Tell me about… The Mendips…

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  • Tell me about… The Mendips…
  • IHN

    … as a location for the Annual Rufty Tufty Big Boys Mountain Biking, Camping, Eating Bacon Sandwiches and Going To The Pub Weekend 2014.

    Any recomendations of must-do routes (or bits of routes) and good places to base ourselves (ideally with a campsites near a good pub) gratefully received.


    Mendips are good, but can be slippery when wet (chalky bits).

    How about a little further to the quantocks? There’s a camping/glamping type place near the triscombe DH trails, never stayed there but ridden past a few times…


    Quantocks have been done in previous years, fancied somewhere new.


    Don’t know much about them Mendips, but I heard the 2014 UK capital for camping, eating bacon sandwiches and going to the pub, with some MTBing thrown in is Swanage, Dorset. (There’s more to be found there than just fatbike, single speed weirdos…..)

    Premier Icon BigDummy

    Mendips certainly has some excellent ridings, bridleways all good and plenty of stuff over Rowberrow. Also very possible to do some longer hauls going down to Cheddar. We tend to do days, so don’t know about accommodation.

    Your pubs of choice are

    – The Crown Inn, The Batch, Winscombe
    – The Swan, Rowberrow


    BigDummy, cheers. Any particular routes to do, or is it a case of taking your pick from the bridleways on the map?

    It’s true that the Mendips can get slippery when wet, but there’s no chalk anywhere near.

    Without local knowledge you’d struggle to fill a weekend on the Mendips IMO. Depends on your bias of riding vs arsing about on a camp site.


    Mendips is good with maps, could be fantastic with local knowledge 😉

    Premier Icon wwaswas

    The Mendips, earlier;


    Mendips is fun but can be a mission in the wet. Some awesome downhill runs in the forest, off Burrington Ham and down either side of the gorge down into cheddar.

    God local knowledge from LBS Badass bikes with a trailmap advertised.



    I live less than a mile from Rowberrow and ride the Mendips regularly.

    Happy to help with as much local knowledge as you need.

    Some great camping and great pubs. And great riding…

    Best email me on ssmith AT waitrose DOT com



    No, on second thoughts, you all trot off to the Quantocks, there is absolutely no fun to be had on Mendip whatsoever.
    None of the trails are running fantastic at all, the stealth network is shockingly poor and the locals are incredibly possessive.
    There is nothing to see here, go to the Forest of Dean, sure that would be much nicerer

    (Don’t want no dang foreigners round these parts)


    Stupidly moved away from the mendips in November. Desperate to move back down there but struggling to find a house to rent so might be sticking a caravan in one of our sheep fields for the summer!

    They are supposed to making the back of the ski centre in Churchill/Sanford more accessible to mountain bikers and they do camping up on the hill next to the Winscombe Quarry bridleway so worth giving them a shout.

    There is also a camp site on the road that leads to the Tynings Farm trekking centre on the road that passes along the south of blackdown from the Shipham rd to Velvet Bottom so is perfectly in the middle of all the riding as you can go up to Rowberrow, Blackdown etc, West over Winscombe Drove to Crooks Peak, East to Velvet Bottom and South down into Cheddar Woods. There is a farm shop on the corner of the road, pub in Shipham, The Crown in Churchill, Swan, Plume of Feathers in Rickford (get there via blackdown and Burrington Coombe) and a pub next to Bad Ass Bikes as well as plenty in Cheddar. The Budgens petrol station just up the A38 is the best place to stock up on supplies as they are open 24hrs and stock all the local booze (Butcombe, Thatchers, Cheddar Ales etc). Some good butchers around too for BBQ fodder and of course you can always get a big tub of cider from Thatchers.


    An ex-Mendips local here.

    There’s some cracking riding to be had, just make sure the weather is good. As above, the area can really suffer in the winter months. We used to regularly meet at the Crown at Churchill and ride a loop around the Rowberrow / Black Down / Burrington area.

    Google will give you a few ride ideas (here, for example) but I think you’d be better off with some local knowledge to fill a weekends’ riding.

    It’s terrible

    Bad Ass Bikes is the place.


    All good stuff 🙂

    We’ll be going in July/August, so the weather’s bound to be fine, right? 😕

    Edric 64

    Camp in Priddy at Ebborways Farm .Drink in the Queen Vic down the road.Ask a few of us to take you riding

    It’s smooth limestone held together with a clay-dirt which means it’s perfectly grippy when dry but properly testing to find grip when wet. It’s this latter aspect that catches people out.

    The ridable area is rambling and extends over several hills: Black Down, Dolbury, Cheddar Gorge, Fry’s Hill, Wavering Down, Sandford Batch and a bit over Bleadon. Unlike the much smaller Qs, legal access for bikes is problematic, but practically OK if discretion is used, which is why the locals are a bit reticent sometimes. The marked bridleways, as they are, are OK but on their own rather limited. But there are a large number of other trails tucked away, many not on any maps at all, that collectively make it a worthwhile venue. Hell, we ride this stuff twice a week and don’t get bored. Local knowledge is therefore key.


    SHHHHHH, don’t say anymore or they’ll all be flocking down here

    Went with this lot here over bank holiday weekend. It was amazing!

    I thought I new most of the lesser known trails, but “found” one from the stegosaurus rock here which ran down towards Burrington and is pretty amazing. Some of it has definitely been built with bikes in mind.

    We also went caving at Goatchurch and now realise that there are some steep and nasty trails heading down that way!


    Shhhh, how many times, there is nothing to see on Mendip


    There’s been no riding of any note in the area since they built a road over Wells BMX track. 😉

    In the dry, it’s bludy great. Have fun exploring – the trails and the pubs.


    drop down of the southern face of the mendips and ride for 4 miles across the lanes to Roger Wilkins cider farm :mrgreen:


    I’ve just come back from a week glamping in the Mendips(!)

    No riding as we were en famille, but I got an away day to the peaks as compensation.

    Featherdown camping at Warren Farm. Prices were reasonable, will be even more reasonable of you get four, five or even six of you into one tent.

    It’s very family-orientated, so rowdy boozing might not be on the cards, depends on how rowdy your boozing is I guess.

    The site is at the top of cheddar gorge pretty much and seems to be bang on a lot of the routes that ‘do’ the Mendips.

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