Dartmoor, Exmoor and Quantocks: The best of the South West

(6 customer reviews)

Ride info

Days: 3 (Fri-Sun)
Style: XC / Big country
Level: 8

MTB Ride Level 8


2 nights half board
1 night B&B
2 luxury hotels
Ensuite rooms
Bike store & charging


Day 1: 26 mi | 42 km
Day 2: 22 mi | 35 km
Day 3: 16 mi | 26 km


Day 1: 4,145 ft | 1,265 m
Day 2: 2,415 ft | 735 m
Day 3: 3,315 ft | 1,010 m

Dartmoor, Exmoor and Quantocks: The best of the South West

(6 customer reviews)

May & August 2024 – SOLD OUT

Pre-register for 2025

Deposit is £150 pp
from £395 (non-residential) £625 (B&B)

This is your chance to ride three very different landscapes in one unique guided trip. In 2024 we launch our ‘Best of the South West’ adventure with all the usual ingredients of our popular multi-day trips.
From the wild moors and tors of Dartmoor, we take in the steep sided valleys of coastal Exmoor, before we wrap it all up on the rocky red coombes of Quantocks.

Booking more than one room? Select occupancy and room type for your first room, add to basket, then repeat.

Click HERE if  you want a ‘private trip‘.


Our regulars have been asking for this one for some time now and we do not like to disappoint! After months of planning and finding the right accommodation, our Founder has created a unique trip where you can ride Dartmoor, Exmoor and Quantocks on what really is the ‘Best of the South West’!

Our passionate big-country specialist and British Cycling Level 3 leader Sean will be your host for three truly epic rides.

Three big areas in one trip – The format

We believe this trip has never been attempted before and with our careful planning of the hotels and time of year, an exhilarating and equally relaxing experience will be had. Here’s the summary of the itinerary:

  • Meet and greet Friday night at the exquisite Moorland Hotel in Haytor on Dartmoor
  • Ride Dartmoor on Saturday and relax for a second night at the Moorland
  • After a hearty breakfast on Sunday, we drive over to Exmoor, drop the cars at our next base, enjoy a light lunch harbour side and head out to ride the awesome singletrack and natural descents of Exmoor
  • Sunday evening will be spent watching the sunset over the sea as we dine and reflect on two superb days on two very different national parks
  • After our last hearty breakfast, we have the short drive to the Quantocks and enjoy a day on the red rock of the jewel of Somerset with its countless swooping combes and cleeves

Day 1 – Dartmoor

After breakfast we ride from our hotel and we are soon straight into our first kilometer long descent as we circumnavigate Yarner Wood. Passing Lustleigh and Manaton our adventure starts to get wild and it’s all about the vast open moors and Tors! A sublime descent around Easdon Tor will bring out the high fives before we head for Hookney Down. With Birch Tor in sight, our riding goes up a notch with flowing singletrack and twisting trails taking us around the medieval village of Challacombe. From here, we climb through Grimspound and the open moor riding of Hameldown Tor and the epic descents just keep on coming.

It’s a big day out, but armed with a packed lunch and plenty of time, the ancient landscape will take us along past Hound Tor and downs its super fun and rocky eastern flank. The panoramic views from the our hotel terrace will be the perfect way to finish the day’s riding ahead of a local crafted meal and a second night at the Moorland Hotel. 

Day 2 – An Exmoor Adventure

After our relaxing morning we say goodbye to our two night base in Dartmoor for the beautiful drive across Devon to Somerset. Arriving around midday, we have time for a harbour side light lunch before riding some of the lesser-known but equally world class natural riding on the doorstep of our final base in Porlock Weir. The sea views will provide ample distraction as we take on the many twisting and rocky trails through Horner and Shillett Woods and off the flanks of Dunkery Beacon. 

After another epic day our last thrilling descent will spit us out on the waters edge and at our hotel to enjoy sunset drinks and delicious local dining.

Day 3 – The Quantocks

The final day before we travel home has to feature the distinctive Quantocks to wrap up this truly memorable trip. 

After a fifty minute drive in the direction of home for most of us from our seaside base in Porlock Weir we park up in Holford on the edge of this area of outstanding natural beauty. Meaning ‘full of windings abounding in corners or bends’ in old British, is only music to mountain bikers ears as this compact range of hills is smothered in ancient singletrack trails that meander deep into hidden valleys. Whooping through the corners, splashing through idyllic streams and flowing though lush woodland

Traversing along the top and picking-off as many of the brilliant descents as we want and enjoying the sea views during a well placed picnic will be the perfect way to wrap up this memorable west country mountain bike extravaganza.

South West Mountain Biking Dartmoor Exmoor Quantocks MTB trips Marmalade MTB

Rooms & Prices

Room options

For the first two nights, classic double and twin rooms are available and for our final night, harbour sea view doubles and twins are the choices in Porlock Weir.

Details of your South West trip

We have carefully crafted this three day trip aimed at strong intermediate riders – to provide you with the very best format to experience the finest mountain biking the South West has to offer. Mix this all together with the friendly, sociable Marmalade magic we’re famous for and you have the perfect recipe for an unbeatable experience and lifelong memories.

Full details of our 2024 Dartmoor, Exmoor and Quantock trip are below, along with additional information on the other tabs. If you have any questions at all please do not hesitate to contact us.

  • Dates:
    • 24 – 27 May 2024 (sold out)
    • 16 – 19 August 2024
    • Ride days are Saturday, Sunday and Monday
  • Places available: 8 (max.)
    • 1:8 ratio of riders to our fully qualified British Cycling Level 3 MTB Leader
  • Total price per person: (incl. VAT)
    • Without accommodation = £395
      • We can advise on local campsites and other accommodation providers
    • Small classic double (single occupancy) = £765
    • Small classic double (couples) = £625
    • Classic double (single occupancy) = £785
    • Classic double (couples) = £635
    • Classic + side view double (single occupancy) = £810
    • Classic + side view double (couples) = £650
    • Classic + side view twin (shared) = £650
      • See further twin room information and options below
    • Classic + front harbour view double (single occupancy) = £850
    • Classic + front harbour view double (couples) = £665
    • Classic + front harbour view twin (shared) = £665
      • See further twin room information and options below
  • Twin room options:
    • Available for friends who are happy to share
  • Payment (booking 60 days or more before trip)
    • £150 deposit on booking, by credit/debit card
    • Balance due 60 days before trip, by bank payment
    • Subject to our standard Terms and Conditions
  • Payment (booking less than 60 days before trip)
    • Full balance payable on booking, by credit/debit card

What’s included:

  • 3 nights hotel accommodation at the amazing Moorland (2 nights) and Porlock Weir hotels (1 night) 
    • Bed and breakfast: Friday, Saturday and Sunday night
      • Single or shared occupancy en-suite rooms available (see above)
      • Additional pre- and post-trip nights available by booking direct with the Moorland and Porlock hotels
  • Evening meals are included for the first two nights at the Moorland
  • 3 fully guided days by Sean Howell our British Cycling qualified Level 3 MTB leader

What’s not included:

  • Lunches, evening meals at the Porlock Weir hotel and drinks
  • Travel to and from our accommodation for the start and end of our trip
  • Personal health, activity and holiday insurance
    • The above is a requirement for your participation on this trip
  • Bike hire (options available – please contact us)
  • Bike spares

To read the full terms and conditions please visit them here. Thank you.

Your choice of Bike

These routes can be ridden on all kinds of mountain bike depending on your personal choice. In the right hands hardtail bikes would be sufficient, and we increasingly see e-bikes in our groups – as well as full suspension trail and enduro bikes. All are welcome. Each climb, and each descent, is taken at the speed that’s right for you, and we manage our groups carefully to ensure no-one feels left behind.

Ideally, you will have your own suitable full suspension modern ‘all mountain’ / ‘trail’ mountain bike:

  • 120 mm of suspension travel with modern geometry is the bare minimal for this trip
  • 140-160 mm of suspension travel on an ‘all-mountain’ / ‘trail’ bike would be perfect
  • Electric mountain bikes are welcome
  • Hybrid and budget bicycles are not suitable for this 3 day trip
Is this for me?
  • You will be at least a strong and experienced intermediate rider with a minimum of 2-3 years regular mountain biking experience
  • The above experience would include example routes and locations that you have successfully ridden such as:
    • Jacobs ladder in the Peak District
    • The Trans Cambrian Way and the Elan Valley
    • The Gap in the Brecon Beacons
    • Technical red trails with some black features in places like Bike Park Wales, Afan and Coed-y-Brenin
  • You will have confident in your bike handling skills and not be phased by steep, technical and long trails that would be graded predominantly red with some black sections
  • The trails will include features such as roots, small to medium committing roll-able drop-offs and slopes with loose rocks of varying sizes
    • Your professional Level 3 MTB leaders will dynamically manage the group and individuals during each day. There will not be any pressure to ride features or sections above your riding ability on the day
  • You have your own suitable full suspension modern ‘all mountain’ / ‘trail’ mountain bike
    • 120 mm of suspension travel with modern and aggressive geometry is the bare minimal for this trip
    • 140-160 mm of suspension travel on an ‘all-mountain’ / ‘trail’ bike would be perfect
    • Electric mountain bikes are welcome
    • Hybrid and budget bicycles are not suitable for this 3 day trip
  • The ride does contain many undulating and moderately steep, technical and long climbs
  • You have the personal fitness to ride for at least 6-8 hours on consecutive days at a social and comfortable pace
  • You are aged 18 and over unless accompanied by an adult also participating on this ride
  • If this sounds a little beyond your current skill and fitness level, then please do contact us for further discussion
Day One: Dartmoor
  • Duration: 5-7 hours *
  • Distance:  26 mi | 42 km *
  • Elevation gain: 4,145 ft | 1,265 m *
  • Technical Grade: Experienced intermediate (minimum)
Day Two: Exmoor
  • Duration: 4-6 hours ride time *
  • Distance:  22 mi | 35 km *
  • Elevation gain: 2,415 ft | 735 m *
  • Technical Grade: Experienced intermediate (minimum)
Day Three: Quantocks
  • Duration: 3-5 hours ride time *
  • Distance: 16 mi | 26 km *
  • Elevation gain: 3,315 ft | 1,010 m *
  • Technical Grade: Experienced intermediate (minimum)

Minimum of 2-3 years mountain biking experience with regular experience on steep, technical and natural trails

See ‘Is this for me tab’

Any questions, please contact us

* for each day the distances and elevation gain could be dynamically adapted to suit the weather and the overall riding level of the group. Our rides will be sociable and relaxed. This is big country and we appreciate we need to look after our legs, therefore to maximise the smiles we will take all day if required to pace ourselves

South West Mountain Biking Dartmoor Exmoor Quantocks MTB trips Marmalade MTB

What do I need?

Equipment, kit and clothing


  • Suitable mountain bike in good working order
  • Helmet (in good condition, with no damage)
  • Clothing and shoes appropriate for cycling and weather conditions on the day
  • Personal choice of drink and ride snacks
  • Spare rear mech hanger specific for your bike


  • Gloves
  • Glasses, sunglasses or eyeshields
  • Hydration backpack (min. 2 liters)
  • Spare inner tubes
  • Spare spokes specific to your bike wheels
  • Puncture repair kit and bicycle pump
  • Padded cycling shorts for comfort

What’s not included

  • Bike hire
  • Personal clothing & equipment
  • Pre, during or post activity refreshments
  • Personal travel or accident Insurance
  1. Stuart Eyles

    A fantastic 3 day trip. Very well researched and planned to give some challenging climbs, epic long descents, whilst providing views of some of the best scenery in the south west. Accommodation was perfect. Two very fine hotels with exceptional food and support. A trip to be recommended.

  2. Graham Robins

    Wow !! Just back from an amazing adventure on the new Best of The South West ride.
    Sean’s dedication to designing a classic trip through the beautiful hills of Dartmoor Exmoor and Quantocks was a great success, with wonderful views over the moors and an abundance of natural trails, exciting long descents, great climbs. All made more fun with he’s excellent guiding.
    Big thanks to everyone on the trip for the joyful company, lots of fun and laughs as always on a Marmalade ride, hope to see you soon.
    Hotel accommodation and food where first class.
    I will be booking it again soon, don’t miss out on a classic.
    Many thanks

  3. Andrew

    I have just returned from this epic adventure exploring three beautiful parts of Devon and Somerset and thoroughly enjoyed the whole trip. Awesome riding with great people and wonderful hotels too. You can see Sean has put a great amount of effort in planning these three days. If you haven’t ridden with Marmalade before then what are you waiting for!

  4. Jono

    Team Marmalade have done it again! 3 days of fun on the bikes exploring new areas. Great accommodation as well. Highly recommend

  5. Ian mahon

    Sean has produced another epic trip!! 3 big days with a great mixture of riding. Some long long decents, beautiful views, and challenging climbs. All coupled with top notch accommodation, food, and the usual Marmalade banter, makes this a fantastic trip. Definitely recommend this.

  6. Richard Mason

    Another thoroughbred in the stable of Marmalade rides. Our steeds took us over steeples and water jumps, all under the usual excellent, watchful guidance of Sean through the stunning moors. The fodder and stabling at the 4* venues was excellent, and the banter in the posse was up to its usual high standard. Another Marmalade classic after its first outing – not to be missed.

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