Glorious Gravel

Top Ten: Gravel Centuries

The century ride is in! Strava recorded a massive 46% jump in 2022 of users doing a 100 mile ride at least once in the year. Century rides are not just for roadies, check out our top ten 100km off road rides in the UK from the very challenging (hello Yorkshire Moors) to routes suitable for all abilities…

Best for Coastal Views: South Downs (101km, 2200m)

A super punchy century ride set mostly on the South Downs Way and back roads of East Sussex. The terrain is a mix of well maintained gravel and quick rolling grass as the route snakes through the South Downs between Brighton & Eastbourne. 

The real challenge on this century ride are the climbs. They come thick and fast along the route (any ride with over 2,000m is going to be a challenge) with some very steep gradients. The reward is amazing views of the countryside and coast with some stunning sections along the ridgelines. Most of the climbs are relatively short so don’t worry about walking sections, it will definitely be worth it when you get to the top.

More info on the South Downs Epic

Best for History: Ridgeway (110km, 1500m)

The Ridgeway is the oldest road in Britain used since ancient times to connect Wiltshire & Berkshire. Previously used by travellers, traders and armies (Saxons, Vikings & Romans), it is now the home of some of the best hiking and off road riding in the South of England.

Our 110km loop starts and finishes near Newbury before going north to hit The Ridgeway and coming back through the stables and paddocks around Lambourn. A lovely, rolling ride through glorious countryside.

More info on The Ridgeway Gravel Epic

Best for Variety: Wessex (100km, 1400m)

A proper big day out on the bike through rural Wessex. This 100km loop takes in 3 counties (Somerset, Hampshire & Wiltshire) taking in a lovely mix of terrain & riding surfaces.

The tougher parts of the ride take you up and over the ridges in the area with a couple of sharp climbs. After the hills, the route goes through picturesque woods and we time our ride to see the bluebells in bloom. A spring gravel classic.

More info on the Wessex Gravel Epic

Best for Scenery: Peak District (100km, 1200m)

The Peak District is one of the most beautiful national parks in the UK. Anyone that has ridden on the roads will know how TOUGH the riding is with some massive climbs including Winnats Pass & Mam Tor. 

However, there is a magnificent network of gravel trails, farm tracks & back roads around the middle and south of the Peaks that is (relatively) flat / rolling with some delightful views of the region.

This 100km route starts & ends in Buxton taking in parts of the High Peak, Monsal & Tissington Trail with some secret local sections.

More info on the Peak District Gravel X

Best in Yorkshire: North Yorkshire Moors (111km, 2200m)

One of our favourite gravel rides of the year. Yorkshire is full of great off roading from all over the Yorkshire Dales National Park to Nidderdale & particularly the Moors.

The North Yorkshire Moors in early summer is stunning – charming villages, rolling hills, colourful heather on the moors and ancient abbeys dotted around the region.

This 111km route starts and finishes at the legendary Duncombe Park in Helmsley with some excellent private tracks on the estate. The ride then heads into the hills for one of the most unforgettable gravel centuries in the UK.

More info on the North Yorkshire Moors Gravel Epic

Best for Pure Gravel: Kielder Forest (126km, 2300m)

The most remote ride in England set in the biggest forest in the country. Kielder Forest is in the very north tip of England, very close to the border and a long way from anywhere. Outside of the small town of Kielder, there is very little phone signal or signs of human activity other than some loggers.

In every direction from Kielder, there is perfect, long gravel roads over rolling terrain through deep forests and lakes. It is somewhere every gravel rider should experience at least once and we strongly recommend staying the night (preferably in the local campsite) to see the stars in this area of dark skies.

Our 126km route takes riders out into the forest east of Kielder before looping back past Kielder Water and adds a stunning loop to the south. An absolute off road epic!

More into on the Kielder Forest Gravel Epic

Best for All Abilities: Essex (104km, 750m)

Most century rides are a full day in the saddle with lots of climbing and mixed terrain. This ride takes us to the stunning rolling hills of Essex, one of the best kept secrets of cycling in England. 

Our route takes in a mixture of small country lanes interspersed with hidden bridleways and byways as we ride on sections of The Essex Way and Flitch Way.

With only 750m of elevation over 104km, this is a long but relatively quick century ride in picturesque countryside close to London.

More info on the Essex Gravel Epic

Best in the South: Salisbury Plain (119km, 1600m)

The home of gravel riding in the South of England, Salisbury Plain is one big network of tank trails, farm tracks and long, rolling gravel roads.

Our route starts and finishes at Thruxton Motor Circuit and heads west through some fast gravel roads. There is a short but steep climb onto the Plain and then we hit the best gravel in the South of England – long, rolling sections of well maintained dirt with not a car or building in site. A must ride for all UK off-roaders.

More Info on the Salisbury Plain Gravel Epic

Best for Island Escapes: Isle of Wight (110km, 1750m)

The Isle of Wight has long been a destination for day trippers and weekend warriors on road bikes doing a lap of the island but the gravel riding here is even better than the tarmac.

This 110km loop starts and finishes in Freshwater (a short ferry hop from Lymington) and heads inland on excellent gravel tracks over rolling hills and through woods all the way to the east coast.

The route then heads to the south west corner of the Isle before heading back to the finish along the coast. One for the bucket list.

More info on the Wight Roads Gravel Epic

And a 100 Miler - Loch Lomond Divide: 162km (100 miles), 2600m

Possibly the hardest gravel ride of the year. Connecting two of the best off road cycling regions in the UK – Dunoon and Aberfoyle, this epic route goes through coastal paths, around lochs, through forests and over some tough climbs in Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park.

100 miles on the gravel is not to be underestimated but this ride is so rewarding as we head into remote and stunning countryside of Western Scotland.

More info on Loch Lonond Divide

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