Isle of Purbeck, Dorset

image/svg+xml Distance:

27

miles
Riding Time:

3-5

hrs
Total Ascent:

2400

ft
Difficulty:

HARD

I feel the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset offers some of the best Mountain Biking and cycle routes in England. The stunning scenery, variety of terrain and extensive network of bridleways make it my favourite place to go riding.

This route takes you on some of the best trails in the area. It includes fantastic ridgetop trails, singletrack descents across various terrain and some challenging technical climbs.

Route Guide

The route starts with free parking on Ulwell Road about 1½ mile from Swanage Town centre. However, you could also start the route in Swanage if it’s more convenient for you. Take a right, leaving the layby/car park and start to climb by road. After just over ½ mile leave the road and join the gated bridleway on your right.

This is the first tough off-road climb of the day with the gradient reaching 20% in places. Well done if you reach the Obelisk without dismounting, you are now rewarded with stunning views of Swanage bay. The Obelisk commemorates the new supply of drinking water provided to Swanage in 1883.

Continue climbing up on the bridleway until you reach the top. At 486ft this is the 3rd highest point of the ride and provides fantastic views of Swanage and the Dorset coastline. Follow the bridleway and enjoy the long grassy ridgetop descent towards the coast. After about 1 mile the trail forks into 2 separate bridleways. You can either take the rockier trail on the right or the slightly tamer, grassier track on the left.

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Pros

  • Many spectacular views of the Jurassic coast
  • At least 80% of the ride is off-road
  • Fantastic mix of rocky ridgetop and woodland descents
  • Several challenging but satisfying, steep off-road climbs
  • Interesting features including Grange Arch Folly and Old Harry Rocks

Cons

  • Depending on fitness and ability some of the climbs may have to be walked
  • The trail just before and after Old Harry Rocks can get very busy with walkers during the summer months

Other Mountain Bike Routes on the Isle of Purbeck
Chapman’s Pool, Dorset

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