Challenge yourself to a climb and reap the rewards of splendid views, or take a more leisurely cycle ride through historic villages and delightful countryside.

Use the hashtag #blackdownramble to share and read about walks and rides in the Blackdown Hills.

8 Cycling routes found in the Blackdown HIlls AONB

Hemyock, Uffculme and Culmstock

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Medium Difficulty. Distance 11 miles (18 km), with an optional shorter route of 7 miles (11 km)
A leisurely ride, with a climb near the start. On your way you'll see Coldharbour Mill, a yew tree growing out of a church tower, and the beacon house on Culmstock Common. One of eight cycle routes in the Blackdown Hills AONB - Route 1

A leisurely ride, with a climb near the start. On your way you’ll see Coldharbour Mill, a yew tree growing out of a church tower, and the beacon house on Culmstock Common. One of eight cycle routes in the Blackdown Hills AONB – Route 1

Grid reference: ST 135 132

Nearest postcode: EX15 3RF

 

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Hemyock, Blackborough, Broadhembury and Sheldon

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Medium Difficulty. Distance Main route 22 miles (35.5 km); shorter routes 7 miles (11 km) or 12 miles (19 km)
A moderate to challenging 22 mile ride, with two optional shorter routes. This route takes in a 16th century village, Devon's finest prehistoric hillfort and evidence of whetstone mining. One of eight cycle routes in the Blackdown Hills AONB - Route 2

A moderate to challenging 22 mile ride, with two optional shorter routes. This route takes in a 16th century village, Devon’s finest prehistoric hillfort and evidence of whetstone mining. One of eight cycle routes in the Blackdown Hills AONB – Route 2

Look out for:

  • Broadhembury: probably the most complete 16th century village in Devon.
  • Hembury Hillfort: the finest prehistoric hillfort in Devon with massive defensive ramparts. Access via the public footpath off the A373.
  • Blackborough: whetstones used for sharpening tools were mined here in the 18th century.

Grid reference: ST137132

Nearest postcode: EX15 3RF

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Wellington, Buckland Wood and Hemyock

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Medium Difficulty. Distance 17 miles (27 km); optional easy route 4 miles (6.5km)
A circular route from Wellington town to Hemyock and back, via Buckland Wood. On bank holidays from April to August you can visit Hemyock Castle too. One of eight cycle routes in the Blackdown Hills AONB - Route 3

A circular route from Wellington town to Hemyock and back, via Buckland Wood. On bank holidays from April to August you can visit Hemyock Castle too. One of eight cycle routes in the Blackdown Hills AONB – Route 3

Grid reference: ST138205

Nearest postcode: TA21 8AQ

 

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Honiton, Luppit, and Combe Raleigh

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Hard Difficulty. Distance 11 miles (18 km)
A moderate 11-mile ride with challenging uphill and downhill sections, suitable for experienced cyclists with a good level of fitness. Visit Wolford Chapel and Combe Woods along the way. Stop off at St Mary's Church in Luppitt, to see one of the oldest fonts in Devon. One of eight cycle routes in the Blackdown Hills AONB - Route 4

A moderate 11-mile ride with challenging uphill and downhill sections, suitable for experienced cyclists with a good level of fitness. Visit Wolford Chapel and Combe Woods along the way. Stop off at St Mary’s Church in Luppitt, to see one of the oldest fonts in Devon.

One of eight cycle routes in the Blackdown Hills AONB – Route 4

Look out for:

  • Wolford Chapel, the burial place of John Graves Simcoe first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada from 1792. The Chapel and gardens are now owned by the Province of Ontario.
  • Combe Woods at Combe Raleigh.
  • St Mary’s Church at Luppitt dates from the Norman period with one of the oldest fonts in Devon.

Grid reference: ST158007

Postcode: EX14 1LX

 

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Churchinford, Upottery and Culm Valley

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Medium Difficulty. Distance 17.5 miles (optional shorter route 12 miles)
A moderate ride with some challenging uphill and downhill sections on main route. There is also an optional shorter route.  Visit Dunkesell Abbey, Otterhead Lakes and Upottery Airfield along the way. One of eight cycle routes in the Blackdown Hills AONB - Route 5

A moderate 17.5-mile ride with some challenging uphill and downhill sections on main route, or an optional shorter route of 12 miles.

Look out for:

  • Dunkeswell Abbey: take a short detour to visit the ruins of the Abbey, founded in 1201 as a Cistercian Monastery.
  • Churchinford: note the seven way crossroads!
  • Otterhead Lakes: a short detour will take you to this former Victorian estate. Now a local nature reserve with a mile of lakes, woodland, grassland and some surviving heritage features.
  • Upottery Airfield: One of three local airbases used by the Canadian and US air forces in the second world war.

Grid reference: ST213127

Nearest postcode: TA3 7QU

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Honiton, Stockland and Upottery

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Hard Difficulty. Distance Main route 20 miles, shorter route 17 miles.
A challenging 20 mile ride or an optional shorter route of 17 miles. Explore the Blackdown Hills countryside, with its iron-age hill forts. There is a railway station at Honiton, so this is a good ride if you're planning to access the Blackdown Hills by train.  One of eight cycle routes in the Blackdown Hills AONB - Route 6

A challenging 20 mile ride or an optional shorter route of 17 miles. Explore the Blackdown Hills countryside, with its iron-age hill forts. There is a railway station at Honiton, so this is a good ride if you’re planning to access the Blackdown Hills by train.  One of eight cycle routes in the Blackdown Hills AONB – Route 6

Look out for:

  • Iron-age hillforts – Stockland Great Castle, Stockland Little Castle and Dumpdon Hill
  • Honiton: famous for lace-making and antiques

Grid reference: ST160006

Nearest postcode: EX14 1LT

 

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Churchinford, Yarcombe, Stockland, Upottery

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Easy Difficulty. Distance 19 miles
A moderate ride with one challenging uphill climb and several moderate uphill sections. Along the way, you'll see a lakeside nature reserve, the seat of a former prime minister, and maybe a pot of gold! One of eight cycle routes in the Blackdown Hills AONB - Route 7

A moderate ride with one challenging uphill climb and several moderate uphill sections.

Look out for:

  • Otterhead Lakes: once a thriving Victorian estate, now a local nature reserve with a mile of lakes, woodland, grassland and some surviving heritage features.
  • Upottery: a fine example of an estate village, former seat of Henry Addington, Viscount or Sidmouth and Prime Minister 1801-04.
  • Robin Hoods Butts: Unusual tumuli with associated folklore. Robin Hood was said to have used these three barrows for target practice. Another legend is that they were formed by giants throwing clods of earth at one another. The largest mound supposedly conceals a hoard of gold, but this is unreachable as any holes dug fill up again!

Grid reference: ST213129

Nearest postcode: TA3 7QX

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Stockland, Yarcombe, Whitestaunton and Membury

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Medium Difficulty. Distance Main route 17 miles, shorter route 12.5 miles
A moderate cycle ride with challenging climbs, and some interesting buildings to see along the way. The shorter route includes an exhilarating downhill section and a steep climb. One of eight cycle routes in the Blackdown Hills AONB - Route 8

A moderate cycle ride with challenging climbs, and some interesting buildings to see along the way. The shorter route includes an exhilarating downhill section and a steep climb. One of eight cycle routes in the Blackdown Hills AONB – Route 8

Look out for:

  • Stockland: a delightful Devon village with many buildings dating from the 15th and 16th centuries.
  • Beckford Bridge: A packhorse bridge over the river Yarty dating from the 18th century.
  • Yarcombe Inn: originally built as a lodge for visiting monks from Otterton Priory.
  • Sheafhayne Manor, associated with Sir Frances Drake and his descendants.

Grid reference: ST245046

Nearest postcode: EX14 9EF

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