The Racing Collective

Great Britain Off Road Part 1: South West — GB Divide

Louise

Great Britain Off Road Part 1: South West — GB Divide

Mountain Biking Collection by The Racing Collective

5-11

days

3-6 h

/ day

267 mi

18,850 ft

18,725 ft

This is Land’s End to John O’Groats with a difference. Forget going direct and forget sticking to 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.

While the total route covers around 1,242 miles (2,000 km), here we’ve split the task into four Collections, with this South West stage being the first. Within it there are four stages of around 65 miles (105km), which take in the beautiful national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty, including Exmoor, the Quantocks, the Mendips, and many hidden gems in between.

The route is raced annually as ‘GBDURO’, an enduro style endurance race comprised of four stages spanning the entire length. For more about GBDURO, visit theracingcollective.com/gbduro. Both the route and the race were founded and are now run by The Racing Collective.

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.

This first segment of the GB Divide route is a great way to start the challenge as you are never too far from towns and villages should you need resupply or other assistance, much unlike the latter stages in more remote Scotland. There are also lots of places to choose to stay, whether that’s campsites, guesthouses, hotels or hostels.

The start and finish of these four stages are easily accessible by train, with the nearest train station in Penzance, a short ten mile (16km) cycle from Land’s End, and with a train station in Chepstow where you finish. There are also a good number of train stations along the route if you’d like to split this into smaller rides.

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!

Head to parts 2 to 4 here:

komoot.com/collection/919709/great-britain-off-road-part-2-wales-gb-divide
komoot.com/collection/919711/great-britain-off-road-part-3-north-england-gb-divide
komoot.com/collection/919713/great-britain-off-road-part-4-scotland-gb-divide

Read more about the GB Divide route here: gbdivide.net

On The Map

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors
    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 …

  • 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 …

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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 …

  • 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 …

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    4
  • Distance
    267 mi
  • Duration
    33:21 h
  • Elevation
    18,850 ft18,725 ft

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The Racing Collective

Great Britain Off Road Part 1: South West — GB Divide