This climb is a beast - after a brief and modest beginning with a gradual grade (170m @ 7%) Widecombe takes off like a rocket -- 12.2% for the final 1.2 kilometers. We are surrounded by low brush and shrubs for most of the climb, making the views to the front and side not much to speak of, but there are gorgeous views to our back, showing off the valley and farmland we climb away from. Cycling Uphill calls the Widecombe Hill climb “a classic British hill climb”.
Widecombe hosted the British National Hill Climb Championships in 1990 (Chris Boardman wins the third of his four consecutive championships this year).
Chris Boardman wins at Widcombe in 1990.
Photo: Cycling Weekly
The calm before the storm. Warning sign 100 meters before start of climb.
Not many great views along the first half of the climb.
Sweeping views leading back down the climb just after leaving the top.
Car park is the finish (center left);
The Haytor Vale climb is to the east of our finish.
Steepest ½ kilometer begins at 700 meters (13.3%).
This Southwestern England climb in Devon County is within the Dartmoor National Park (95,312 hectares / 235,520 acres), established in 1951 as a National Park of England:
“Dartmoor is an area of moorland in southern Devon, England. Protected by National Park status as Dartmoor National Park, it covers 954 km2 (368 sq mi).
The granite which forms the uplands dates from the Carboniferous Period of geological history. The moorland is capped with many exposed granite hilltops known as tors, providing habitats for Dartmoor wildlife. The highest point is High Willhays, 621 m (2,037 ft) above sea level. The entire area is rich in antiquities and archaeology.
Dartmoor is managed by the Dartmoor National Park Authority, whose 22 members are drawn from Devon County Council, local district councils and Government.
Parts of Dartmoor have been used as military firing ranges for over 200 years. The public is granted extensive land access rights on Dartmoor (including restricted access to the firing ranges) and it is a popular tourist destination” (Dartmoor National Park).
100 Hills for George:
“Widecombe is a lovely village – if slightly confusing as there don’t appear to be any real houses here! There is a Church, there are teashops coming out of your ears, there is a National Trust property, there was a gift shop – and that was about it! . . .
The climb itself was pretty easy to find - there aren’t that many roads leading out of Widecombe on the Moor and only one that goes clearly straight up. You get a fantastic view of the road from the village – and as Simon says, you can see the summit as a target virtually the whole way up.”