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Mountain Bike Adventure in UK

vulva65vulva65 Posts: 118
edited June 2017 in Holidays
Hi guys,

My GF and I are planning on a long weekend riding adventure somewhere preferably in the South West of UK as we are from Cornwall and it's a mission to get anywhere! We were just planning on finding some fairly long off-road rides (20-40 miles) and camp nearby and just take the day to do them at our leisure. I did Nant-yr-Arian black last year and loved it so am looking for something similar. We did look at possibly the Quantocks in Somerset, if so then would anyone recommend other rides nearby?

Does anybody have any suggestions of rides that really stand out and take in the views whilst having some fun singletrack?

Thanks for your help!

Dan

Posts

  • welshkevwelshkev Posts: 9,690
    the Gap ride in the Beacons is good. some stunning scenery. the descent off the top of "the Gap" between the 2 mountains is superb. but more of an XC ride as there's no singletrack as such.

    W2 or Skyline at Afan are also good options.
  • vulva65vulva65 Posts: 118
    Thanks Welshkev, I'm thinking of just staying in the Quantocks and then heading to Exmoor on the way home for this trip but will be up Wales soon for my helping of BPW so will try The Gap when there. Any advice on the Quantocks, Smith Combe looks pretty fun.
  • delaxmdelaxm Posts: 180
    Quantocks is a good place to ride, holds up well if it rains.
    Numerous combes lead down from the main trail across the ridge & nearly always see deer if you keep your eyes open.
    Smiths combe is one of my favorite decents - starts off grassy, gets steeper then plunges you in to the rooty & rocky bit under the trees then a short steep plunge through a shallow stream before you bomb down through a fern lined trail with numerous splashes through the stream again until you reach the wooden bridge, then its a very tough climb out!
  • vulva65vulva65 Posts: 118
    Cheers delaxm, really looking forward to it now, heard great things. I also just bought Nick Cottons guide to South West Mountain Biking and its got really well detailed rides in the Quantocks and Exmoor so will be doing few of these.
    Thanks again bud.
  • Ed_PEd_P Posts: 12
    Has anyone considered Suffolk and Norfolk Areas for cycling/ Mountain biking breaks? A close friend of mine at university is local to the East coast and swears by it for amazing cycling tours. Anyone been?
  • chrisw333chrisw333 Posts: 695
    Vulva

    I'm considering something similar for 3 days with my mates. Have been looking at the Quantocks and Exmoor routes from this article

    http://www.mbr.co.uk/news/20-best-mount ... -uk-322684

    Possibly a ride in the Medips:

    http://www.mbr.co.uk/routes/south-west- ... oad-319553


    If you pick up any other ideas in that neck of the woods do please post it here

    Cheers
  • vulva65vulva65 Posts: 118
    chrisw333 wrote:
    Vulva

    I'm considering something similar for 3 days with my mates. Have been looking at the Quantocks and Exmoor routes from this article

    http://www.mbr.co.uk/news/20-best-mount ... -uk-322684

    Possibly a ride in the Medips:

    http://www.mbr.co.uk/routes/south-west- ... oad-319553


    If you pick up any other ideas in that neck of the woods do please post it here

    Cheers

    Hi Chris,

    Yeah that top links the same article I decided to go by, I'm planning to do the Quantocks killer loop on Sat, a smaller Quantocks ride on the Sun, and then the Exmoor ride on the Monday. Have booked Moorhouse Farm Campsite in the Quantocks and Burrowhayes Farm Campsite in Exmoor, both look excellent, just in case you need places to stay when there. I'll let you know how I get on.

    Cheers
  • kiniookinioo Posts: 776
    We did Coast to Cost in 3 days few weeks back - it was adventurous !

    Newhaven to Scarborough.

    Chris
  • vulva65vulva65 Posts: 118
    kinioo wrote:
    We did Coast to Cost in 3 days few weeks back - it was adventurous !

    Newhaven to Scarborough.

    Chris

    Hey Chris,

    That's another one on my list of rides to do, it looks like good fun. Is it a lot of road riding though? I want to stick to as much off road as I can. I'm doing the BHF London to Brighton off road in Sept and am looking to do the BHF London to Paris off road ride next year which takes 3 days too.

    Cheers
  • chrisw333chrisw333 Posts: 695
    Vulva

    Please come back and let me know what you think of the Quantocks & Exmoor routes in that article.

    Thanks for the tips on accommodation. I think we'll probably be looking for B&B's though, camping is a bit too much faff when I'm that tired.
  • kiniookinioo Posts: 776
    vulva65 wrote:
    kinioo wrote:
    We did Coast to Cost in 3 days few weeks back - it was adventurous !

    Newhaven to Scarborough.

    Chris

    Hey Chris,

    That's another one on my list of rides to do, it looks like good fun. Is it a lot of road riding though? I want to stick to as much off road as I can. I'm doing the BHF London to Brighton off road in Sept and am looking to do the BHF London to Paris off road ride next year which takes 3 days too.

    Cheers

    Hi,

    I did L2B last year and planning to do it this year as well but its not even close to the C2C route.

    Our C2C route was mostly off road - approx. 96% of total mileage covered. We covered approx. 65-72miles a day. Tough but enjoyable.

    I am also doing London to Southend on see in August, but its 'only' 40miles :)
  • vulva65vulva65 Posts: 118
    chrisw333 wrote:
    Vulva

    Please come back and let me know what you think of the Quantocks & Exmoor routes in that article.

    Thanks for the tips on accommodation. I think we'll probably be looking for B&B's though, camping is a bit too much faff when I'm that tired.

    I don't blame you Chris, B&B sounds lovely but if I camp then I get to save my pennies for more bike stuff :)

    Will let you know how I get on with these rides. Also if you're ever looking for an all day epic then I highly recommend Nant-yr-Arian in Wales, long old 40ish miler and you go properly into the wild (don't see any roads, houses, people for majority of it!)....just make sure you take plenty of food and water as there definitely aren't any pubs or shops on route.

    Cheers!
  • vulva65vulva65 Posts: 118
    kinioo wrote:

    Hi,

    I did L2B last year and planning to do it this year as well but its not even close to the C2C route.

    Our C2C route was mostly off road - approx. 96% of total mileage covered. We covered approx. 65-72miles a day. Tough but enjoyable.

    I am also doing London to Southend on see in August, but its 'only' 40miles :)

    The C2C sounds perfect to me, just my kind of ride, will look into it further.

    Best of luck with your L2B, you might want to sign up now, only a couple of months left! See you at the starting line!
  • vulva65vulva65 Posts: 118
    Okay so for anyone who is thinking of going, I managed to survive the weekend and didn't do nearly as many miles as we were hoping for.
    The Saturday we rode the Quantocks and only managed a 18.8 mile ride, but this included 2,600ft of climbing, a lot of which was VERY steep stuff that we had to push the bikes up. The downhills through Smiths Combe and Hodders Combe were totally worth it though, and the views were incredible up there, could see right over to Wales.

    Sunday I was a little worse for wear due to some Somerset cider, so we took it easy and went down to Kilve Beach for some fossil hunting...because I'm officially old.

    On Monday it was pissing it down but we still decided to venture up to Dunkery Beacon in Exmoor N.P, this was an even smaller ride of just 12.8 miles, but with 2,400ft of climbing it was bloody tough, especially in the rain and wind....we also had the added joy of being swarmed by hundreds of horse flies which did not leave us alone whenever we stopped, legs are now covered in bites! We had been advised the view from the top was not to be missed but when we reached the top we were surrounded in mist and couple barely see 5ft in front of us which was very disappointing but the downhill back into Horner was awesome and so we ended on a high.

    Both campsites, Moorhouse Farm in Quantocks and Burrowhayes Farm in Horner were brilliant and right on the footsteps of where are planned riding routes were....Burrowhayes had a gate leading directly into the national park.

    All in all it was a fun weekend of riding with some great downhills and some bastards of hills...I'm never going to complain about the hills in Cornwall again!
  • welshkevwelshkev Posts: 9,690
    Ed_P wrote:
    Has anyone considered Suffolk and Norfolk Areas for cycling/ Mountain biking breaks? A close friend of mine at university is local to the East coast and swears by it for amazing cycling tours. Anyone been?

    For road biking/hybrid type riding I can see the attraction. But mtb? No way, it's flatter than an ironing board around there!
  • welshkevwelshkev Posts: 9,690
    Sounds good vulva65 :D

    It's not to far from me, i should check it out
  • chrisw333chrisw333 Posts: 695
    Thanks for reporting back Vulva - sounds tough!

    Did you try to follow any particular route on the Quantocks (eg the MBR route) or did you just follow your nose?
  • vulva65vulva65 Posts: 118
    chrisw333 wrote:
    Thanks for reporting back Vulva - sounds tough!

    Did you try to follow any particular route on the Quantocks (eg the MBR route) or did you just follow your nose?

    We just went on the viewranger app and downloaded a couple of free routes from the app, it worked wonders as the app still tracked our location even when we had no signal so we were able to see where we were at all times...just make sure you're fully charged!
  • chrisw333chrisw333 Posts: 695
    Thought I'd feed back on this for anyone doing a search on these routes.

    The Quantocks was really excellent. I downloaded a route of approx 18 miles off view ranger. It is tough going as hills are steep and you tend to be either going up or down. There was some pushing but mainly an excellent day with some great fun descents.

    The next day we followed the MBR Exmoor route. This was utterly brutal. The hills were much steeper than I expected and for the first half of the route it felt like there was more pushing than riding - even for the fitter riders amongst us. But some of the descents were fantastic. There's some great riding over Exmoor but I'd certainly look for an alternative route if I was going back.
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