Distance: 24km (14.9 miles).
Climbing: 720m (2,362ft).
Time: 2hrs to 3hrs 30mins.
The Jurassic Coast is a beautiful area and popular with holidaymakers, but head out into the hills and it’s much quieter, with some fun riding and amazing views.
Manor Yard, Symondsbury Estate (grid ref SY 446/937, postcode DT6 6HQ).
Symondsbury is just outside Bridport on the B3162, off the A35 between Honiton and Dorchester. Follow the signs to Symondsbury and go right by the school and church, following the parking signs to Symondsbury Estate (free parking). There’s a skills park with jumps, a flow trail and a 4X track here. Fill out a disclaimer form at Symondsbury Store (01308 424116) by the cafe at Manor Yard.
Maps and useful books
Ordnance Survey Landranger 193: Taunton & Lyme Regis.
Mountain Bike Rides in and Around Wiltshire & Dorset by Max Darkins (Rough Ride Guide).
Stay at the bike-friendly Highway Farm B&B in Bridport (www.highwayfarm.co.uk, 01308 424321) or Golden Cap campsite in Seatown (www.goldencapholidaypark.co.uk, 01308 422139). Symondsbury Kitchen Cafe (www.symondsburykitchen.com, 01308 538309) at the start is good, as is The Anchor Inn in Seatown (www.theanchorinnseatown.co.uk, 01297 489215). Bridport Cycles is friendly, has a tool station and offers bike hire (www.bridportcycles.co.uk, 01308 808595).
Go left on the road, then right on the track to Crepe Farm. Follow the blue route markers through the fields, past Bilshay Farm, and join the Monarch’s Way bridleway. Cross a road and climb past Axen Farm, then bear left at the junction (marker post 18).
Turn right at an offset track crossing onto Hell Lane, downhill. Join a road, keeping left, and go through North Chideock. Take the track towards Butt Farm and on to Ryall. Turn left on the road, uphill, for 300m, then go sharp right on a track opposite a gate and keep right at the fork.
Join the road, keeping ahead/left, and follow it down to a junction. Go left, over the A35, on a small lane. At the T-junction, turn right. Continue uphill until you reach a car park. Bear left here, through a gate and into a field. Bear diagonally right, downhill, and then bear left onto an obvious track.
Go left in the farmyard, to an offset track crossing. Turn right and continue to St Gabriel’s Church. Climb on a grassy track, going through a gate. Turn right, along the hedge, following the sign to ‘Golden Cap’.
Cross fields and go past a wood. Continue ahead as a track joins from the left, looking for a small track on the left 100m afterwards. Follow this towards Chideock, join the road and then turn right on Mill Lane.
Go left, through a gate and onto a bridleway, just past the second lot of holiday homes. Follow this track uphill, bearing left and then right, to a better track at the top.
Bear left to Down House Farm, then go left on a track just after it, uphill into the woods. Turn left on a wide track, then right on a section of singletrack. Exit the trees and follow the trail down to the A35.
Cross the road and continue to the offset track crossing from earlier (post 19). Turn right here. Follow this track down to Symondsbury and go left by the school, back to Manor Yard.
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Routes produced in association with Rough Ride Guide
MBUK Big Ride images by Russell Burton