WMB 109 Quantock Hills, Somerset_Classic Route ||
||Jul 14th 2010, 02:56
|Start/Finish: Holford village
Total distance: 30.5km
Time: 2.5-4.5 hours (18.9 miles)
Map: Ordnance Survey Explorer 140:
Quantock Hills and Bridgewater
Summary: All this climbing means you’re assured of the best descents. Takes in all the classics on the northern half of the ridge and makes a demanding day.
From Holford, follow the lane over the hill to the lay-by on the A39 where you’ll find the butty van on weekdays. Head through the gate on the right and ascend Dowsborough Hill, bearing right after a 1km climb to drop back through the trees into Lady’s Combe.
Bear left along the river climbing steeply again to the road, continuing the ascent on tarmac to Dead Woman’s Ditch car park.
Take the bridleway that heads due west and to the right of Black Hill as the road deviates to its south.
At the junction of multiple paths atop
Halsway Hill, bear left and descend
across the front of the grassy hill with epic views on your left.
Turn right at Paradise Combe and climb back to the ridge, then head south-east along the doubletrack to the top of the Stert Combe descent.
Follow the singletrack north, over open moor at first and then dropping into the trees, switchbacking into Somerton Combe and then bearing left to pick up the climb out of Lady’s Edge.
At Bicknoller Post, follow the ridge track north as it climbs over Beacon Hill.
Smith’s Combe is the valley to your right, and the descent is accessed via the grassy slope that heads towards the trees.
Bear right at the fingerpost up the short but steep climb before contouring around the hillside to Pardlestone Hill. Bear right to climb back up to the Great Road and Bicknoller Post.
Descend Weacombe towards Bicknoller village, then turning left along the foot of the ridge before climbing Bicknoller Combe. Turn right and stick with the main ridge track as it trends east all the way to Frog Hill.
Turn north to drop steeply into Lady’s
Combe. Follow the singletrack into
Holford Combe making several stream
crossings before emerging back on the road near Combe House Hotel. |
WMB 108 Dalby, Yorkshire_Intermediate (Red) Route ||
||Jul 14th 2010, 02:38
|Start/Finish: Main car park,
Total distance: 37km (23.5 miles)
Total ascent: 741m (2431ft)
Time: 2-4 hours
Summary: A mixture of mostly
manmade trail and some short fi re road climb sections, the Red routes hold up well most of the year round, although you’ll be coated in white spray if it is wet.
There are no massive climbs or
descents but contouring trail keeps work and concentration rates high, and the optional black sections add spice.
Park at the first car park in Low
Dalby between the two buildings
of the visitor centre. Cross the Forest
Drive past the speed bumps after the
corner and up the zig-zags in the field.
Follow red markers north to the
zig-zagging across the dales
eventually ending up at the ‘skills’ area at Dixon’s Hollow. Feel free to dive off for a play here if you fancy, but don’t go too daft as the only way out for the wounded is by air ambulance...
Cross the Forest Drive and head
north past Worry Gill. Again
there’s lots of opportunity to spice things up with black and World
Cup course detours. Either way
you should end up at the bottom
of a climb at the east end of
Climb north away from the
fi re road then follow the
red/black signs on singletrack and
fi re road out to Crosscliffe
viewpoint. At this point, you can
take the North Shore ramp onto
the black route and rejoin the red
route later on. Otherwise
continue east along the fire road
until the red route turns back into
the forest on singletrack.
Most of the high skill stuff is
done by the time you cross
the Forest Drive. But if you’ve had
enough now is a good time to take
the tarmac shortcut back to the
visitor centre. |
WMB102 The Purbecks, Dorset_Intermediate (Red) Route ||
||Jul 13th 2010, 04:36
|Start/Finish: Shell Bay, Studland, OS
Total distance 35.3km (21.9 miles)
Time 3-6 hours
Maps Ordnance Survey OL 15 Purbeck and South Dorset 1:25,000
Summary The daisy chain structure of
this route lets you pick and choose the
From the chain ferry landing
point, follow the road for 2km and
take the bridleway/cycle route to the
right at the bend in the road. Take the
fi rst left through the gate and then left
again rather than fording the river to
climb up the heath to the golf course.
At the top bear left and drop to
Studland village on the sandy
bridleway. Follow the coast path round the headland past Old Harry Rocks and up to Ballard Down, where you turn left to descend very steeply into Swanage.
Turn right at the road junction and
climb gently to the ridge before taking the bridleway left to Nine Barrow Down. Bear left along the
ridge for 1km before dropping to
Cross the main road onto a
minor road and follow this
back to the heath before turning
right to head back to the major
road, turning right and then left
at the bridleway climbing up
through the trees.
Once at the summit of Nine
Barrow Down again, drop
immediately left to enjoy a fast
descent to the road. Turn right for
1km of riding on tarmac before
turning left onto the golf course
and then left again at the stone
signpost to ride Frank’s Tank.
Then it’s just a case of retracing
your steps back to the chain ferry
via the heath. |
WMB107 hebden Bridge Yorkshire_Classic Route ||
||Jul 14th 2010, 11:59
|Start/Finish: Hebden Bridge, SD993273
Total distance: 39.6km (24.6 miles)
Time 3-5 hours
Maps OS Landranger 103 Blackburn & Burnley, Explorer OL21 South Pennines Summary A proper mixed bag of UK moorland riding — some mud, some hardpack, and everything in between plus plenty of altitude gain.
From the centre of Hebden, pick up the (busy) A6033 Keighley road to head north out of town. Take the signed left to Hardcastle crags and pick up the Crimsworth Dean bridleway at the car park.
Turn sharp right and over the hill before descending to Walshaw. Bear right along the level track and head towards Gorple Reservoir.
Cross the road, pick up the Pennine
Bridleway and follow this over the dam and the following hill to Rodmer Clough. Bear right and climb through the buildings to Duke’s Cut, following the wide doubletrack for several miles over the moor.
Turn right and follow the road for several miles before turning left towards Shore.
Don’t drop down the road but take a left onto the Calderdale Way.
Follow this undulating bridleway, with
sections of packhorse trail, all the way
along the hill, bearing right to descend just after the farm before continuing straight ahead up a short climb as the track descends towards Todmorden.
At the golf course, turn right and then
left on the road, before picking up
bridleway again at Bean Pole Head.
At Rodwell End, bear right and right
again; the bridleway is unsigned and
disappears between the two lefthand houses in the farmyard.
From the car park on the A646, turn left and then right onto the Mankinholes road. Take the sharp right on the steep climb
before picking up the Pennine Bridleway again to drop into the Top Brink pub.
Return to the Pennine Bridleway as it
links up with London Road and follow
this back beneath the Pike to Erringden Grange, continuing straight as first a tarmac road and then a roughly cobbled descent
Exit onto farm track, bear left and then right to pick up the steep cobbles that will return you to Hebden Bridge station. |
WMB 106 Pitlochry, Highlands_Beginner (Blue) Route ||
||Jul 14th 2010, 11:28
|Start/Finish: Tilt car park,
Blair Atholl NN874663
Total distance 38.3km (23.8 miles)
Time 2.5-5 hours
Maps OS Landranger 43
Braemar & Blair Athol
Summary Simple out-and-back
with weatherproof trails and
Take the track opposite
the car park entrance. It’s
signed as a private road but
bikes are permitted.
Follow this track as it
winds through the trees
heading directly north. Cross
the river once as it tumbles
through the gorge and continue
Gilbert’s Bridge marks the
first possible return route.
If you want a very short ride
then turn left here, cross the
bridge and return to Blair
Atholl via easy tracks with a bit
more climbing. Otherwise,
continue straight on, over
Gow Bridge so the river’s on
your right, and follow the
doubletrack into the glen.
Some distance after
Forest Lodge, the
doubletrack climbs up and
away to the left. Bear right
here onto singletrack to follow
the riverbank to the Falls of
Tarf. To extend your ride and
take in some of the best natural
singletrack, cross the bridge
and follow this trail all the way
to the cairn at the top of the
valley — there’s a precipitous
drop to the river so if you’re
nervous of heights it’s possibly
not one for you.
The return route simply
retraces your tyre tracks
back down the valley,
enjoying the reversed gradient.
Shortly after Gow Bridge
returns you to the east bank of
the river, keep an eye out for a
path that bears right; this is the
second alternative and it’s
detailed in the Trailmaps route
(see Moderate Ride description
on page 118). Otherwise,
follow the doubletrack back
past Gilbert’s Bridge and back
to the car park. |
WMB 112 The Dark Peak Moderate ||
||Aug 24th 2010, 01:54
|Start/Finish: Hope, OS grid reference
Total distance: 38.8km/24 miles
Time: 3-6 hours
Maps: Ordnance Survey OL1: Dark Peak area
Summary: Relentless ups and downs
make this no small feat, but what it
demands in effort, it pays back in fun.
Take the Edale road and turn
right onto a dead-end track just
after crossing the river. Bear left
through the gate and climb the Roman
road to Hope Cross. Continue straight
ahead, following the rolling singletrack and rough descent to the junction.
Bear right to drop to the A57,
cross the road to Rowlee Farm
and climb the Tarmac zigzags. At the
Hagg Farm junction, turn right through the gate and descend to the A57. Cross the road, descend and bear left along the riverside track, passing through the gate on the left after a short climb.
Bear right uphill onto a permissive
bridleway, through woodland then
down to the lake shore. Bear right, pass the dam on left and continue south on Thornhill Trail (disused railway). Bear right on the road to Aston. In the hamlet, take the minor track right then climb past the houses, bearing left onto a walled lane. Continue along the track,
through gates to the top of the hill.
Bear left and continue to Hope Cross, dropping to the Roman road. At the crossroads, take Jaggers Clough track to left and descend. Cross the river,
climb and descend to Nether
Booth. Bear right on the road,
under the bridge, take the next
minor track left, which becomes
bridleway and climb to Hollins
Cross. Bear right and follow the
signed bridleway along the ridge
slabs and singletrack to the road.
Bear left and left again on
Tarmac to a gated track on
right. Follow this track, bear left
at the T-junction. Cavedale is on
the left (Limestone Way). For
Pindale, go down Dirtlow Rake,
join some Tarmac briefly before
turning sharp right onto Pindale
track. Descend to the valley,
turning right onto a minor road at
end and continuing to Hope. |
WMB 110 Lake District, Cumbria_Classic Route ||
||Jul 14th 2010, 05:37
|Start/Finish: Ambleside, Market Cross
Total distance: 39.6km (24.6 miles)
Time: 5-8 hours
Map: OS Landranger 97: Kendal &
Morecambe and OS Landranger 90: Penrith & Keswick, or BMC/Harvey’s Lake District.
Summary: This route has it all – classic
open fells riding, gentle pastoral
landscapes, technical descents and a
substantial amount of height gain.
From the Market Cross, follow the
main road out towards Windermere.
Skelghyll Lane runs behind the pay and display car park shortly before the
Clappersgate/Skelwith Bridge turn off.
Stick to the bridleway signed ‘Jenkin’s
Crag’ as it ascends, first on Tarmac
and then on steep doubletrack.
Navigate gates at High Skelghyll
Farm, following signs for Troutbeck.
Follow the high track into the village,
turning right onto the road then left before taking the signed bridleway beside houses that drops to the river. Climb the steep field and cross the major road onto Fusethwaite Lane.
Climb steeply and take the first
bridleway left. Keep straight as tracks
join from left and right, climbing all the way to the top of Garburn Pass.
Pass some gates, then enjoy the
descent down into Kentmere. Exit the
trail onto the road, pass by the church on the left, then take the dead-end road to Brockstones.
Climb steeply, bearing left on the
gated road. Between gate and farm
you’ll find the byway to Sadgill; follow this up and over the fell, sticking to the main track.
Don’t go through the gate halfway
down, but turn right, cross the stream
and follow the occasionally vague track over Green Quarter Fell and down through Millrigg Knott.
Cross the road and pick up the
bridleway through the farm. Bear
right and climb, turning left at the
T-junction to cross a ford and continue south, generally descending, and then make a right turn towards Mislet.
Turn right along the road, then turn
right again onto the unsigned
dead-end road. Pass by the reservoir
(enjoy the view) on your left and then turn left to descend the final sections of Garburn Pass to the road.
Cross straight over to climb steeply
back up to Troutbeck and then
retrace your steps up the track to High
Skelghyll Farm. Finally, head over Jenkin Crag to Ambleside. |
WMB 113 Brecon Beacons Classic Route ||
||Sep 8th 2010, 04:09
|Start/Finish Talybont-on-Usk, OS grid
Total distance 41km (25.5 miles)
Total ascent 994m (3260 feet)
Time 3-5 hours
Maps Ordnance Survey Explorers OL12 and OL13: Brecon Beacons National Park
Summary A classic in the true sense, this loop takes you on some high-level trails with impressive vistas. It’s technically straightforward with the occasional challenge. In bad conditions, think twice.
The route starts behind the White Hart
Inn. Cross the canal to join the Taff Trail, climbing steadily.
After 5.5km, you’ll reach a junction with a finger post and stone bench. Follow the obvious wide track running straight ahead, signed Pontsticill. Continue to climb for about the next 1.8km .
At the top of a steep stepped section,
take the right fork by the post.
After 2km across moorland, pass through the gate and continue to descend through the woods. Go straight across the forest track and regain Tarmac at Dolygaer.
Follow the road across the dam, then
turn immediately right to follow the lane along the western shore of Pentwyn reservoir.
After about 4km, the Gap track will fork right from the road – do not take this, keep straight.
The Tarmac ends and after 500m there’s
a steep drop into a stream crossing and a grind out of the other side. It’s loose on the way in and out, so take care. Continue climbing with the Neuadd Reservoir on your
left. If visibility is good, you’ll soon see the Gap – the obvious saddle in the ridge ahead –between Cribyn to the left and Fan y Big to the right. Continue to climb until you reach it.
Carefully descend the steep top section
of the Gap to reach fast, rocky terrain.
There’s a cheeky climb before a fast blast to a gate and Tarmac.
Take the signed bridleway, following the right-hand fork. Descend to the road, turn left and climb. Take the third left turn and go straight on to a track when the road swings left at the top of the hill.
Descend to emerge behind the college in Brecon. Turn right, go straight across the roundabout and turn right again onto the main street. Follow it over the river and turn right (signed National Cycle Route 8) to the end of the canal. Join the towpath and spin back to Talybont for the last 10km.
WMB 112 The Dark Peak Classic ||
||Aug 24th 2010, 01:28
|Start/Finish: Hope, OS grid reference
Total distance: 51km/31.7miles
Time: 6-8 hours
Maps: Ordnance Survey OL1: Dark Peak area
Summary: A seriously substantial big day out that knits together two classic loops (Ladybower and Edale), plenty of climbing and enough technicality to satisfy even the most jaded hill hound.
From the centre of Hope, take the
back road via the bottom of Pin Dale
to Castleton. Continue west out of the
village and climb the broken road (closed to motor traffic).
Bear right and then right again along
the road at the top towards Edale
– the Rushup Edge bridleway is on the left just before the summit. Pass through the gate and continue to ascend due west along an initially well surfaced and then eroded trail (the bridleway is well signed
and passes to the left of the wall; please make sure you don’t ride along the footpath instead).
Pass through the gate, start
descending, then bear right onto
Chapel Gate. Descend a deep eroded gully to the road and turn right to climb back towards Mam Tor.
At the bus stop, take the bridleway
left, cresting the hill before dropping
to Hollins Cross. Turn sharp left onto
another bridleway and descend to
Greenlands, passing through the gate onto the lane at the bottom.
Turn right on the road. Go through
Edale, under the railway bridge then
left to Jaggers Clough. Follow the track over two climbs and a stream to Hope Cross.
Continue straight ahead through the
gates, then descend a rocky bridleway
and climb briefly to the A57. Ascend the rough bridleway opposite. Pass through several gates and continue straight on at the top past Lockerbrook Farm, then head down to the reservoir road. Turn right, cross the valley below the dam at Fairholmes, and follow the lakeside track to a bridleway that ascends
first slabs and then singletrack onto the
edge of Whinstone Lee Tor.
Descend back to the A57 via Cutthroat
Bridge, bearing right behind the pub
to emerge at Ashopton. Turn right over the bridge and right again before taking the bridleway left to climb Crook Hill.
Follow the vague grassy bridleway
along the ridge, crossing the previous
track at the top of Hagg Farm. Continue straight ahead to Rowlee Farm and cross the A57 for the final time.
Ascend the steep Tarmac and bear left onto Blackley Clough track to
return to Hope Cross. Continue straight ahead and follow the Roman road all the way back to Hope, bearing left on road at the end to the village. |
WMB 106 Pitlochry, Highlands_Classic Route ||
||Jul 14th 2010, 11:34
|Start/Finish: Old Bridge of Tilt car park,
Blair Atholl NN874663
Total distance: 53.9km (33.5 miles)
Time 5-8 hours
Maps Ordnance Survey Landranger 43
Braemar & Blair Atholl
Summary Majority on easy estate track but with excellent singletrack deep in the hills.
The navigation requires attention and ride is not one for poor weather conditions.
Turn right out of the car park then left at the T-junction signposted Glen Fender.
Climb steeply on tarmac, bearing right at the next junction (Glen Fender signed left).
At Loch Moraig, the road bends sharply left – pass through the gate on the right and take the undulating doubletrack to Shinagag. Cross the bridge over the Allt Girnaig (gated, slippery when wet), then turn
left onto a steep, indistinct quad track
immediately before the buildings.
At the gate, leave the doubletrack that
bears right and continue to head
straight, climbing gently over rough ground with the bulk of Beinn a’Ghlo directly ahead.
Navigation gets tricky here and care is
needed not to miss the track beyond the burn crossing. Ford the Allt Loch Valligan and continue in the same direction through the low
and very indistinct remains of some stone walls to find the narrow singletrack to Daldhu,
becoming doubletrack over the watershed before descending to the river valley.
At Daldhu, take the left turn and follow this 4x4 track north to Fealar Lodge; it’s a long haul but it’s the only option.
At Fealar Lodge, bear left in front of the farmhouse and pick up the vague
singletrack along the fence line.
This bears round to the right and
contours along the top edge of the gorge before dropping steeply to the Allt Garbh Buidhe, which you will need to cross with care if the river is high.
The trail to the right is glorious and
worth riding as an out-and-back if you
have the time.
From this point, navigation is
straightforward: simply follow the River Tilt downhill, crossing the suspension bridge at the Falls of Tarf and then descending the valley on gentle doubletrack past increasing
amounts of habitation.
Stay on the main track all the way back to the car park at Blair Atholl. |
WMB102 The Purbecks, Dorset_Classic Route ||
||Jul 13th 2010, 04:48
|Start/finish: Shell Bay, Studland, OS ref SZ0368767
Total Distance: 59.5km (36.9 miles)
Time: 6-8 hours
Maps: Ordnance Survey OL15 Purbeck & South Dorset 1:25,000
Summary: From forest, heath and downs to tough climbs and fab singletrack descents, every type of biking is here.
From the chain ferry landing point,
follow the road for 2km and take the
route to the right at the bend in the road.
Follow the tracks to Kingswood Farm.
Turn right along the road before
taking the bridleway left into the
woods after 750m. Climb steeply to Nine Barrow Down to follow the ridge towards Corfe Castle. Descend into the town.
Turn right onto the main road in
Corfe and bear left at the
roundabout. Take the next left, signposted for the campsite, and follow the track straight through the middle of the campsite, turning right at the far end.
At the road, turn left and climb,
taking the path through the gate to
the right. Continue to climb on doubletrack before turning left to drop steeply off the ridge. Bear right to end up at the road to Kimmeridge.
At the next junction, turn left and then
immediately right on steep bridleway.
Follow this to Swyre Head, bearing left at the trig point to descend to Kingston village.
Turn left to follow the bridleway/
white road over Corfe Common,
turning right on the outskirts of Corfe.
Continue on the bridleway, then turn right along the road. Take the bridleway right after 750m.
At the crossroads of bridleway and
three roads, continue straight on
tarmac to Worth Matravers. Take the
hairpin left in the village, pass the Square and Compass, then take the bridleway right signed Priests Way. Follow this to Swanage.
Head straight for the Ulwell road.
Turn right by the phone box, climbing
steeply behind the houses to the top of
Turn right towards Studland, fi nally
turning left onto the road and straight
over at the Post Office crossroads. Take the bridleway right to climb up onto the heath.
At the top of the golf course, turn right and then left at the stone signpost.
Follow back down into the forest,
passing through the gate beside
Frank’s Tank before retracing your steps through the forest and back to the road. |
WMB 113 Pennine Trail Centre Classic ||
||Aug 24th 2010, 02:05
|Start/Finish Lee Quarry trail centre
parking (near Futures Park, Bacup),
Total distance 65km (40 miles)
Time 6 hours plus
Map Ordnance Survey OL21:
South Pennines (1:25,000)
Summary A true epic featuring plenty of open moors and climbs. Best in dry spells.
From Futures Park, take the A681 to
Bacup. Carry on to Todmorden before
bearing left onto Todmorden Old Road and
climbing to Sharneyford.
At the summit, bear left onto the Flower Scar Road track. Follow it over the top of Todmorden Moor, descending steeply and
turning left onto a minor road to go down to the valley floor. Turn right onto the A646.
In Lydgate, turn left to loop under the
railway viaduct and begin the ascent
up Jumps Road. Follow the walled bridleway through several gates, bearing left as the path
climbs steadily to Shore. Veer right onto a steep road climb.
At the junction with Long Causeway, take the bridleway on your left and cross the valley towards the wind farm. Rejoin Long Causeway for just over 1km and then hit the
well-signed Pennine Bridleway (PBW) to pass reservoirs and loop around Heptonstall Moor to Widdop and the town of Egypt.
At Rodmer Clough, descend into the
valley and leave the PBW, bearing right and climbing steeply to Duke’s Cut. At the end of the rough track, turn right onto the Tarmac,
going left and then right towards the aerial.
Descend Whirlaw and drop into
Todmorden. After the roundabout, bear left off Littleborough road to climb steeply up the cobbled Honey Hole Lane, rejoining the
PBW before descending into Walsden.
Cross the A6033 and ascend Inchfield
Road. Cross the cattle grid. At the ruins, take the left fork and head up the grassy track to Hades Hill.
Pass through the gate at the top.
Continue on the doubletrack through
the open quarry and pick up the bridleway to Whitworth, skirting the northwest flank of Brown Wardle Hill before picking up the PBW.
At Healey Dell, cross the A671 and
continue on to Rooley Moor Road.
Just beyond the summit, bear right
onto the link route and descend the
remainder of Lee Quarry’s red route to finish. |
WMB 108 Dalby Forest, Yorkshire_Classic route ||
||Jul 14th 2010, 02:22
|Start/Finish: Low Dalby SE855878,
Total distance: 86.7km (53.9 miles)
Time: 5-10 hours
Map: Ordnance Survey OL27 North York
Moors (Eastern area)
Summary: Starts and ends on red/black manmade trails, but the middle covers mostly open moorland singletrack.
Start from the main car park and follow the red/black routes up to the viewpoint at Crosscliff Wood for the first 14km.
Continue past the viewpoint and then
drop diagonally left off the scarp on the yellow marked singletrack.
Turn left down the steep road descent,
over the footbridge and onto the natural singletrack, turning left onto the forest road and then right up Dalby Snout fire road.
Carry on across the first crossroads and then right at the second summit junction.
Go left at the next fire road junction, passing through Red Gate and onto the moor.
Follow the track north up past Lilla Cross to the track junction. Head down the singletrack descent of Robin Hood’s Road, bearing right and uphill to join the A171.
Turn right uphill then left onto the
bridleway after 500m. Turn left again,
following the edge of the wood, then cross the field into Oak Wood and head up the other side. Climb up the farm track then descend to
the road. Turn left on the road down through Fylingthorpe to Robin Hood’s Bay.
Climb back up to the left turn onto the
cycle track. Follow it to Ravenscar. Turn right through the village then right again.
Follow the road onto the singletrack
contouring round then climbing up to the road and left up to the transmitter mast. Turn right opposite the mast and then left again down the wallside singletrack into the forest,
following the trail to the Falcon Inn. Go straight across the road into the forest dropping out of the trees into Harwood Dale.
Either curve round the road loop or go across the fields on the bridleway and up the bank to Broxa. Turn right at the top of the road climb following the fire road onto the open bridleway down Whisper Dale. Left down the road to Hackness, right then right
again back to Dalby Forest Drive.
Climb the road past the toll booth then
rejoin the red route where it crosses
Dalby Forest Drive. Follow to the finish. |