Located in the Essex countryside on land owned by the Salvation Army, Hadleigh Farm is a 550-acre site that features beautiful grassland and woodland. It also includes the surrounding countryside of Hadleigh Castle Country Park.
Hadleigh Farm offers some fantastic terrain for mountain biking, with gradients measuring 70 metres from top to bottom.
The design and build
Construction work began on the London 2012 Mountain Bike course in July 2010 and was completed on time and within budget in March 2011. In total, 500 tonnes of rock and 3,500 tonnes of crushed stone were used in its creation.
The five kilometre circuit is situated on open hillside – a new concept for Mountain Bike events, which are typically held in forested areas.
The course has been specially designed to provide a physical and technical challenge for the world’s leading riders, with plenty of demanding climbs and descents. Specific features include Snake Hill, The Rock Garden and Deane’s Drop.
After the Games
At the end of July 2012, Essex County Council received planning permission from Castle Point Borough Council, confirming a legacy for the area from the London 2012 Olympic Games. The Hadleigh Farm and Country Park Olympic Legacy Project will retain and adapt the Olympic Mountain Bike course for use by the public, as well as expand and enhance Hadleigh Country Park, providing opportunities for people to more fully access, enjoy and appreciate the area’s natural historic environment. The plans also include a Visitors Centre, Café, bike hire shop and network of multi user walking and cycling tracks.