The Perfidious Albion 2021


A self-supported ultra-endurance cycling challenge through Scotland, Wales and England. Departing 17th July 2021.


Entries are now closed, but check out The Less Perfidious Albion if you’re interested in a shorter version of this event.

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About The Perfidous Albion

  • Starts on the morning of 17th July 2021 at Somerton House Hotel in Lockerbie, Scotland (exact timings TBC)
  • Registration and briefing will be afternoon of 16th July 2021 at Somerton House Hotel (exact timings TBC and may be dependent on the tier level)
  • The route is approximately 2,500 kilometres with 33,000 metres of climbing
  • 95% on-road, with some very short gravel sectors (always short enough to be walkable)
  • There will be a series of unmanned selfie checkpoints along the route
  • Live tracking will be provided by Follow My Challenge using GPS trackers
  • The finish will be at Wild Carrot at Chavenage, in the Cotswolds
  • The cut off will be 11 days after the start for GC, but 14 days for finishers
  • Normal rules for self-supported riding apply, so no drafting, only publically available help etc. (full rules to be sent by email at a later date)

To sign up, add this “product” to your basket and go to checkout. After you have paid, an email will be sent you with a link to a Google Form that will ask for your details for registration.

The Route

The Route

Scottish Borders and Kielder

Scottish Borders and Kielder

The Perfidious Albion begins in the Scottish Borders with the aim of making it more accessible, whilst still including some beautiful – and often overlooked – landscapes.

Head north for a loop around a series of dramatic reservoirs, before swinging back south and into England towards Kielder. You get your first taste of gravel south of the reservoir, as you cross into the North Pennines.

North Pennines and Lake District

North Pennines and Lake District

Climb up into this barren landscape – which regularly crosses 500 metres in elevation – before hurtling back down, only to do it all again with the biggest climb of the ride. Ascend the dead-end climb of Great Dun Fell for some cycling bragging rights. And take some comfort that we haven’t included the gnarly gravel on the other side, with the route bringing you back down on the tarmac instead.

Then head west and into the Lake District for a gruelling counterclockwise loop that takes in the passes of Honister, Whinlatter, Newlands and Hardknott. The last of these is one of the UK’s most infamous climbs and the 30% ramps will test your gearing choices (credit goes to Hell of the Northwest for this section of the route).

North and South Wales

North and South Wales

After a brief foray into the Forest of Bowland, some easier cycling takes you down towards the Welsh border. But as soon as you cross into Wales, the climbs begin aplenty. Bwlch Y Groes is the most challenging of these, but the route also takes in the Elan Valley and the incredibly remote area surrounding Llyn Brianne.

As you enter southern Wales, you hit the Brecon Beacons, where a few more gravel sectors await, including a white-knuckled descent that might be safest walked in the dark. Also tackle Llangynidr Mountain and descend The Struggle, before climbing over Gospel Pass – one of the most beautiful climbs in the area.

Exmoor and Dartmoor

Exmoor and Dartmoor

From Wales, you cross the Cotswolds for the first time, with little bit of gravel atop Cleeve Hill to keep things interesting. But soon, you have fresh challenges to contend with as the notoriously steep gradients of the southwest rear up with increasing frequency.

The route through Exmoor includes Dunkery Beacon and the notorious Porlock Hill, taking you to within sight of the sea in Woolacombe before you swing south towards Dartmoor. Here, the climbs begin with Rundlestone and don’t relent until you’ve crossed Haytor Vale and drop into Bovey Tracey.

The Cotswolds

Dorset and The Cotswolds

Begin to work your way back north, over a fair few lumps and bumps in Dorset, before some New Forest gravel fills your now dry chain with sand.

As you head north, there is no time to visit Salisbury’s world-famous cathedral, but enough time for a short stretch of the Ridgeway, which drops you into Avebury. Here, standing stones encircle the village as you ride through.

Enter the Cotswolds for a final loop of some of Rob’s favourite local climbs, finishing with the idyllic Chedworth valley – beautiful at dusk but sure to cause swearing aplenty if you pass through at night. Finish at Wild Carrot at Chavenage, a beautiful rural cycling hub and cafe.


What is Included?

  • Entry into the event
  • GPX route file
  • Live GPS tracking throughout via Follow My Challenge
  • Registration and briefing at the start
  • Finishing checkpoint
  • Bag transfer (max 10 litres) from start to finish
  • Carbon offsetting against any emissions associated with running the event
  • Free Orb neckwarmer/buff/improvised mask
  • £75 off any purchase of a Zolla wheelset
  • Copies of all race photos for personal use

Rules that riders must follow, including mandatory kit, will be sent out at a later date. But they will be very similar to any previous self-supported events that you have entered.


Map of the Route

*This is a draft version of the route. We will send you a final version no later than two weeks prior to the start date.*