Laurence McJannet, author of new book Bikepacking, tells us about his favourite rides…

The Isle of Wight harbours a wealth of forest singletrack, and holds true to its promise of continual coastal views

Start/finish: Yarmouth ferry terminal, Quay Street PO41 0PB, 50.707250, -1.4998783
Distance: 26.5 miles/42.6km
Ascent: 2900ft/884m
Off-road: 75%
Terrain: Mostly wide chalky bridleways and forest tracks. All but the final climb are modest in gradient, with the toughest saved for last.
Navigation: Fairly straightforward. Look out for NCN Route 22 signs to Wellow on leaving Yarmouth. NCN Route 231 will guide you back to the ferry from Freshwater. After crossing the road between Brighstone Forest and Shalcombe Down ignore a right turn then the left 100m on; instead continue to climb a steep chalky bridleway to the golf course. OS Landranger 196 covers the whole of this ride.

The Bargeman’s Rest, Little London Quay, Newport, Isle of Wight PO30 5BS (01983 525828,
The Sun Inn, Hulverstone, Isle of Wight PO30 4EH (01983 741124,

YHA, Hurst Hill, Totland Bay, Isle of Wight PO39 0HD (0845 371 9348,
Camp: Chine Farm, Military Road, Ventnor, Isle of Wight PO38 2JH (01983 740901,
Bivvy: near viewpoint at Limerstone Down

Off The Rails, Station Road, Yarmouth, Isle of Wight PO41 0QT (01983 761600,
Wight Mountain, 31 Orchard Street, Newport, Isle of Wight PO30 1JZ (01983 533445,


Surprisingly, sublime trails along the Gower Peninsula’s headland and sand dunes are just a ride away from Swansea’s seafront

Start/finish: Car park near Clyne Valley Country Park, SA3 5EQ, 51.598484, -4.002984
Distance: 42.1 miles/67.7km
Ascent: 4455ft/138m
Off-road: 70%
Terrain: A mixture of rock-strewn valleys and exposed downlands. There are occasional road climbs but Cefn Bryn and Rhossili Down provide the toughest off-road tests.
Navigation: Fairly easy. The route is well signposted throughout. Follow the Gower Way signs over Cefn Bryn and round Rhossili Down. You should pick them up again near Llanrhidian as far as Three Crosses. The bridleway through Lake Farm at Llanddewi is easy to miss and on the return leg make sure you keep left along the top of Clyne Golf Course to avoid dropping down Clyne Common. OS Explorer 164 would be useful.

Eddy’s Café-Bar, Hillend Camping & Caravan Park, Hillend, Llangennith, Gower, Swansea SA3 1JD (01792 386606,
Kings Head, Llangennith, Gower, Swansea SA3 1HX (01792 386212,

Rhossili Bunkhouse, Middleton, Rhossili, Swansea SA3 1PL (01792 391509,
Bivvy: White Moor, Rhossili Down

Pennard Stores & Coffee Shop, 68 Southgate Road, Southgate, Gower, Swansea SA3 2DH (01792 233230,
The Bike Hub Cycle Workshop, 78 St Helens Road, Swansea SA1 4BQ (01792 466944,


Adventure biking doesn’t get much wilder that this Isle of Mull epic from Tobermory to the remote Tomsleibhe bothy

Start: Tobermory harbour, PA75 6PR, 56.623581, -6.062506
Finish: Tomsleibhe bothy, PA65 6BA, 56.466681, -5.869218
Distance: 30 miles/40.2km (43.3 miles/61.5km returning via glen path and A649 to Craignure ferry terminal)
Ascent: 2194ft/669m
Off-road: 80% (60% with Craignure extension)
Terrain: Forest paths, firm doubletrack and fireroads through the glen. A sharp climb out of Tobermory and fast descent into Salen then flat through the glen until the final ramp to the bothy.
Navigation: Fairly easy. Look out for the forest trail on the right at the treeline as you leave Tobermory; the track south from Glengorm castle is also unsigned. The Glenforsa estate is well signposted, though you’ll need to go through a gate marked 'no entry' to get to the bothy, to which access is permitted. Don’t cross the Forsa river by the footbridge, but use the stepping stones 1,500m further up the path. OS Landrangers 47 and 49 would be useful.

The Mishnish, Main Street, Tobermory, Isle of Mull, Argyll PA75 6NT (01688 302500,
The Bellachroy, Dervaig, Isle of Mull, Argyll PA75 6QW (01688 400314,

Dervaig Hostel, Dervaig Village Hall, Dervaig, Isle of Mull, Argyll PA75 6QN (01688 400491,
Tobermory Campsite, Newdale Cottage, Dervaig Road, Tobermory, Isle of Mull, Argyll PA75 6QF (01688 302624,
Tomsleibhe bothy, 56.466681, -5.869218

Tobermory Bakery and Coffee Shop, Main Street, Tobermory, Isle of Mull, Argyll PA75 6NU
Browns (for bike parts and hire), 21 Main Street, Tobermory, Isle of Mull, Argyll PA75 6NX (01688 302020,


Discover the Isle of Purbeck’s wealth of riding, from pine forests to cliff-top trails

Start/finish: National Trust and Bankes Arms car park, Manor Road, Studland BH19 3AU, 50.641745, -1.946943
Distance: 27.3 miles/43.9km
Ascent: 3129ft/954m
Off-road: 80%
Terrain: Wide chalky doubletrack, forest and wooded singletrack, some grass and tarmac sections. Climbs tend to be long rather than steep.
Navigation: Occasionally tricky. At the end of the track up to Ridgeway Hill, make sure you go through a gate to your left before continuing west, with the fence on your right. Following NCN Route 2 through Rempstone Heath, you will come to a staggered junction of five paths; don't follow Route 2 straight on here but take the second trail on your left to head due south. OS Landranger 195 could be useful.

The Scott Arms, West Street, Kingston, Wareham, Dorset BH20 5LH (01929 480270,
Joe’s Cafe, South Beach, Studland, Dorset BH19 3AN

Olivers of Corfe Castle, 5 West Street, Corfe Castle, Wareham, Dorset BH20 5HA (01929 477111)
Camp: East Creech Farm, Creech, Wareham, Dorset BH20 5AP (01929 480519,
Bivvy: Newton Heath or Smedmore Hill

Corfe Castle Village Stores, 25 East Street, Corfe Castle, Dorset BH20 5EE (01929 481292)
Charlie the Bikemonger, 5 Queens Road, Swanage, Dorset BH19 2EQ (01929 475833,

Bikepacking: Mountain Bike Camping Adventures on the Wild Trails of Britain by Laurence McJannet (£16.99, Wild Things Publishing) is available to readers for 30% off and free P+P. Visit and enter ‘coast’ as your coupon at checkout.

Bikepacking: Mountain Bike Camping Adventures on the Wild Trails of Britain by Laurence McJannet (£16.99, Wild Things Publishing) is available to readers for 30% off and free P+P. Visit and enter ‘coast’ as your coupon at checkout.