Surrey Hills and Lanes
Surrey Hills and Lanes
Devised by West Surrey CTC's Mark Waters, this route is based on his springtime event known as the 'Bicycle Icicle'. This ride explores some of the prettiest parts of the most wooded county in England, just on the doorstep of the London metropolis - in fact you may even catch a glimpse of the distant spires of the city from one of the climbs! Oh, and don't forget to bring your climbing legs...
Starting in the historic market town of Godalming in Surrey at the station (hourly trains from Waterloo), the route quickly passes out of the urban area and into the leafy countryside on lanes little changed in the last hundred years. Mile eight finds you climbing up steeply into the magical Winterfold woodlands, high above Cranleigh, the largest village in England, allegedly. Spectacular views across to the Weald and the South Downs beyond can be glimpsed between the trees. A narrow rollercoaster of a lane takes you up, up, up to pass by a disused windmill before a fabulous fast descent down past the mountain bikers' paradise of Pitch Hill before dropping into Peaslake and a welcome mug of tea or coffee from the village stores, a cyclists' magnet; try the cheese straws. If you prefer something stronger, the Hurtwood Inn can supply it, plus delicious Italian food.
Burn that off with another stiff climb up Radnor Road towards Holmbury Hill and then a gorgeous lane that skirts round the edge of the hill towards Holmbury St Mary village and further pub options. Don't get too comfy, however, as there's plenty more climbing to do with an ascent towards Leith Hill from the village and more quiet lanes - though thronging with cyclists most weekends! - followed by a descent through the remote villages of Friday Street and Sutton Abinger.
A welcome bit of flat soon brings you to a rolling descent through Farley Green to reach Shamley Green - pubs and a village shop here. Turn right onto a short stretch of main road into Wonersh and then Bramley. Impressive Snowdenham Manor is passed before you reach the peaceful village of Thorncombe Street, then climb... and descend into Hascombe before the first of three brutal little climbs to finish off; first is the short but very steep climb up Mare Lane followed by a second towards Hydestile. A final evil little grind up Tuesley Lane brings you back into Godalming. Treat yourself to some well-earned refreshments in one of the many cafes, pubs or restaurants in the town.