As the author of Great British Gravel Rides and as an event organiser myself, I have handpicked nine events on this beautiful island that give you a good choice if you’d like to combine off-road riding with meeting like-minded people.
Where possible, I have also included a route featured in my book, which will give you a taste of the event. With some events already sold out or close to selling out, my advice would be to gather a few friends at home, in a cafe or a pub, choose which event best suits you and get your spaces booked to organise an unforgettable weekend of cycling this spring, summer or autumn. The events are listed in date order.
Muck n’ Mac Fest
As quite a few events in this blog, Muck n’ Mac Fest is so much more than just gravel riding. This is a weekend of cycling, live music, talks and films at one of the most amazing locations you could find for this in the Scottish Borders – Traquair House. Right on the doorstep of Innerleithen, this is Scotland’s oldest continuously inhabited house. With Cardrona Forest just around the corner and Glentress closeby, Muck n’ Mac Fest happens on the finest gravel trails the Tweed Valley has on offer.
When: 3 – 5 May
Location: Innerleithen, Scotland
Entries: £50 single day, £120 weekend
Get a taste: Mór Tweed Valley Gravel (Route 9)
The Dirt Dashes
I disclose that I am biassed on this one, as I organise the events with Charlie Hobbs since 2019. The Dirt Dashes are a series of gravel and bikepacking events held in Scotland and England, putting like-minded people together and forging a community designed for cyclists who enjoy the thrill of off-road riding and seek new adventures on their bikes. Whether you’re a seasoned gravel rider or someone new to the sport, our events offer a range of challenges suitable for all levels of experience in beautiful locations like the Cateran Ecomuseum, the Jurassic and Yorkshire Coast and Argyll, Scotland’s Adventure Coast. You’ll get a well-researched route to follow, a nice campsite and tasty dinner and breakfast, all included in the entry fee.
When: 4 & 5 May (Cateran Dirt Dash), 25 & 26 May (Dorset Dirt Dash), 13 & 14 July (Yorkshire Coast Dirt Dash), 21 & 22 September (Dunoon Dirt Dash)
Locations: Alyth & Dunoon, Scotland / Swanage & Whitby, England
Get a taste: Jurassic gravel (Route 22)
The Grand Old Dukes
Are you looking for a big ride at Gravelfoyle, one of Scotland’s gravel hotspots? Starting near Aberfoyle, you will pedal on a beautiful waymarked and marshalled 111 mile-route around the lochs and glens of the Trossachs, including the infamous Gravelfoyle superhighway, flowing fire roads, winding roller coaster trails, technical singletrack, punchy climbs and awesome descents. While the main ride happens on Sunday, there is also a 50-mile Saturday social ride, an adaptive riders option and a film showing (The Engine Inside) in the evening.
When: 11 & 12 May
Location: Cobeland, Aberfoyle, Scotland
Get a taste: Gravelfoyle (Route 6)
For the second year The Gralloch, the UK’s first UCI Gravel World Series qualifier, returns to the hills of the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere. No details have been announced yet, but you will experience a new, equally challenging route. Racing this event won’t be an easy day in the saddle, but you don’t need a race licence to ride either. If you want to mingle with the pros of gravel racing, this is the best event to choose!
When: 18 May
Location: Gatehouse of Fleet, Scotland
Sisters in the Wild Summer Gathering
Sisters in the Wild’s Summer Gathering is where it all began, bringing together a field full of women, non-binary and trans folk for a magical weekend of camping, riding and community building in the Lake District. While you can expect two days of gorgeous off-road riding to suit most abilities, either on a full day epic or a beginner-friendly guided ride, Sisters in the Wild believe what happens off the bike is as important: you’ll find a supportive atmosphere, campfire dinners, and plenty of skill and confidence building opportunities at basecamp.
When: 7 – 9 June
Location: Ambleside, England
Entries: £115 (sold out, waiting list)
Rab Wild Wales Gravel Festival 2024
At the heart of the event is the basecamp, nestled in a remote valley in South Wales just below Afan forest, complete with its very own waterfall, wood-fired sauna and plunge pool. Wild Cycles are the people behind this truly special weekend, and if you don’t own a gravel bike yet, this is one of a few events where you can hire one for the weekend. Expect a choice of spectacular routes to ride in a stunning landscape, open fires, delicious local food, great company, live music and a super-chilled vibe. All rides are self-guided – briefings and GPX routes for each day are provided in advance.
When: 7 – 9 June
Location: South Wales
The only UK event in the 2024 Gravel Earth Series, Lauf Gritfest is best described as a three-day gravel enduro event, with an optional prologue stage on Friday evening and two full days across the weekend. Set in the Cambrian Mountains, where people have ridden bikes on gravel for more than 100 years, Lauf Gritfest is open to all off-road bikes. Expect a weekend of incredible riding with timed special stages on gravel and over a mixture of terrain and a nice campsite with food and showers.
When: 21 – 23 June
Location: Rhandirmwyn, Nr Llandovery, Wales
Get a taste: A Gritfest in the Cambrian Mountains (Route 25)
Raiders Gravel is an extended weekend of gravel cycling in Dumfries and Galloway in the southwest of Scotland. You can choose to race the three stages by yourself or as a team of two, or take it easy and fully immerse yourself in the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere. Camping is included in the entry, and the event village has all you need to relax and be entertained off the bike: food, drink, an expo, talks and live bands each evening.
When: 29 August – 1 September
Location: Gatehouse of Fleet, Scotland
Get a taste: Raiders gravel (Route 10)
Hotchilee London-Paris Gravel
This one is different from all other events featured in this blog. On a route designed by ultra cycling legend Sofiane Sehili, you can ride gravel all the way from the Thames to the Seine, finishing at the foot of the iconic Eiffel Tower. You can cycle solo or in a group, and enroute you’ll be looked after by a dedicated events team of mechanics, sports therapists, Ride Captains and logistics crew with over 20 years experience. While most events make you camp, you will stay in three and four star hotels and return by Eurostar, while your bike is transported back to the UK.
When: 19 – 22 September
Location: London, England
Get a taste: London gravel (Route 19)
It’s always hard to choose, and there are plenty other gravel events happening across Britain in 2024: The Dirty Reiver, Frontier 300, Brother in the Wild, Glorious Gravel, Rapha Pennine Rally, Struggle Borderlands, GB Duro, Dukes Weekender, Grit of Dunoon and Kings Cup Gravel – and I am sure I have forgotten a few to list here too.
What’s stopping you from taking part in a gravel event this year? Don’t forget that Yellow jersey offer short term and annual bicycle insurance policies which cover gravel riding and racing anywhere in the world. We also off cycle travel insurance which is designed to cover emergency medical expenses, trip cancellation, curtailment, liability cover and much much more. if you need any more help, just give our support staff a call on 0333 003 0046