Stage 2: Cerne Abbas to Warminster — Wessex Ridgeway
Bike Touring Highlight
Road Cycling Highlight
Mountain Biking Highlight (Segment)
Katherine Moore planned a mountain bike ride.
June 18, 2020
Another very hilly stage, you’ll cross from Dorset into Wiltshire on the second stage with many opportunities to take in marvellous landscape views as you climb along the chalk hilltops of the Wessex Ridgeway.
Starting from Cerne Abbas, the route takes you to the north-east to start, climbing steeply from Up Cerne and passing through the Dorsetshire Gap, a pass in the chalk ridge thought to be part of ancient trading routes.
There’s a long descent to cross Stoke Lane, before a sharper climb up the other side up Bulbarrow Hill on an off-road trail. This is the second highest hill in Dorset, giving you a different, but equally remarkable, vista from yesterday’s summit.
You’ll stay up high on this ridge for a while, taking the gravel road to the summit of Shillingstone Hill next. There’s a very steep descent here down to the edge of the village, before, you guessed it, heading up the other side. Up the side of Hambledon Hill is so steep that you might need to push your bike up the trail, with gradients topping out at 17%!
Continue north-west on a series of undulating tracks, dirt roads and lanes to Tollard Royal, part of Cranborne Chase and a former royal hunting ground. Take the Ox Drove dirt road past Win Green, the highest point on the Chase, and then north-west to Ludwell, not far from Shaftesbury.
Follow lanes and tracks north to Hindon, still undulating but not reaching the same elevation as the first half of the stage. Your last high point will be on the gravel roads along the Great Ridge through the forest, before dropping down to Tytherington to follow lanes into Warminster.
Find options for accommodation and a much-needed meal in Warminster, a pretty market town in Wiltshire on the edge of the Imber Range.
June 19, 2020