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GBDURO — Great Britain end to end off-road on the GB Divide

The Racing Collective

GBDURO — Great Britain end to end off-road on the GB Divide

Bike Touring Collection by The Racing Collective

23-53

days

3-6 h

/ day

1,226 mi

87,725 ft

87,825 ft

This is Land’s End to John O’Groats with a difference. Forget going direct, and forget sticking to just tarmac; the GB Divide traces a route through England, Wales and Scotland to deliver the very best off road riding that Great Britain has to offer, from techy singletrack, wide gravel roads, mucky byways, quiet rural lanes and everything in between.

The route is raced annually as ‘GBDURO’, an enduro style endurance race composed of four stages spanning the entire length. Both the route, named the GB Divide, and the race were founded and are now run by The Racing Collective. Check out the full route here: komoot.com/tour/440862674

The ideal bike choice for riding the GB Divide is a tough one. While there are many paved lane sections that would favour a faster drop bar gravel bike, there are also some tricky, more technical parts that would favour a rigid or even hardtail mountain bike. In some parts you will have no other option but to walk, especially when you take bikepacking luggage into consideration.

The start is easily accessible by train, with the nearest train station in Penzance, a short ten mile (16km) cycle from Land’s End. At John O’Groats, the closest train stations are Wick (16 miles or 26km) or Thurso (19 miles or 31km).

So if you think you’re ready to take on the length of Great Britain along this spectacular meandering route, the GB Divide is for you. Good luck!

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GB Divide / GBDURO official route

1,223 mi

87,600 ft

87,725 ft

Last updated: December 14, 2021

Plan your own version of this adventure in the multi-day planner based on the stages suggested in this Collection.

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

    Stage 1: Land's End to Roche — GB Divide

    Difficult
    08:00
    61.9 mi
    7.7 mph
    4,475 ft
    4,025 ft
    Expert gravel ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    Land's End marks the start of the GB Divide, setting off from the most southerly point of the route and the most south-westerly tip of the United Kingdom.

    

    These first four stages take you through the glorious south west, covering Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and into Wales. This very first takes you to Roche

    by The Racing Collective

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  • Difficult
    08:41
    74.7 mi
    8.6 mph
    4,625 ft
    5,100 ft
    Expert gravel ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The second stage on the GB Divide is a little longer, which will take you through East Cornwall and into glorious Devon. You’ll join the Camel Trail, a traffic free cycle route, just outside of Bodmin at Boscarne Junction – if you’re lucky, you might see a steam train!

    

    Follow the River Camel north west

    by The Racing Collective

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  • Difficult
    08:40
    63.2 mi
    7.3 mph
    5,975 ft
    6,050 ft
    Expert gravel ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    On the third stage you’ll cross from North Devon into Somerset, via the highest point in the county, Dunkery Beacon. Totalling around 63 miles (102 km), this ride affords some of the best views in the south west, reaching as far as the Mendips, South Wales coastline and over Exmoor National Park.

    

    Head

    by The Racing Collective

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  • Difficult
    08:00
    67.1 mi
    8.4 mph
    3,800 ft
    3,550 ft
    Expert gravel ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    The fourth stage of the GB Divide trail will take you from Bridgewater in Somerset to Chepstow in Monmouthshire, South Wales. You’ll skirt around the city of Bristol, too, over the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge and a much larger bridge across the Severn into Wales.

    

    Head east out of Bridgewater and

    by The Racing Collective

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  • Difficult
    07:31
    55.2 mi
    7.3 mph
    5,125 ft
    4,725 ft
    Expert gravel ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    The first stage GB Divide through Wales is a truly memorable one; taking you from Chepstow on the Severn Estuary across the heart of the Brecon Beacons National Park. You might find that this is one of the few days you wish you were on a mountain bike! There's some potential hike-a-bike on The Gap, so

    by The Racing Collective

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  • Difficult
    09:06
    62.5 mi
    6.9 mph
    5,675 ft
    5,775 ft
    Expert gravel ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Stage six covers around 62 miles (100 km) from the northern edge of the Brecon Beacons at Libanus through the spectacular, but lesser known Cambrian Mountains.

    

    You’ll warm up very quickly with a sharp rise out of the village, over the moorland doubletrack and down the other side, crossing the River Usk

    by The Racing Collective

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  • Difficult
    08:53
    61.6 mi
    6.9 mph
    6,350 ft
    6,050 ft
    Expert gravel ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This slightly shorter stage leaves the Cambrian Mountains behind to head north to Lake Vyrnwy, Powys. Today’s highlight is certainly the trail alongside Nant-y-Moch reservoir, and the fearsome Bwlch y Groes road climb, also known as Hellfire Pass.

    

    Start off heading north on the sweeping road, before peeling

    by The Racing Collective

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  • Difficult
    07:41
    53.9 mi
    7.0 mph
    5,875 ft
    6,475 ft
    Expert gravel ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The final stage in Wales is a little shorter, taking you from the border of Snowdonia National Park east towards the English border, via some of North Wales’ most spectacular trails.

    

    Start the stage with a climb from the head of the lake up onto Foel Cedig on singletrack, enjoying the brilliant off road

    by The Racing Collective

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  • Difficult
    07:31
    71.5 mi
    9.5 mph
    2,275 ft
    2,275 ft
    Expert gravel ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    Here you start the third major leg of the GB Divide, from a small town on the Welsh/English border, to span the spectacular north of England, finishing at the Scottish Borderlands. Leave Cefn-y-Bedd heading north east, into the sprawling industry and urban landscape that will be quite some contrast to

    by The Racing Collective

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  • Difficult
    08:30
    60.5 mi
    7.1 mph
    5,825 ft
    5,325 ft
    Expert gravel ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    After yesterday’s flat introduction to the North, things start to get a bit more hilly today, a lot more! You’ll ride from Bury through Lancashire and into the southern Yorkshire Dales.

    

    Start with a warming climb heading north past Ashworth Moor Reservoir and summit on Hail Storm Hill. It’s a short and

    by The Racing Collective

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  • Difficult
    07:49
    61.2 mi
    7.8 mph
    4,750 ft
    4,575 ft
    Expert gravel ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    There may be a good proportion of road on this 11th stage, but don’t be fooled, there’s some serious climbing, including the famous Great Dun Fell road just one of the climbs on the menu for the day.

    

    Start by following the River Ribble upstream heading north gently climbing along lanes and doubletrack

    by The Racing Collective

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  • Difficult
    08:36
    62.6 mi
    7.3 mph
    4,225 ft
    4,550 ft
    Expert gravel ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The last stage of the GB Divide in the north of England, this leg takes you past the border of Scotland via the stunning and remote Kielder Forest Park, home to the Dirty Reiver gravel race. Enjoy some prime northumberland forestry gravel along the way.

    

    You start by following National Cycle Route 68 to

    by The Racing Collective

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  • Difficult
    07:06
    49.4 mi
    7.0 mph
    4,575 ft
    4,450 ft
    Expert gravel ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The first complete leg of the GB Divide in Scotland is a ride north west from Burnfoot to Broughton, passing over the forest from Teviotdale towards St Mary’s Loch.

    

    After a fast road section, start the gravel climb and cut through onto the Captain’s Way, following the wide gravel roads as you climb back

    by The Racing Collective

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  • Difficult
    06:20
    56.6 mi
    8.9 mph
    2,525 ft
    3,150 ft
    Expert gravel ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    Stage 14 takes you around the edge of Edinburgh to Stirling. The section starts with a road leg through Biggar and then onto smaller lanes past Auchengray before crossing on forestry gravel roads into West Lothian.

    

    Cross the main road and climb Leven Seat on the gravel tracks. From here, you’ll be gently

    by The Racing Collective

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  • Difficult
    08:27
    69.4 mi
    8.2 mph
    4,575 ft
    3,900 ft
    Expert gravel ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The third stage of your Scotland crossing poses three climbs in total, starting with one gentle introduction before the Ben Lawers Dam climb and then up and over Meall a' Mhuic.

    

    Head north west out of Stirling through the Bridge of Allan on roads, following the River Teith through Doune. Join National

    by The Racing Collective

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  • Difficult
    09:11
    58.9 mi
    6.4 mph
    4,475 ft
    5,100 ft
    Expert gravel ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    The 16th stage of the GB Divide is a challenging one, with the feared Corrieyairack Pass to tackle. However, you have the outdoors lover’s gem of Fort Augustus as your end point today. Book ahead into a youth hostel, guesthouse or hotel to make sure you can be well fed, washed and housed after a mega

    by The Racing Collective

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  • Difficult
    07:58
    53.1 mi
    6.7 mph
    4,500 ft
    4,500 ft
    Expert gravel ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    After a luxurious night’s stay in the town of Fort Augustus, there's another long day coming up, with three major climbs on the menu for this stage.

    

    Leave the comfort behind as you head north west from Loch Ness over to the A887 in the next valley, climbing over the first peak of the day on doubletrack

    by The Racing Collective

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  • Difficult
    07:18
    46.4 mi
    6.3 mph
    2,625 ft
    2,600 ft
    Expert gravel ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    You head to the relative luxury of Oykel Bridge on this stage, starting with a resupply point at Contin Stores.

    

    You start from Contin, where there is a village shop. The Garve-Strathpeffer Track runs on the opposite side of the water to the main road, and you’ll follow this past Loch na Croic, and Loch

    by The Racing Collective

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  • Difficult
    07:35
    65.1 mi
    8.6 mph
    3,300 ft
    2,875 ft
    Expert gravel ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    It’s the penultimate stage today - phew! You’ll be riding a mighty 65 miles (105km), with the Power Station Climb in the middle, so make sure you leave plenty of time.

    

    Start on the road to Rosehall to cross Cassley Bridge, following the road alongside the river to the start of the Power Station Climb

    by The Racing Collective

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  • Difficult
    07:52
    71.5 mi
    9.1 mph
    2,225 ft
    2,750 ft
    Expert gravel ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This is it! The final stage of the mighty GB Divide takes you all the way to John O’Groats on a superb 71-mile (115km) ride. Start early to make good time and you’ll be rewarded with a champion’s finish.

    

    Start by heading south east to Kinbrace along the road, taking the main road north into Forsinard

    by The Racing Collective

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Questions and Comments

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    20
  • Distance
    1,226 mi
  • Duration
    160:44 h
  • Elevation
    87,725 ft87,825 ft

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