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The Routes

Strava Maps 2024

Ahoy there, me hearties!

Listen up, ye Smugglers! The tales of The Smuggler routes be born from the yearning to unveil North Devon's hidden tarmac treasures. It be all about chartin' through unique bits of road, indulgin' in some hearty fun, and capin' it off with fine grub and a tankard of ale. Aye, we aim to send ye off with a grin as wide as the horizon.

In the year 2024, we present four rollickin', picturesque, and at times, hair-raising routes. The Strava routes be unfurled above for yer perusal.

The distances and their rough elevations be as follows:

40 Miles - 4317ft
60 Miles - 7100ft
60 Miles (Gravel) - 7100ft
100 Miles - 12000ft

Fear not, me hearties, for along the way, ye shall find feed stations to partake in a hot or cold brew and a spread of savory provisions.

Now, brace yerselves for the Booty Climbs! In 2024, we present challenges where ye can earn free grog by conquerin' climb challenges. Last year, it be Lynmouth Hill and Slattenslade – keep a weather eye open for 2024!

But that's not all – there be Strava challenges and grand prizes awaitin' the fastest swashbucklers among the men and women.

If any of ye have queries 'bout the routes or any other matter, give us a hearty shout.

Fair winds and happy ridin', see ye on the road!

Ooooaarrggghhhh! 🏴‍☠️⚓🚴‍♂️

strava maps

Ride Overview - 2023

Starting and finishing from Barnstaple Square, ‘The Smuggler’ explores some of North Devon’s most epic roads and historic routes, many of which were exploited by smugglers of old – such as the breathtaking Lee Bay toll road that skirts high above the jagged coastline. 

Riders will be treated to jaw dropping vistas, challenging climbs, epic descents and quiet roads – and of course the finest North Devon food and hospitality will be dished out to fuel your engine.

The 40 & 60 mile routes leave Barnstaple on the old road through Swimbridge, out past Filleigh, turning left by the cricket ground and climbing up to Exmoor via the Brayford climb. Turning left at the Poltimore Arms you eventually drop down to Simonsbath via the exhilarating snaking descent past the Cairn and into the village – where you’ll be glad to know a well armed feed station will await to give the body and well earn boost!

At Simonsbath the 40 & 60 mile routes will split, the 40 mile route heads back towards Barnstaple via some great roads, the 60 goes over Exmoor dropping down towards Lynton. Once in Lynton the route takes you through ‘The Valley of the Rocks’ and onto the Lee Abbey Toll road – again a truly incredible piece of road, teetering and snaking on the edge of the cliffs. How they built this road in the first place is a mystery in itself! The next feed station is in a beautiful setting just above Lee Bay, a real smugglers look out point where barrels of booze were dragged up the beach. No booze here, but plenty of food to refuel the legs!

Climbing out of Lee Bay, there'll be an option to take the road to the top or a gravel path around the spectacular coastal bridleway. Either way the road or bridleway meet at Hunters Inn.

A 'gentle' climb up to Trentishoe, followed by some twisty descent past Arlington, brings you to the bottom of the Zigzag climb. This Alpine like ascent is short and sharp and what follows is a beautiful long downhill back to Barnstaple....' 

We may include a ‘Booty Climb’ and a chance to bag a few free drinks and swag for taking on some punchy extra climbs, on truly unique bits of tarmac. In previous years riders were cheered on by Smugglers banging their cow bells!!

Bike Shed wants to deliver a fun day in the saddle for all riders, help you explore some truly amazing bits of tarmac, and send you home with a smile.

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