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jimmyjjimmyj Posts: 3
edited April 2010 in Tour & expedition
I am planning on cycling from Bristol to Ilfracombe next week in a day. Its about 100 miles and do able for me but having never cycled across Exmoor I am a bit concerned about the steepness of the hills down there and my plan might not be that realistic. I am reasonably fit commuter cyclist but have never done such a big trip in one day before.

Anyone cycled across the costal north bit of Exmoor and got any advice? Is it going to be terribly slow going? planned my route with this and its over 6000ft of ascent.


  • trickeyjatrickeyja Posts: 202
    I cycled from Cheltenham to near Lynmouth one day last October (about 147mi). As far as hills go, it is relatively flat until Exmoor, but thereafter it is very hilly. I went via Porlock on the way there but going via Exford would probably be more direct to get to Ilfracombe.

    The north coastal section is extremely hilly, with a tough climb up Porlock hill and the option of either the toll road or the main road. I opted for the main road (steep option at 25%) but it was dark by that time and after 130 miles on the road I gave in and pushed my bike until the gradient eased off a bit! I'd like to go back and attempt the road with fresh legs sometime. I would recommend the toll road unless you are feeling particularly energetic. After that the road is high up on the moor and undulating for a few miles but then there is a very steep descent into Lynmouth on the A road.

    From Lynmouth you could either take the main road via Blackmoor Gate or the minor coastal roads through the Valley of the Rocks, Martinhoe and Trentishoe. Both options involve more climbing, the coastal route being the hilliest. Looking at the map I would probably take the A39 out of Lynmouth, then go through Parracombe on cycle route 51 to Combe Martin.

    On the way back I cycled via Blackmoor Gate, Simonsbath and Exford. This was undulating with some fairly big climbs. There was a long descent down from the Brendon Hills to Taunton on B3224 (so a long climb going the other way). However the hills weren't as steep as going via Porlock on the way, so this inner Exmoor route is a more direct & slightly less tough option.

    So yes the route is slow going. It took me around an hour to get from Porlock to Lynmouth, so probably allow 2-3 hours from Porlock to Ilfracombe. With the long daylight hours I should think it is a manageable ride as long as you allow extra time for the Exmoor section.
  • jimmyjjimmyj Posts: 3
    Brilliant, looks like an early start for me!

    Thanks trickeyja
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