The Quantocks

9 05 2007

Rick dropping in Hodders CoomeEarly May Bank Holiday, there I was with a new bike begging to be ridden so we’re off for a weekend of fun at The Quantocks, Somerset.

Not been there before, then you should. This little collection of hills (running off a spiney ridge) isn’t very big, but what it has hiding in them is mile after mile of fantastically varied trails that are a mountainbiker’s dream if you love trails that are all natural & free !

We camped at Moorhouse Farm nestling in Holford which is a one pub, no shop village but it’s only a 2 min cycle away from the start of the trails.

Round here a typical ride would consist of a really steep climb up a ‘coombe’ (i.e valley), these are usually wooded, littered with water splashes and many different lines of beautiful singletrack (rooty & loose / rocky) and more often than not there’s more than one way up which certainly makes navigation interesting ! (I can recall more than one marital row in days gone by lol).

Once out of the tree line it clears into heathland with wild ponies and sheep running around and can be exposed even on a sunny day, but with fantastic views over the Bristol Channel to south wales (you could combine a trip to Cwm Carn & Afan quite easily in a long weekend) who’s complaining.

The Ridge you inevitably use over and over on rides links you to the many Coombs as you dip up and down on your ride. You will need strong legs to ride here I reckon to do a 15 mile loop with 4 Coombes is a challenging ride physically but definitely worth it. Now there’s a challenge -)

We have now been 3 or 4 times and always find new trails to ride so have yet to get bored, but to add interest there is loads of riding on Exmoor just down the road and we usually do one day there just for a change of scenery. If you are the adventurous sort get yourself an OS map and see where it takes you, don’t be deceived by the trails on the ground there’s masses more in reality, especially if you take a trip to Great Wood and start exploring. Or you can buy a book / CD book from Vertebrate Graphics (www.v-graphics.co.uk).

Unfortunately, this trip for us was marred by my new bike failing miserably so our last day was a rest day with a trip to Stella’s Tea Room (highly recommended) at the bottom of Hodders Coombe and a WALK. You should have seen Rick’s face he hates walking, far too slow !

Hey ho, can’t have everything I suppose but we did still enjoy the area and will be back yet again I am sure. Check out these pics, hopefully they do the place a bit of justice.

Cheers, Lisa

Pics: http://photos-by-lisa.photosnaps.org.uk/c1280116.html

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