Somerset & Devon Cycling
The South West is the perfect haven for cycling. National Parks, forest trails, country lanes and coastal tracks are awaiting your discovery. Disused railway tracks have been converted into family friendly cycle routes.
Below are some Top Pick Big House Company (family and individually tested rides) – time and time again over the past 20 years.
Many areas have been graced by top Tour De France and Tour of Britain Riders – from Froome to Thomas and Wiggins to Contador!
Mountain biking in Devon & Somerset
You get swooping hills, woodland, exposed heathland as well as steep gnarly descents. So be you an XC or a hardened downhill rider you can pull together a great route whatever your preference. Over 100km’s of MTB trails in total. Saying that we are talking about an area that is only 19km by 7km. So it’s well packed in. The Quantocks is basically a long ridge with a descent of around 250 metres so it is a lot of up and down.
The Quantocks XC Trails
Twisty single track is its signature as are the steep descents. Some of the more well known are best are the Frog Combe descent, Somerton Combe and the Chimney over at Triscombe.
A classic is the Quantocks MBR Killer Loop which is 35km and having ridden many over the years MBR always deliver top routes. This one starts from Triscombe Stone, goes through the Great Wood and the rocky Quantock Combe. It has carved sections, steep descents, tough climbs and rock.
Haldon Hill forest trail – similar to ski slopes marked Blue, Red and Black according to ability
Exmoor & Dartmoor – similar to the Quantocks – 100’s of miles of all abilities.
Road cycling routes in Devon and Somerset
The headline of this climb is in its steepest gradient, which hits incredibly close to one in three. For most, this might seem like too much – but it’s worth the attempt.
There are in fact two Porlock Hills to ride up, but the toll road is by far the most inspiring. The climb itself is a smash of steep grades and short plateaus, halting any kind of rhythm you might hope to achieve.
There are some lovely routes to the coast – most around 100km i.e there and back to: Seaton, Lyme Regis or Exmouth or on the north coast, to Minehead, Porlock or Lynton.
Blackdown Hills and the Culm Valley – 100’s of miles of deserted country lanes.
Dartmoor and the Quantock Hills – 100’s of miles for all ability road bikers.
Family & Leisure cycling in Devon & Somerset
A 26 mile, mainly flat cycle route and walkway which runs around the entire Exe Estuary linking Exmouth, Exeter and Dawlish, with fantastic views along the River Exe. The predominantly off-road (80%)* network links Exmouth to Dawlish Warren, via Topsham and Exeter, and forms part of National Cycle Network 2.
This route provides an exciting opportunity for people to experience cycling or walking around the entire Exe Estuary, appreciating the wildlife and passing through some beautiful riverside towns and villages steeped in maritime history.
(*Many alternative routes on this estuary can be 100% off road – please ask!)
All these rides can be a 1/2-day ride or a full day ride – to their natural end and back.
Coffee shops, pub and restaurants are at either end of most of these trails, in some cases mid-way stop off’s – ideal for those tired legs!
Our Top 4:
Exe Estuary: Exeter to Star Cross (passenger ferry to Exmouth) to Topsham
Taunton to Bridgwater
Westleigh to Tiverton (canal path)
Tarka Trail: Barnstaple or Instow to Torrington (all disused railway line)
If you are looking for cycling friendly accommodation, several of our properties are near these excellent areas:-