Time  6 hours 7 minutes

Coordinates 2430

Uploaded September 10, 2014

Recorded July 2014

1,465 ft
38 ft
49.73 mi

Viewed 1465 times, downloaded 9 times

near Bratton, England (United Kingdom)

This trip for the racing bike takes you on a round-trip through Exmoor National Park, including 2 major climbs and several smaller ones. The route offers great views of moorland, woods, the Bristol Channel, rolling hills, and picturesque villages. The route includes a toll road, Worthy toll road, which is sometimes unmanned, so take some change.
The route starts just outside Minehead, where there is a small parking place, and then first follows the A39 towards Porlock. You deviate twice from the A39 on quieter, smaller roads, before you get to Porlock. The first deviation takes you to Selworthy, and the second towards Bossington. The road to Selworthy is very small, and not the best, so watch your speed. In Porlock you turn right to Porlock Weir (see waypoint) and continue all the way to the sea. Here, you turn left on the Worthy toll road, and within 1 km you come to the toll gate (see waypoint for more information). The toll road itself is a very steep (first kilometer on average 14%), small road in a wooded valley. Up to Yearnor Mill (1.3 km) the quality of the asphalt is bad, but then it improves and more gradually climbs to an altitude of about 415 meters before it joins the A39. On the last stretch of the toll road as well as on the A39 to Lynmouth you have great views of the moors, the hills, and the sea (see A39 waypoint). The A39 steeply descends to Lynmouth (see waypoint), a nice village on the sea. From here you take a more relaxed climb, first on the A39 through the East Lyn valley, and then on the B3223 towards Simonsbath. The road gets up to about almost 450 meters, and on this part of the route you have the best view of the moors, unimpeded by hedges and walls. Before Simonsbath you also cross the Ex valley where the Ex river is still young. From Simonsbath you ride to Exford where you cross the Ex valley again. From here you climb to Wheddon Cross with occasional good views of Dunkery Beacon, the highest hill in Exmoor at 519 meters. You climb a bit further on the B3224 and turn left for a long descend on mostly quiet roads to Dunster, which is famous for Dunster castle. Don’t forget to look over your shoulder in Dunster if you want to get a glimpse of the castle. From here you ride to the center of Minehead (see waypoint) where you can have a look at the beach and the West Somerset Railway station.
Most of this route I encountered quiet roads, apart from the roads near Minehead. After this trip, I discovered there is an alternative to the Worley toll road from Porlock: the Porlock toll road, with easier gradients and better paving, and you could consider this alternative for which you have to turn right from the A39 in Porlock one road later than in this track (see waypoint). You can find something to eat and drink in several places, most notably Minehead, Porlock, Lynmouth, Exford, and Dunster. Route Minehead- Porlock- Porlock Weir- Lynmouth- Simonsbath- Exford- Wheddon Cross- Timberscombe- Dunster- Minehead.


This stretch of the A39 to Lynmouth gives great views of the sea and Exmoor. Just before Lynmouth you have a steep descend up to -25%.


This village is where the Lyn river flows into the Bristol channel. There are bars and restaurants, and there is also a peculiar cliff railway to the town of Lynton. To get away from here, you need to climb. The route taken seems the least steep option.


In Minehead is the final station of the West Somerset Railway, a tourist steam train going up to Bishops Lydeard. See http://westsomersetrailway.vticket.co.uk/index.php for more information. Also, there is a beach. At low-tide the water withdraws considerably (600-700 meters) from the sandy beach.

Porlock Toll Road

If you decide to give the Worthy Toll Road a miss (see waypoint Worthy Toll Road for more information), your alternative climb of Porlock Hill starts here. It is also a toll road, but with more agreeable paving and gradient.

Porlock Weir

There is a stone beach and a little harbour here.

Worthy Toll Road

The gate and bottom access to the Worthy Toll Road is here. The costs are about 2 pounds. There was nobody there when I arrived, and you can deposit your money in a box. There is no gate at the top of the road. I saw mentioned later in this reference (http://egg-goes-healthy.blogspot.nl/2014/03/exmoor-training-camp-part-2-to-porlock.html) that bicycles are not allowed on the road, although I did not notice this at the time, and I do not know what is the case right now (no website). I did not have problems climbing the road on a bicycle, although the first stretch in the woods of a bit more than 1 km was quite steep (14% on average) and the pavement there not too good (but your velocity is so low that the holes are not much of an extra inconvenience). The views are beautiful once you get out of the forest. If you arrive to this gate and the road would be closed to bicycles, or if you decide in advance to give this toll road a miss, you can better climb Porlock hill via the new Porlock Toll Road (see waypoint), which also ends up on the A39. The A39 climb of Porlock Hill is also an alternative (although quite steep at 25%).


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