Windmill Cycle Club Special Event

Windmillers 'atop Dunkery Beacon

Exmoor and The Quantocks

Organiser: Andy Ross

Date: 4th to 6th May, 2019

Location: Exford - Ride HQ - Exford Hostel - See Accommodation details below for address.

Following the really successful reccy a few of us did last year, we will return to Exmoor & The Quantocks for a group WCC event in early May.

For those who haven't been mountain biking there before you are in for a real treat - wonderful scenery, pretty villages, and such variety of top top trails. Each day offers strikingly different scenery, from coastal cliff paths, dense forests, traversing high moorland and everything in between. And trail wise there are the most stunning single track or rocky descents, got to be some of the best XC riding you can find anywhere. Oh but the up's are BIG - just like with Yorkshire last year, there will be challenge a plenty given all the undulations, with a high point over 500m, so a like for climbs is a plus!

Ride Details:

Saturday 4th May 2019

Leave Hitchin around 7am, arriving in Exford by 11am. Note we will be riding at 12pm sharp!

Assume you won’t be able to get into your rooms at that time, so best to travel in cycle gear or change in the toilets.

Long Route: 28 miles & 1400m ascent. Ride starts with a climb to Dunkery Beacon (our high point of the weekend at 519m), then a most wonderful rocky descent kicks off a really nice loop.

Bring sandwiches for lunch, if needed there’s a shop you can purchase food in Exford.

Saturday Long Route Hill Profile

Alternative medium route of 19 miles & 930m ascent

Dinner – table booked for 8pm at Crown Hotel.

Sunday 5th May 2019

The BIG one - a full day in the saddle with two great route options.

Breakfast at White Horse Inn

Set off on our full day ride - 34 miles & 1430m ascent. Another day where a really ace descent (this time wiggly wooded single track) follows the initial climb out of Exford, then lots more good trails.

Lunch – make sure you have picked up sandwiches (e.g. from the shop), we’ll have a picnic stop somewhere scenic.

Sunday Long Route Hill Profile

Alternative Medium Route is 30 miles & 1200m ascent

Dinner – table booked for 7.30pm at White Horse Inn restaurant. Menu choices made on the night.

Monday 6th May 2019

Breakfast at White Horse Inn

Pack up and drive 40 mins eastwards to Staple Plain Car Park, West Quantoxhead, TA4 4EB. Plenty of free parking in this National Trust car park.

25 miles & 1100m ascent. The Quantocks is packed full of excellent descents and tough climbs, plus some easy cruising on top.

Lunch – Combe House Hotel (lovely garden to have nice burgers, chicken etc)

Monday Long Route Hill Profile

Plotaroute Link to - Monday Long Route - Part ONE

Alternative medium route of 16 miles & 780m ascent

Plotaroute Link to - Monday Medium Route - 16 miles with a 780m ascent

Accommodation Details

When researching for accommodation options there was a real struggle to find any places big enough for a group in Exmoor. I have secured the one option, an ex Youth Hostel, where I have pre-booked their 3 private en-suite rooms. It's definitely going to be in the 'cheap and cheerful' category, with mostly bunk beds and between 4 and 6 in each room. We have space for up to 15 people in those rooms, and if needed there will likely be further capacity in the rest of hostel or Exford's B&B's. The hostel is now owned by the pub next door, which offers breakfasts for hostel stayers, and there is a lounge, secure bike storage etc. Plus Exford has multiple places to eat out or buy provisions.

Exford Hostel, Exe Mead, Exford, Somerset TA24 7PU
Telephone: 01643 831 229

NOTE: BRING towels and shower gel if staying in the hostel, these are not supplied (bed linen is provided)

Link to - The Exford Hostel website

Additional Useful Info:


Service your bike, or at a minimum check that it has newish brake pads and the gears are fine. Fingers crossed for balmy sunshine, or at least not pouring rain – this trip will anyway go ahead regardless. Just check the weather forecast before heading off, and adjust your clothes accordingly
Try to get as many cycle miles in as you can, pre-trip.
Bring some warmer clothes, and a spare layer/rain jacket to carry on the ride. Weather can quickly change there, and don't underestimate the potential for a cold wind on top of the hills. Given a lot of the riding is fairly remote, make sure you ride with enough water and snacks.

What to bring

For the Hostel
Please bring towels and shower gel if staying in the hostel, these are not supplied (bed linen is provided)
Must have spare bits for your bike:
Rear mech hanger (this tends to be unique to your bike, and can easily be damaged by a rock); chain link (hard to fix a broken chain without it); inner tubes; pump; if running tubeless tyre patch/stans fluid/CO2 inflator & cartridges.
Nice to have spare bits:
Extra set of brake pads, spare gear cable; oil lube; cycle energy gels are great for tired legs on long rides. They really can make the difference between finishing a ride or crashing out. Always have some spare with you. It would be good if someone can volunteer to bring first aid basics. Great if someone can bring a post ride tipple (John's toffee vodka went down a treat last time)

We've built up a great list of essential equipment through trial, error and experience out on the trails. Click here to visit out Essential Equipment page.