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Trail treasure in Exmoor’s hills — The Braunton 150

Oli Culcheth

Trail treasure in Exmoor’s hills — The Braunton 150

Mountain Biking Collection by Katherine Moore

4-7

days

3-5 h

/ day

150 mi

17,900 ft

17,925 ft

Welcome to the Braunton 150, a 150 mile (241 km) mountain biking route taking in Exmoor National Park and the coastlines of North Devon and Somerset. Exmoor is more lush, green and hospitable than nearby Dartmoor, and with stunning coastlines and deep, steep river valleys it makes the perfect spot for a bikepacking challenge!

The Braunton 150 was created as an Individual Time Trial, a type of race against the clock where you can set off at any time and have your total time recorded against others who’ve also done the whole route. Here we propose five stages which you can take at any pace you like - whether that’s five days or under 20 hours… gulp! One word of warning; don’t underestimate the hills of Exmoor.

In addition to the lush green hills, rocky doubletracks, quiet woodlands and fresh rivers, Exmoor hosts many quaint villages that thrive in the summer months on tourism, so you’ll find plenty of tearooms and shops en route to quench your thirst and hunger! Make sure you have an afternoon cream tea whilst you’re here.

The best bike choice for the route would be a rigid or hardtail mountain bike, due to the steep climbs and descents - you’ll need all the gears you can get! You’ll also be just fine on a gravel bike, but be aware that you may need to walk some of the steeper segments.

In terms of getting to the start of the Braunton 150, the closest train station is in Barnstaple, a 6 mile (10 km) ride away. If you are driving to Braunton, you’ll be able to leave your vehicle there as it’s a circular route, to return to is some day’s time! If you’re travelling from mainland Europe, you can take the Eurostar train to London and change for Barnstaple, or take a ferry from a number of ports in Northern France to the South coast of the UK, where you can find local train stations.

For the full official Tour, visit: komoot.com/tour/542254298

On The Map

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors
    Difficult
    04:28
    31.2 mi
    7.0 mph
    3,850 ft
    2,850 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Very good fitness required. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The first stage of the Braunton 150 heads directly to Exmoor National Park from the start in Braunton. You might have taken the train to nearby Barnstaple, or have left a vehicle in the town itself as this is a circular route - either way you have another 31 miles (50km) ahead of you today to climb up to the …

  • Difficult
    04:31
    30.5 mi
    6.7 mph
    2,975 ft
    3,625 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Very good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    After a good night’s rest, start your second day heading South East into the rural heart of Exmoor National Park, where you visit the historic Tarr Steps, and climb to the highest point on your trip, and in fact in Somerset; Dunkery Beacon. Hope for a clear day today and you’ll be rewarded a thousand times over for the effort …

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  • Difficult
    03:36
    23.1 mi
    6.4 mph
    3,250 ft
    3,500 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Very good fitness required. Suitable for all skill levels.

    You’ll enjoy a shorter ride on the third stage, this time of only 23 miles (37km), but don’t let that fool you; the Exmoor hills are just as tough today! You’re heading to the North Somerset coastline, concluding the day in pretty Porlock after much wiggling around.

    Start by leaving Wootton Courtenay heading up onto Wootton Common to the North …

  • Difficult
    03:21
    21.5 mi
    6.4 mph
    3,000 ft
    2,700 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Very good fitness required. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The penultimate stage covers a total of 22 miles (35km) from the coastline village of Porlock to the clifftop town on Lynton. It’s a harsh start today with a mega climb out of Porlock, ramping up with steep sections giving way to more gentle, up to a maximum of 20 per cent gradient. Rather than on the busy main road …

  • Difficult
    05:47
    43.7 mi
    7.6 mph
    4,825 ft
    5,250 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Very good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    The final day is a big one; hope you’re ready for it! You’ll ride no less than 44 miles (70km) today to cover the North Devon coastline back down to Braunton, and a very hilly one too! Start by hugging the coastline heading West, past the spectacular Valley Of The Rocks, the climb up inland to Wildner Top and then …

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    5
  • Distance
    150 mi
  • Duration
    21:43 h
  • Elevation
    17,900 ft17,925 ft

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Trail treasure in Exmoor’s hills — The Braunton 150