Dorset is without doubt the county that has it all. It’s where you come to discover a perfect nook of south west England. With its stunning beaches, like the famous 18 mile beach that stretches from West Bay to Portland and the magnificent countryside of Thomas Hardy's Wessex, the area is one of outstanding natural beauty.
The wild and undulating landscape is what makes the area fantastic for cycling both on and off road. Long winding climbs and short sharp gradients make the riding both interesting and challenging and with views that take your breath away - West Dorset is a cyclists Mecca.
Browse trips run by our local travel partners
British Cycling coach Jim Styrin and creative director Deborah Shilling are the founders of On the Rivet, the UK’s first luxury cycling fitness retreat.
Their formula is simple: riders head out each day and ride through the challenging but brilliant training terrain of west Dorset's iconic countryside and some of Europe's most exhilarating cycling routes.
There are several very good reasons that make Dorset an ideal location for cycling and the reason we started On the Rivet, the first being the Jurassic coastline stretching for 88 miles from Christchurch to Lyme Regis, and offering spectacular sea views and vistas equal to any Alpine landscape.
Cycling from Weymouth to Portland
This takes in the dramatic route known as Road to the Heights. This combines great climbing with a great view back at West Dorset taking in Chesil Beach, Portland Mariner and the Jurassic Coastline.
Cycling from West Bay, the home of ‘Broadchurch’, to Sherborne via Beaminster
You can chose three climbing options out of Beaminster from the fairly comfortable Tunnel Road to the brutal White Sheet (see Strava). Sweeping gentle roads take you through Sutton Bingham, taking in the reservoir before reaching Olivers Cafe in the beautiful historic town of Sherborne for delicious homemade cakes and freshly brewed coffee.
A visit to Bridport
Well worth an explore, with its eclectic blend of shops, restaurants and bars, the incredible Vintage Quarter and Electric Palace for world class entertainment. Bridport has a charming market twice a week too.
Cycling from Raymonds Hill to Marshwood
Fast, fresh tarmac and the bright green leafy Beech tunnelled canopy is beautiful (see photo in the gallery), particularly when the dappled light filters through - its quite magical.
The route from Bridport via Hardy's monument
Full details in the main review above - great views and brilliant climbs.
Best times to go:
The best time to cycle in our opinion is from March through to October for road cycling and perhaps earlier for MTB.
We do recommend avoiding the school holidays however as the roads can be quite busy at this time. We purposely avoid running our retreats at these times and benefit from peaceful and tranquil country lanes.
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