Rempstone Heath, Dorset

image/svg+xml Distance:

24

miles
Riding Time:

2½ - 4

hrs
Total Ascent:

1700

ft
Difficulty:

Medium

This Mountain Bike route takes you on some excellent singletrack through Godlingston and Rempstone Heath. It also includes fantastic coastal views at Swyre Head and 2 long fast descents.

There are many different trails passing through the Heathland sections, so a GPS navigation device along with a map is recommended.

Route Guide

The route starts at the free parking layby on Ulwell Road. Alternatively, you could park in Swanage and start from there.  Take a right out of the car park and follow the main road for just over a mile until you reach a junction. Go left here and after about ½ a mile take the bridleway on your right.

Continue down this trail for a short distance, then take the narrow bridleway on your left signposted for Rempstone Heath. This twisty, singletrack descent is one of the highlights of the ride. It’s quite rocky in places and the deep gulleys in the trail constantly test your line choice.

Stay on this main trail for just under a mile as it skirts along the edge of the Golf Course. When you come to a fork in the track go left here. After about ½ a mile bear right at the next fork in the trail. Continue straight on until you reach a fire road. Go left here until you reach a minor road. Then go right and after a short distance take the bridleway straight ahead of you.

Follow this trail for about 1 ½ miles until it meets a minor road. Take a left here and after about ½ a mile join the bridleway on your right. Eventually you will come out on a main road. Go left here and after about ¾ of a mile go right following the signs for Norden Farm.

Carry on straight through the caravan site following the road around to the right. Eventually you should reach a bridleway in the far right corner of the site. Join the bridleway and head into the woodland. Parts of this trail are very narrow and overgrown so it will test your sense of balance. There are also some nice boardwalk sections which I feel always adds to the fun of a trail.

When you reach the end of the trail go left onto the minor road. This marks the start of quite a long, steady road climb with a hairpin bend near the top. At the summit you are rewarded with some magnificent views of the Purbeck Hills. Now enjoy the long, fast road descent until you come to a junction.

Go right here and follow the road for about 1 mile. Then take the bridleway on your immediate left. This is a steep and rocky climb which will thoroughly test your climbing skills!. This trail is called the Hardy Way after local writer/poet Thomas Hardy. It was one of the first long-distance paths in Britain to be associated with a renowned writer.

Once over the crest of the hill you are rewarded with fantastic coastal views. Continue along this trail until you reach Swyre Head. Here is an excellent viewpoint, with the Isle of Wight to the east and Isle of Portland to Dartmoor in the west. After taking in the views follow the trail across and down the field. This is a long, fast descent with some small camel bumps where you can actually get a bit of air!.

About half-way down go through a gate then continue to descend until you reach another gate. Go through the gate and bear left which brings you out on to a car park and minor road. Take a right here and follow the road for approximately a mile until you reach a junction at a main road.

Go right here and follow the road for about a mile, then take the right turn signposted for Worth Matravers. You then descend into the village and after about a mile reach a crossroad. Go left here signposted for Langton Matravers. Follow the road and after just under ½ a mile take the bridleway on your right signposted for the Priests Way.

Follow the trail across the field, go through the gate and then enjoy the long, fast gravel descent. After about 1.8 miles bear left where the trail splits and is signposted for the Alternative Priests Way. When you reach a gate, go through this and head right. Follow the trail for about ½ a mile until you reach an opening with fantastic views of Swanage Bay!. Then go left here and down a narrow, rocky singletrack.

After a short distance you’ll emerge out the other side of the trail. Bear left here, then go immediately right onto a wider track. At the end of the track cross over the road and down Benlease Way. Follow the road as it descends steeply down to a main road. Take a right here and after just under a mile take a left turn onto Northbrook Road.

Stay on this road until you reach a mini-roundabout, then bear left taking the 1st exit onto a narrow lane. Follow the road as it bends round to the right and passes a Caravan site on your left. When you reach a crossroad go left and after a short distance you arrive back at the car park on your right.

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Pros

  • Over 50% of route is off-road
  • Some technical singletrack through Godlingston Heath
  • Lots of fast, smooth singletrack through Rempstone Heath
  • Excellent views at Swyre Head
  • Long, fast descents from Swyre Head and along the Priests Way

Cons

  • Climb at Hardy Way may not be rideable for everyone

Other Mountain Bike routes in the area
Chapman’s Pool
Isle of Purbeck

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