Chapman’s Pool, Dorset

image/svg+xml Distance:

16

miles
Riding Time:

2-3

hrs
Total Ascent:

1400

ft
Difficulty:

MEDIUM

This Mountain Bike Route includes some tough rocky climbs and several fantastic descents. It will take you along high ridgetop trails with magnificent views across the whole of the Purbecks.

Some highlights of the ride include a series of descents on Nine Barrow Down and a long gravelly downhill ending with views across Swanage.

Route Guide

The route starts at the free parking layby on Ulwell Road. Alternatively, you could park in Swanage and start from there. Turn right out of the car park following the road for a short distance, then take the bridleway on the left. This is a tough climb with a gradient ranging from 7 – 15% and quite rocky in places.

After going through the gate near the top, the last section of the climb gets gnarlier and quite technical. At the summit you are rewarded with panoramic views of the Purbeck hills and the sea in the distance. Continue west along the trail enjoying a series of fast, open descents!. When you reach the radio mast bear left and join the narrow singletrack. Take care here as this descent gets very loose and technical towards the bottom.

At the bottom of the trail go right until you reach the main road. Take a left here then an immediate right onto The Square. Follow the road around to the left for about ½ mile until you reach a turning circle and cattle grid. Go left here onto the bridleway with a sign for Corfe Common. When you go through the gate bear right and follow the trail across the fields until you reach a main road.

Cross straight over the road picking up the trail on the other side. When the trail splits, bear left and follow the track until you reach another main road. This track maybe overgrown so you might have to backtrack and take a different route. At the road go right then right again signposted to Afflington Manor Farm.

Follow the road as it descends down to the farm, keep going past the buildings and around to the right. Then take the bridleway signposted to your left. This is quite rocky in places and kicks up quite steeply just before the gate. Go through the gate and up a steep, technical climb until you come to another gate.

Continue through the gate and up the final section of the climb. Cross over the road and down the bridleway on your right. When the trail splits take the bridleway to the left and go through the gate. Follow the trail along the edge of the field and begins to descend down the hillside. Be careful here as the trail suddenly drops very steeply and becomes quite rocky.

Make your way through the broken gate and continue descending until you reach a narrow road/trail. Here you can go right taking the bridleway down to Chapman’s Pool. This is an optional extra detour to the route, but the views are worth it!. If you choose to do this, after ½ mile bear left and go through the gate. Follow the bridleway as far down as you like, bearing in mind that you will need to turn around and return to the crossroads.

However, if you decide not to do this extra segment, go left at the junction and up a steep climb to another gate. Go through the gate then follow the road through Worth Matravers. After about ½ mile take the bridleway on your right called the Priest’s Way. This trail is a very enjoyable, fast gravelly descent which continues for almost 2½ miles.

After approximately 2 miles bear left following the signs for the Alternative Priests Way. When you reach a junction go right and follow the track until you come to a sharp left turn. Enjoy the views of Swanage and the coast then go left and descend down the steep trail. When you come to a junction, go left then shortly after go right on to the road. After a few hundred metres take a left on to Benlease Way and stay on this road until you come to a junction at a main road.

Take a right here and follow the road into Swanage, after about 1 mile go left on to Northbrook Road. Continue on this road for about half a mile then bear left at the mini-roundabout taking the first exit on to Darkie Lane. Follow the lane around to the right until it joins Ulwell Road. Go left here which takes you back to the car park.

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Pros

  • Atleast 60% of the ride is off-road
  • Wonderful panoramic views of the Purbeck Hills, Dorset coastline and Chapman’s Pool
  • Some challenging but rewarding technical climbs
  • Several fantastic ridgetop and fast, rocky descents
  • A 2.5 mile gravel descent near the end of the route

Cons

  • Getting to Chapman’s Pool requires doing an extra out and back loop

Other Mountain Bike Routes in the area 
Isle of Purbeck, Dorset

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