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11th July - 7th August 2021


Applications for School of English and Culture summer courses for 2021 are now open. If you were previously booked on to a 2020 course and did not ask for your booking to be cancelled, your place is secure and your application can be completed at your earliest convenience.

In the current climate of uncertainty, we realise that circumstances may alter between now and next summer. We will be as flexible as we possibly can if Covid-19 means your plans need to change and you can request a refund at any time up to 30 June 2021 without losing your deposit.

You can also rest assured that we will operate in line with government guidelines around social distancing and safety to ensure the wellbeing of all our guests and staff.

Guided Cross-Country Mountain Biking

Note this is only a guide, not a guarantee.

Guided Cross-Country Mountain Biking

Tutors: Mr Gary Bruce

Course Details

This course is an ideal introduction to mountain biking in the beautiful Wiltshire Downs. The highly experienced tutor will lead you on some fantastic trails through some stunning scenery, including Savernake Forest, West Woods, Tan Hill Way and, of course, the Ridgeway. You will also spend time learning some basic technical mountain biking skills and guidance to get you back on your bike in the event of a mechanical breakdown or a puncture. By the end of the course, you will feel confident going out on your bike. Bikes can be hired from fi

Course Notes

This course is designed as a great introduction to cross country mountain-biking. You will be guided on routes that are rideable and won't require great technical bike skills, although you will be certain to pick up some through the week. Routes will vary each day, some starting from our base, others we may be transported to a start point, so we can ride back.

Before you begin, you will get some basic instruction in order to stay safe and enjoy the ride. We will also cover the basics of mountain biking, so by the end of the course, you will feel confident about going out on your own.

These will include:

  • Clothing and equipment
  • Food and drink
  • How to prepare for the unexpected including first aid and repairs
  • Route planning and navigating

The emphasis will be on fun and adventure within a safe environment and by the end of it, we hope to provide you with all the skills needed to carry on mountain biking with your friends.

This course is suitable for those with limited experience who want to improve their skills and confidence. Newcomers are also very welcome though in order to enjoy the course, we ask that you do have cycling experience. The course will be taken by qualified and experienced instructors


Ideally, you will need to bring along your own bike, which should be suitable to ride off-road. It may be possible to hire bikes though it would be preferable for people to bring along their own. Should you need to hire a bike, we can help arrange a suitable hire agreement. Participants will need to have serviced their bikes or ensure they are in good working order prior to the course.

Other Equipment

Participants will need a helmet and appropriate cycle clothing. Being an outdoor activity, we will be subject to the weather, so participants will need to dress accordingly. You will also need a water bottle and ideally a small rucksack to store your belongings.

Fitness Levels

It is assumed that those taking part will be taking some regular exercise.

The Routes

All the routes will be risk assessed and timed. They will range in length from 10 to 25km across bridleways, by-ways and some single-track. The routes will include some road riding from Marlborough to the off-road points. We may also be transported to some start points.

If you need to hire a bike for this course then we recommend

There will be an additional cost for bike and helmet hire. MCSEC staff will be happy to arrange the bike hire and additional payments.