Ten Top Cycling Ideas in Somerset & Exmoor
The scenery and landscape in Somerset & Exmoor are identified in visitor surveys as the most important reasons for visiting the area. With a National Park, four AONB’s, many nature reserves, historic towns and villages, the area has some of the most varied cycling terrain to be found anywhere in the country.
So whatever your level and ability, ‘Saddle Up’, ride out and explore Somerset and Exmoor by bike. You will not be disappointed. In this guide we have pulled together ten top ideas for helping you to experience the best of mountain biking, road cycling and family friendly traffic free routes.
1. Ride out on the Quantock Hills
Technical descents, challenging climbs and outstanding views await you in the Quantock Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The suggested Quantock route here featured in Mountain Bike Rider’s 20 best mountain bike UK trails of 2016.
2. Hamstone Hill Country
Discover pretty ham stone villages, historic market towns and the gently rolling countryside of South Somerset. Choose to complete the full 80 mile cycle route or one of the eight shorter sections of between seven and 14 miles.
3. The Traffic free Strawberry Line
The ten mile stretch of the Strawberry Line from Yatton to Cheddar passes through pretty countryside, wildlife rich habitats and historic villages. The well surfaced and flat route is perfect for family cycling.
4. 20 off and on road routes
Wherever you are planning to stay in Somerset there will be a cycle route near you! The Moving Somerset Forward Team have produced 20 cycling maps across the county.
5. The Exmoor Challenge
With its steep combes, great downhill runs and hundreds of miles of bridleways, Exmoor is one of the best places for challenging mountain bike rides. Either create your own route using the OL9 Exmoor Explorer map, or follow the featured Exmoor route in the Mountain Bike Rider’s 20 Best UK routes.
6. Cycling World’s visit to the Mendips
Don’t just take our word for it. Read the Cheddar article by Scot Whitlock of Cycling World Magazine as he explores the Mendip Hills, Wells and Glastonbury areas of Somerset by bike.
7. Avalon Marshes Heritage Cycle Routes
The Avalon Marshes is a beautiful area that is rich in wildlife and of international importance. You can discover this fascinating landscape via one of four circular heritage routes of between 11 and 18 miles.
8. The Tour of Britain Exmoor Cycle Route
Discover the best of Exmoor by road on this 60 mile Cycle route, which was based on the 2007 Tour of Britain event held in the area. It includes some challenging climbs as well as stunning coastal and moorland scenery.
9. Bridgwater & Taunton Canal
Another wonderful Somerset landscape to explore by bike is the Bridgwater & Taunton Canal. A good place to start your trip is at Maunsel Lock, where you will find a tea room, car park and toilets. This route also links with the Sustrans Route 3 - The West Country Way.
10. Beauty or the Beast
Every year hundreds of people descend on the area to take part in the Exmoor Beauty (Apr) and Exmoor Beast (Sep) events. However, you don’t have to be around in April and September. You can download the routes that these events follow at any time.