Hunting Out Quantock Gold

Oct 1, 2018
by TrailUnknown  


LET'S START WITH SOME JUICY FACTS
The Quantock Hills were the UK's first designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and offer mountain bikers a magnificent variety of terrain to ride, from scenic tracks up high on the heath to flowing downhills in the deep forests of the combes. The Quantocks are located one hour south from Bristol and one hour north from Exeter, forming the western border of the Somerset Levels.






A HISTORY OF WONDER AND INSPIRATION
The Quantock Hills have been home to the famous works of S.T. Coleridge, Williams Wordsworth, Shelley and Edward Thomas. The poets became famous for attempting to capture and share the magic in these hills through their art. Which must have been a frustrating job, because like we all know when trying to describe the flow of a mountain bike trail, words will never be enough. You gotta feel it.




HIGH ON THE HEATH
From the top of the hills on a clear day, you can see across the Bristol Channel as far as the Gower Peninsula in Wales to the north, the Mendip Hills to the east, the Blackdown Hills to the south, and the Brendon Hills and Exmoor to the West. The bridleway running 20km along the top of the hills is a beautiful ride for a cyclist of any experience and makes the Quantocks a perfect location for sharing your love of mountain biking with family and friends. The leafy bridleway connects up all the combes and car parks, ideal for easy navigation.



GETTING YOUR FLOW ON
If you're thinking 'I'm a gnarly flow dog, show me the naughty stuff', then the Quantocks can provide you with everything you need. Hidden in the magical combes is the flow dreams are made of. You can ride to the soundtrack of trickling streams, surrounded by ancient woodlands. You begin to understand where the likes of Wordsworth got his power from - it may or may not be worth packing a quill in your ride bag. Check out the likes of Triscombe, Bin Combe, Frog Combe, Holford Combe and Smith's Combe.




REST STOPS
There are ample places full of character to stop and eat, including the Carew Arms in Crowcombe (which is the only pub we've ever been into with a homemade bowling alley) and the Combe House hotel. However, our personal favourite is to visit Kate and Mike's beautiful garden cafe straight off the end of the trail at Holford Combe. They serve tea, cakes and meals prepared fresh from their garden if notified in advance.




To read more about the Quantocks and Trail Unknown's other adventures head here . Thanks to Aussie Grit Apparel for supporting this article and to Mid Nowehere Productions for the marvellous camera skills.


..and thanks to this cow for being such a badass.




23 Comments

  • + 5
 Wow nice to see my local hills on hear. The place is a hidden gem and has something for everyone.
DH in Triscombe and XC And endure trails are spread all over the hills. You can easily (if your legs allow) rack up 40+ miles in a single day and never stray to far from your parked car.
  • + 2
 Your very lucky to have these trails local to you, there was so much good riding. I loved it and would love to go back again and take more photos and ride more trails.
  • + 5
 Spectacular place, lots of walkers sometimes though so stick the sensible one in front on the "combe" descents :-)
Thanks for the article.
  • + 2
 Loved the combe descents.
  • + 1
 Walkers and horse riders, and the horses are easily startled. I found it best to just stop completely when I saw them and let them decide how best to pass.
  • + 1
 They used to me my local hillls in the late ‘80’s early ‘90’s when we used to ride there on our rigid Cannondales and the like. I moved away some years ago, but I met an old friend there this spring and we did all the old trails again, it all came flooding back and nothing had changed in those 25+ years.
Will be going by back again as soon as I can. It’s magical in there.
  • + 3
 FYI fellow locals:

Quantock Trail Riders Group : www.facebook.com/groups/231012140901430
  • + 3
 In addition...

Triscombe Riders Collective: www.facebook.com/groups/286624584779086
Smile
  • + 3
 FYI, there is plenty of steep technical stuff not shown here.
  • + 1
 Loads of other stuff there we didn't get any photos of. There was so much could have spent forever.
  • + 3
 Just the Chimney descent will shit most people up a little bit! So narrow...
  • + 2
 Sssssssh!
  • + 2
 Ssshhh don't tell everyone
  • + 1
 Got lost on there trying to find trails on one of the hottest days the UK had ever seen. Need to go back and try again.
  • + 1
 So many trails there, need to go back and ride some more of them.
  • + 1
 For anyone interested here is a behind the scenes of this photoshoot we did. youtu.be/Og_HwH-Fs64
  • + 1
 Has no one ever told you to NEVER use your finger to point out locations on a map. A blade of grass is far more accurate.
  • + 1
 Sounds like you are talking from experience! Personally, I've not had the problem... I'm never left in charge of the map though! haha!
  • + 5
 They're out for a day on the bikes..... not the Duke of Edinburgh award
  • + 1
 Down there next weekend for 3 days of riding.
  • + 1
 Always a good day out on the Quantocks.
  • + 1
 Was amazing! I need to go back.

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