Exploring the highly varied terrain of the ancient estates of the Earl of Mortimer, starting and finishing in the Mortimer Forest on the very edge of Ludlow, the route links together some lovely stretches of off-road riding using quiet byways and true back lanes.

The Mortimer Round is a challenging ride, as it is hilly with some some fairly steep off road sectors, but it’s not highly technical and it’s pretty weather proof – and the rewards for the climbing are some spectacular views and premium stretches of double track.

It also passes very near to Aardvark Books in Brampton Bryan near the halfway point, which has an excellent café with outdoor seating and plenty or room for bikes.

The second half of the route has been changed quite substantially for 2023, so if you’ve done it before you’ll need to download a new GPX file this year!

This route is suitable for mountain bikes or gravel bikes with 38-42mm+ tyres, and your tyres should have some grip (there’s one steep grassy descent we wouldn’t want to tackle on slicks).

Sunday 19th May 2024

  • Distance: 73Km
  • Off Road/Paved Split: 40%/60%
  • Total Climbing: 1250m
  • Max Gradient (up): 20% (off road)
  • Max Gradient (down): 25% (off road – needs some grip!)
  • Suitable for: Gravel Bike (38mm+ tyres) or Cross Country MTB
  • Registration: Open – see below

How to Register

Registering is a pretty simple process:

  1. Set up a free Strava account (if you don’t have one already)
  2. Join the Cross Cartel group (called a club in Strava)
  3. Scroll down to the Mortimer Round event, and click on “I’m In” (you won’t be able to see the event in Strava until you join the Cross Cartel group)

In common with all of our rides, The Mortimer Round is not an organised mass start or group riding event, so there is no HQ or start venue, no support staff or marshals out on course and no registration on the day – that’s all done in advance via Strava.

The Mortimer Round is an individual challenge ride on a route that is open to the public along its entire length, that you can begin and finish at any time you like.

Parking is available in the forest, and around Ludlow town, which is well within riding distance. But Ludlow is an ancient walled town with narrow streets, so you may need to park on the outskirts.  The route actually starts from the Vinnals forestry car park (here), which is situated in the forest, on the Ludlow-Wigmore road.

About Cross Cartel Rides

Cross Cartel rides neither races nor traditional organised leisure rides. They are are similar to what were traditionally called “reliability trials”, where the objective or challenge is to complete a pre-determined route on a particular date within a time limit – but in our case the limit is all day and we have no set start time. The challenge is simply to ride a mapped route on a given day, at a time of your choosing. Go as fast or as slow as you feel comfortable with!


You will need to be fully self sufficient – Cross Cartel rides are all self-supported on routes that are open to the general public, with no emergency back up or mechanical support of any kind. You need to take spares and supplies with you. There will be no rescue vehicle to collect you if you have a mechanical, so please make sure you take a mobile phone for any emergencies. You will need to call a friend to collect you or the emergency services in the event of a medical incident. And it is sensible to be insured – you don’t need race insurance, as our rides aren’t races, but public liability insurance is highly recommended.

The Cross Cartel has no responsibility for any incidents that occur during or as a result of your ride – you are solely responsible for your own actions and safety while riding our routes, whatever day you choose to ride them. The Cross Cartel do not provide ride support or event venues (with the exception of the Blaenau 600). Our routes are on public trails, tracks and paved roads. 

Please follow the Highway Code at all times when on the roads, and the Countryside Code when off road – and PLEASE close all gates and take litter home with you.  We are huge supporters of #leavenotrace.