North-South Divide

North-South Divide

21st – 26th May 2023

An unusual coast to coast adventure!

Starting in Aberystwyth on the west coast of Wales, the route heads due east to eventually arrive at the quintessential English seaside town of Southwold in East Anglia. The route has been created with the purpose of linking the many good MTBing area’s found in this ‘central belt’. First created in 2014, this route has been improved in the last 24 months by changing certain sections most notably in the Ironbridge, Long Mynd and Fenland areas.

The 360 MILE route through Ceredigion, Powys, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk includes the Cambrian Mountains, the Shropshire Hills, the National Forest, the ancient county of Rutland, the East Anglian Fens and the UK’s largest lowland pine forest at Thetford.

Not only is the riding superb, the views from the likes of the Welsh mountains, the Kerry Ridgeway, the Long Mynd, Wenlock Edge and the Ironbridge Gorge are fantastic too.

You will encounter a huge array of trail gems over the 360 mile distance,  taking in bridleways, byways, singletrack, woodland, urban and a fair bit of purpose-built MTB trails. The trail centres found en-route are Nant-yr-Arian, Cannock Chase and Thetford Forest

But beware! this is a tough route for bike and rider, with a technical aspect in some sections and many steep trails, up and down, laden with rocks and roots..



Beacon Hill, Leicestershire

Daily Ride Info
(distances and elevation are approximate at the moment)

Aberystwyth to Llanidloes
37miles (60km) – 5,253ft (1,601m) elevation gain

Llanidloes to Church Stretton
47miles (76km) – 4,823ft (1,470m)

Church Stretton to Cannock Chase
48miles (77km) – 2,821ft (860m)

Cannock Chase to Rutland
86miles (138km) – 5,261ft (1,603m)

Rutland to Thetford Forest
81miles (130km) – 1,590ft (485m)

Thetford Forest to Southwold
63miles (101km) – 2,650ft (808m)

 Totals; 360 miles (582km) – 22,398ft (6,827m)


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– Entry cost is just £320



Ironbridge Gorge

What’s included ?

                                                                                      – 6 days fully supported riding
                                                                                      – 5 nights accommodation (see FAQ’s)
                                                                                      – Luggage transfers
                                                                                      – 5 buffet breakfasts
                                                                                      – Comprehensive route guide

                                                                                      – Fully detailed OS maps
                                                                                      – GPX files
                                                                                      – Phone/gadget charging facilities
                                                                                      – Bike wash facilities
                                                                                      – Use of workstands and tools
                                                                                      – Public liability insurance
                                                                                      – Event T-shirt




How hard is this event?
The 360 mile distance and the 22,000ft of elevation gain is a challenge on its own. With a large part of the route being off-road and with plenty of opportunities to test your mtb skills, together will make this event a pretty tough ride for most.

What type of bike do I need?
A short-ish travel mountain bike is best – either hardtail or full suspension. A gravel bike would also be suitable, though some of the numerous descents and gnarly sections will push your skills to the limit! Whatever your choice, your bike will need some decent off-road tyres and be in good working order.

When and Where do the events start and finish?
Registration and luggage handover will take place in Aberystwyth on the morning of Sunday 21st May. The ride itself follows and begins with a mass start. The event finishes six days later in Southwold on Friday 26th May.

How will I get to and from Aberystwyth and Southwold?
Probably the easiest way is getting dropped off and collected from the start/finish. Or, pre-event, you could leave a vehicle in Southwold. Aberystwyth has good rail links from Birmingham and Crewe, whilst the nearest station to Southwold is Halesworth (6 miles) which has links to either London or the Midlands.

What type of accommodation will we be staying at?
Of the 5 nights, there’ll be 3 nights camping, one in pods and the final night will be a bit of luxury in a motel!

What do I need to bring?
A checklist will be sent out around one month before the event. Entrants will be allowed a tent (a pop-up one is a good choice as it’s quick to put up and take down), a foldable camping chair and a hold-all type bag or similar containing everything you’ll need like clothing, bike gear, sleeping bag, mattress etc..

Can I enter on the day?
No, Last entries will close approx. 1 month before the event starts (last entries accepted – 21st April) 

Will there be bike mechanics on the course?
Mechanical back-up, which will be carrying plenty of essential spares is provided and will be just a phone call away for major mechanicals only – not punctures! There are also a few bike shops on or close to the route.

Are you providing any food and drinks?
Yes, we will be providing a buffet breakfast each morning which is included in the entry fee. The breakfast will include cereals, fruit, bread, tea/coffee etc. Evening meals will be down to you – all campsites and other accommodation we’re using will have pubs/cafes/shops fairly close by if required.

What happens if I need to abandon?
We can ‘sweep’ you up and take you to the next overnight stop/finish line to be re-united with your gear, but there could be a charge, dependant on where you are!

Will event run in bad weather?
Yes, for example if part of the route is flooded, a diversion will be in force.

I’m planning on arriving in Aberystwyth the night before, is there anywhere to camp/stay?
There’s plenty of hotel/B&B/camping options to be found in or close to the town. Details a bit nearer the time.

Can friends and family join me?
Of course! Get in touch with us when you book and we will strive to arrange any accommodation needs. We will produce an info sheet for spectators detailing the best viewing and meeting places en-route if required.