This is one of my favourite rides because it combines cross-country cycling as well as several single tracks and the whole thing is almost 42 km long. It’s also easily accessible from London – there’s a direct train to Dorking from Clapham Junction 4 times an hour that takes around 40 minutes.
Once you set off from the Dorking train station it’s about 2.5 km until you get off the road. At this point you’re entering the beautiful countryside of Surrey and you’ll be going mainly uphill for about 8 km until you reach Leith Hill. The final climb to Leith Hill is probably the steepest part of the whole route and it’s quite challenging if you want to make it without touching the floor all the way up.
From Leith Hill you’ll be heading to Holmbury Hill that is well-known for its single tracks and especially in the summer it swarms with other riders. If you follow my GPS coordinates (that can be downloaded below) you’ll first hit Yoghurt Pots – 600 metres long single track that I always use as a warm up. From there it’ll take you to the most famous trail called Barry Knows Best that is over 1100 metres long. I can never get bored of this one and I often do it more than 3 times. From there I go through Yoghurt Pots to the last singletrack in Holmbury Hill – Telegraph Row. The first part is mainly technical as some bits are slightly uphill. But the most exciting part comes with the 2nd section where you finally gain some speed and you follow a rather narrow trail with many steps all the way to the end.
Then you come back to the very beginning of the same trail and take a very technical part through the forest to Holmbury St Mary where you can visit a pub to have a quick pint or refill your water bottle before heading all the way back to Dorking. The good news is that the route back is different and it takes you through a 3 km long trail called Summer Lightning that starts on top of Leith Hill.
I really hope you’ll enjoy this route and if you have any comments, improvements or suggestions please share them in the comments below.
Berry Knows Best
Berry Knows Best is a 1120 metres long trail opposite the reservoir entrance, right off Radnor Road. It’s definitely the most popular single track in Holmbury Hill and especially during the summer time it may get a bit busy. It has several nice dips, berms, steps as well as bumps to jump off and I guarantee you that once you get down you’ll have a smile on your face. Although it’s not the most technical trail and requires some serious pedalling (if you want to do it fast) it definitely offers a high fun factor and I highly recommend it.
Yoghurt Pots (also known as Rollercoaster) became popular mainly for numerous bomb-holes that are spread over most of the trail. It’s about 600 metres long and some sections can get pretty fast. This signletrack is a great warm up before you move onto Berry Knows Best.
Telegraph Row is the longest trail of Holmbury Hill (1350 metres) but the first half is not the most exciting one. It’s rather slow (but technical) and during a rainy period it might get super muddy. However, the second part is where you get your smile back as it’s slowly descending and thus getting faster. The trail itself is very narrow and has several steps to hop off. I usually use it as a nice finish before I head back to Dorking.