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Mountain Bike Guide Dorset

(Guide book with 33 classic routes)

Dorset mountain bike routes guide

Value: With 33 routes the price is equivalent of about 28p per route!

See map of locations below, click on the markers for info.

Dorset includes a wonderful network of bridleways, old drove roads and other mountain biking rights of way. With 50% of Dorset also being in an area of outstanding there is a great choice of good riding on fantastic location.

This guide contains a big 33 routes of the best riding the county has to offer - all well researched, with photos, amenities, services and bike shops.

The variety in route difficulty will suit all levels of riding.

Happy riding!

ISBN 9780948153877.
Published 2007
Ernest Press
Author: Colin Dennis
168 Pages, Book Size: A5

The Mountain Bike Routes in the Dorset Mountain Bike Guide

Click on a marker for route information. The markers mark the approximate recommended starting points for each route as indicated in the book.




dorset mtb route photo 1Route 1. Compton Abbas, Ashmore & Melbury Hill

Grade: Moderate. Distance: 25km

Steep rolling countryside with good open tracks and grassy hills. The route starts and finishes at the top of one of the highest hills in Dorset – bonus points for making it non stop to the top!

Route 2. Hod & Hambleton Hills

Grade: Hard. Distance: 14km

A classic ride, with grand views, which can be ridden in either direction. Steep chalk uplands, good all weather trails and grassy hillsides linked by narrow lanes and top singletrack. This is one for the serious climbers.

Route 3. Blandford Forest

Grade: Hard. Distance: 37km

Big Hills, long climbs, fast rolling trails and steep descents; this route has it all! Dorset chalk uplands at their best.

Route 4. Bulbarrow Hill & the Winterbourne Valley

Grade: Hard. Distance: 23km

A classic route on chalk upland with good open tracks and bridleways linked by long challenging climbs, to some of the most scenic viewpoints in North Dorset, and steep fun descents.

Route 5. Mind the Gap!

Grade: Easy. Distance: 10km

A short route for riders of all abilities on good all weather tracks and grassy bridleways exploring the tranquil Dorsetshire Gap.

Route 6. Shroton & Smugglers Lane

Grade: Moderate. Distance: 19.5km

Chalk upland & rolling countryside linked by all weather trails and some excellent fast, long singletrack. Ride it all year round!

dorset mtb route photo 2Route 7. Upper Piddle Valley Tour

Grade: Hard. Distance: 36km

All the ingredients for a memorable day’s riding; classic chalk uplands and rolling hills linked with all weather drove roads, grassy plateaus and sweeping singletrack. All surrounded by incredible views.

Route 8. Cerne Abbas

Grade: Hard. Distance: 29km

This is a toughie! Gruelling grassy climbs and rocky tracks are rewarded with a 2km stretch of excellent singletrack along East Hill and some great, sweeping, downhill descents.



Route 9. Tarrant Rushton

Grade: Easy. Distance: 16km

Country lanes, drove roads and farm tracks link this short but eventful route over gentle rolling chalklands; with some commanding views of the Dorset countryside.


Route 10. Badbury Rings & Kingston Lacy

Grade: Easy. Distance: 16km

A joy to ride! Long gentle climbs through picturesque, rolling countryside, some sweet singletrack sections as well as drove roads, country lanes and doubletrack trails making this an ideal all weather ride.

Route 11. Cranborne & Pistledown

Grade: Moderate. Distance: 13.75km

A short, increasingly challenging route with all weather tracks through rolling countryside and gravel based plantations linked by country lanes. The 3km woodland trail back to Cranborne is a real delight!

dorset mtb route photo 3Route 12. Cranborne Chase

Route Grade: medium . Distance 24km

A steep grassy climb up to to the South Downs Way and time for some great views. Up and down through woodland & farmland and back to the start.

Route 13. Gussage All Saints & Ackling Dyke

Grade: Easy. Distance: 8km

A short but interesting route rideable in all weathers. Gentle rolling chalk upland with hard packed stony trails, soft woodland trails and fast rolling farm access tracks. Ideal for beginners.

Route 14. Horton Tower & Holt Heath

Route Grade: medium. Distance 21km

Plenty of fun and technical riding sections for all abilities across sandy heathland and rolling countryside. The singletrack BOAT at the beginning of the ride is a real joy!

Route 15. Cranborne Chase West

Grade: Moderate. Distance: 19km

From the top of Bignor Hill you join Stane Street, an old Roman road that used to link London with Chichester. This is followed by several kilometres through pasture and woodland. And there is a jewel of descent down to Slindon.



Route 16. Wareham Forest

Grade: Easy.  Distance: 26km

A ride of two halves; following well drained all weather tracks through Wareham Forest, loose sand and gravel can provide some exciting moments. Along the valley floor the wooded singletrack south of the River Piddle is a real joy.

Route 17. Lower Piddle Valley

Grade: Moderate.  Distance: 20km

An excellent route for riders of all abilities on sandy, gravely tracks. Interesting challenges include a choice of stream crossings near Throop and the hill climb up to Blackhill Heath.

dorset mtb route photo 4Route 18. Bere Regis

Grade: Moderate.  Distance: 23km

An excuse to link up two excellent long sections of singletrack including Bere Wood where sand and gravel tracks give excellent all weather riding.

Route 19. Puddletown Forest & Hardy’s Cottage

Grade: Easy.  Distance: 13km

Excellent forest trails on chalk and sand bridleways can be ridden in either direction and in all weathers.

Route 20. Isle of Purbeck: Godlingston Hill & Old Harry Rocks

Grade: Moderate  Distance: 30km

Large chalk ridges and cliffs, stunning scenery and all weather trails combine to create perfect all weather riding. Once is never enough!

Route 21. Isle of Purbeck, Corfe Castle & Swyre Head

Grade: Moderate  Distance: 19.5km

Dramatic scenery and challenging trails include technical rocky climbs and descents, exposed cliff tops and sweeping singletrack . This one’s got it all and can be ridden in either direction too.

Route 22. Chaldon Down

Grade: Moderate  Distance: 22.5km

A wonderful quieter, open ride on excellent all weather trails following chalk ridges and cliff tops with some dramatic scenery and a few little surprises along the way.

Route 23. Portesham & Hardy’s Monument

Grade: Moderate/Hard  Distance: 21km

A gentle start followed by a climb to test your fitness and determination to the exposed coastal trails above Abbotsbury. Good all weather tracks on rolling countryside, topped off with long stretches of woodland singletrack.

Route 24. Maiden Castle

Grade: Moderate  Distance: 16km

Good all weather tracks and grassy fields linked by a superb long stretch of enjoyable singletrack . The views along the south coast from Hardy’s monument are definitely worth the extra climb.

West Dorset Mountain Bike Routes


dorset mtb route photo 5Route 25. Charminster Down

Grade: Moderate/Hard.  Distance: 27.5km

An excellent waymarked trail along the picturesque River Frome followed by challenging climbs and classic chalk upland singletrack trails. The perfect all weather route.

Route 26. Melbury Osmond

Grade: Moderate/Hard.  Distance: 22.5km

A mini adventure, to satisfy every type of rider, including a long technical descent, interesting woodland sections and a spooky sunken lane.

Route 27. Hooke Park & Eggardon Hill

Grade: Hard.  Distance: 28km

Rolling chalk uplands linked by steep valleys, forest tracks and excellent all weather technical trails.

Route 28. Eggardon Hill

Grade: Hard  Distance: 32.5km

A tough and challenging route; starting at sea level, on up to steep chalk uplands and valleys. Rolling coastal countryside linked by an excellent mix of all weather singletrack trails, bridleway and country lanes.

Route 29. Beaminster & the West

Grade: Moderate/Hard.  Distance: 20km

Steep rolling countryside linked by deep valleys and long technical climbs and descents. The climb out of Beaminster turns into possibly one of the best descents in Dorset.

Route 30. Beaminster & the East

Grade: Moderate/Hard.  Distance: 20km

Steep rolling countryside linked by deep valleys with long technical climbs and descents. Link with Beaminster West if you want a real challenge!

Route 31. Hell Lane

Grade: Moderate.  Distance: 26km

A challenging route across rolling countryside with a clay base provides excellent technical climbs and descents, especially when wet. Sweeping singletrack, grassy bridleways and country lanes - just to give your tyres a rest!

Route 32. Jurassic Coast Ride

Grade: Moderate/Hard.  Distance: 32km

Excellent all weather surfaces in one of the few areas within the UK where you can legally ride near the coastline. Stunning coastal scenery and a variety of trails inland combine to make a scenic and interesting ride.

Route 33. Tour of Wooton Hill

Grade: Hard. Distance: 25km

This mini adventure is hard going. Steep hills and valleys; offering difficult technical riding at a slow pace but well linked by excellent all weather tracks and farm access roads. Start at sea level for a guaranteed downhill finish!


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