend and feels all the faster because of the closed-in feel it has. Pretty straight and not too much in the way of features, but a fun little thrash through the trees.

From Tag4 to Tag5 you have the muddiest part of the trail. It is not just a bog, and is all entirely ridable, but it is often a bit of an energy-sapping challenge to get through various parts of this section.

At Tag5 (the bothy/derelict house) you start a very nice swoopy up and down through the trees rooty section over to Tag6

At Tag6 there’s a short but steep decent into a water-splash across the burn.

At Tag7 there us a very steep but short decent off some high ground back down the level of the burn. Some of the ways down are steeper than others. Great fun, but most of them are in the ‘Very Hard’ category.

The trail then goes off up a singletrack climb to Tag8 where the climb continues as fireroad up to Tag9

Tag9 starts as the singletrack decent which would continue on down back to the bothy, but you turn right about a quarter of the way down to do a section referred to as ‘RANDOMIZER’ by many. This is a surprisingly long gradual decent/XC section with a rutty, rooty, swoopy feel to it.

Tag10 is an alternative way to descend back down to and cross the burn, and is followed by doing the Tag7 ‘Very Hard’ descent again.

Then it’s a gradual climb initially on singletrack and latterly on overgrown firetrack up to Tag12, which is the start of a nice little technical climbing challenge. Doing this without ‘dabing’ is quite hard now that there is a fallen tree half way along.

At Tag13 you go along the public road to Tag14 which is the start of a section referred to as ‘THE TRAIL OF TWO BOYS’. This is a great varied little section down through the trees and along the fence line. Can be a bit over-grown, and it’s hard to stay on the bike for a couple of bits, but this is a nice way to get back to the starting point while avoiding the road.

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Average rating for the trails at Swanley

3 Stars

4 votes for this rating
This venue has been viewed 12191 times

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