Can I attach additional items to my Bike?
We are able to attach buggies to 3rd party bikes, however, we are unable to attach seats and tag-a-longs to 3rd party bikes which need to be used in conjunction with hire bikes.
Is cycling dangerous?
Cycling is an amazing and fun sport with significant, well-documented health benefits. However, cycling can be hazardous which could result in injury or death. We recommend that you always cycle within your abilities on the recognized cycle routes on site.
Do you need a deposit?
Yes. A deposit forms part of our insurance and also acts as a check to ensure everyone is back. This can be a pre-authorisation on a bankcard, a driving license or passport. For more information, please see our Terms and Conditions in the ‘Hire’ section for our deposit policy.
How old do I need to be to hire a bike?
We can cater for children from 1 years old. Our eldest rider was 85. However, you need to be a minimum of 16 years old to personally hire a bike. If you are younger than this, we need a ‘responsible person’ to complete the hire agreement.
Do I need to wear a helmet?
We would always recommend and strongly advise that you wear a helmet and other suitable protection such as gloves and glasses when cycling. However, it is not compulsory unless you are on a group ride with one of our staff. Helmets are included in the cost of hire if you would like one.
I haven’t ridden for ages. Am I fit enough?
Cycling is a physical activity. There are a mixture of easier and harder trails on site to cater for varying levels of fitness and ability. We serve many thousands of visitors a year of all different ages and fitness levels, however, if you are unsure of your health, please consult your GP.
What are the trails like?
There are various trails on site to cater for varying levels of fitness and ability. We are in the Weald of Kent, an area of outstanding natural beauty, however, there are some hills and the trails can best be described as undulating. Please see our ‘Which Trail for You’ guide in our ‘Hire’ section.
Do I need to pay for parking?
Bedgebury offers great value for money and a great day out for you, your friends and family. The forest and cycle trails are free to use. There is an admission fee to the site per vehicle, which helps to fund the continuous improvement of the site and its facilities.
Please see the Forestry Commission’s Bedgebury website for current opening times and vehicle admission fees.
We advise you to car share and plan your visit to make the most of your day.
The vehicle admission fee includes parking, but also access to bike trails, award winning adventure play trails, mountain bike routes, all-ability scenic walking routes through the Pinetum and forest.
There is an early morning vehicle admission fee of £3/car. From the 1st December 2017 any car leaving Bedgebury by 11am will only need to pay £3/car. This offer applies daily throughout the year. Cars leaving after 11am will be subject to standard daily rate.
The Forestry Commission manages the admission fee. Please contact them on 01580 879820 if you need any further help and advice about the admission fee.
What happens if the car park is full?
The following is a message from the Forestry Commission at Bedgebury Forest regarding Busy days at Bedgebury:
“As the weather is warming up we are becoming increasingly popular and therefore busy at weekends and in the holidays. As we have limited capacity within our car parks, for safety reasons, we occasionally have to make the decision to close the car park for short spells at peak times until we have sufficient space to allow more visitors in. This is regrettable, and only done as a last resort as we do not wish you to have a bad experience when you visit us. As well as providing staff to manage this sometimes difficult and frustrating situation, we are also putting up signs which should be visible on your visit if the car park is full, and posting updates on social media.
If you are in any doubt, you can always call us before setting off. The Visitor Centre Information Office can be reached from 9.30am on 01580 879820. We will be able to tell you whether our overflow car park is in operation (sometimes due to wet weather, we are unable to use this) or whether there are any other events taking place on site that might restrict admission.
To make your visit more enjoyable, you might like to try coming to Bedgebury earlier or later in the day, or on a quieter day of the week to avoid our really busy times. You’ll find it easier to get in and you’ll also find that the Pinetum and forest are equally as charming at quieter times, with all the space and freedom to enjoy all the things you love about Bedgebury.”
I come quite a lot, is membership available?
You can either become a member of ‘The Friends of Bedgebury’ or bike club. Both of these schemes are great value for money. Memberships give you unlimited admission, amongst other additional benefits.
How long does it take to cycle the trails?
We hire bikes by the hour so that we can be as flexible as we can be for you. We recommend a minimum of two hours to complete either trail at a leisurely pace, although we also can hire bikes for 1hr, 3hrs and all day.
Can I take bikes offsite?
Yes. Please contact us if you would like to book bikes to do this.
Will I get lost?
The forest is 2500 acres. All of the trails are way marked and we also sell maps. For complete peace of mind, you can also book one of our guides. Guides, qualified trail leaders, skills coaches, mechanics, wilderness 1st aid, Enhanced CRB for peace of mind and in hands of experts.
What other facilities are on site?
Bedgebury is an award winning visitor attraction. On site facilities include:
Are dogs welcome?
Dogs do not need to be kept on a lead, except in the pinetum and play areas. Dogs are not allowed in the visitor centre or on the red route.
Do you have bikes with stabilisers?
Unfortunately, we don’t have bikes with stabilisers, as the trails aren’t really suitable for them. However we hire baby seats, Tag-A-Longs and buggies. We also offer learn to ride sessions to get your young ones cycling without stabilisers.
Do I need to pre-book bikes?
You can pre-book bikes for collection prior to 11am. Alternatively, it is possible to turn up and hire. We generally have good stocks of bikes however, it is possible that we may run out of bikes on the busiest days. When this happens, the wait is typically no more than 20 minutes, depending on what sort and how many bikes you need. If we do run out, we operate a waiting list. We will take your details and contact you when the bikes that you need are ready and available. If you would like to pre-book bikes, please contact the store directly. We will need to know how many bikes you need, your arrival time and how long you would like to hire them for. We will also need to know the heights of the participants ( or ages if children) so that we can reserve the right number of the right size of bikes for you. In order to confirm your reservation, we will need full non refundable payment at the time of booking. We are unable to make provisional bookings.
How much does bike hire cost?
The cost of bike hire is dependent on what bikes you would like, how long you would like to hire them for and how many bikes you are hiring as we offer different levels of hire bike, flexible hire times and group & family discounts. We recommend two hours to complete the trails on site at a leisurely pace, although you can hire for longer than this if you wish. Our hire prices can be found on the right hand side of our ‘hire’ page. Alternatively, please feel free to contact the store on 01580 879694, where we would be delighted to help you with any specific enquiry. You can go straight to our hire prices by clicking here.
Can I use a hybrid or road bike on site?
Of course, which bike to use is personal preference and is dependent on the spec of bike, prevailing conditions and skill level of the rider. All of our hire bikes are mountain bikes as these are most suited to the conditions and terrain on site. However, it is possible to cycle the blue route on a hybrid bike but we wouldn’t recommend their use on the red route or the use of road bikes on site.
When is the last time we can hire bikes?
Bikes need to be returned 15 minutes prior to advertised closing time. We can only hire you bikes for time period that allows this.