The Mendips and Somerset Levels by Dave Atkinson / road.cc
Road.cc's Dave Atkinson takes us on a scenic tour of the Mendips and the Somerset Levels.
The Mendips and the Somerset Levels is one of our favourite places to go riding at road.cc: there’s a huge wealth of different types of terrain to be found in a small area, everything from lung-busting climbs to ancient drove roads. This route rolls out from the ancient cathedral city of Wells, and takes in quiet lanes to Glastonbury, where you loop around the back of the iconic Tor. It’s just a short hike to the top for some fabulous views across Somerset.
From there it’s more flat roads across the levels, with a short climb at Wedmore before rolling into Cheddar. The Gorge is one of the signature climbs of not just Somerset but the whole of the UK; the imposing limestone cliffs make it an unforgettable experience. Save for a short steep section just out of the town, it’s not a difficult climb either; detour to Draycott for the New Road ascent if you want something really challenging!
After that it’s a blast across the top of the Mendips before screaming down the Old Bristol Road descent back into Wells for a well-earned slab of cake.
A road bike is best, but this loop can be done on most bikes. It's on mostly B roads and minor roads but there are some busier sections.
The weather on top of the Mendips can be changeable and it’s always windy on the levels, so best to bring a wind/waterproof, even if it doesn’t look like you’ll need one in sheltered Wells!
For food, try Café Twentyone in the Market Place in Wells; Heaphy’s Cafe, Market Place in Glastonbury; and Café Gorge, The Cliffs in Cheddar.