This is an awesome MTB route that I always keep on coming back to. It’s 36.4 km long, rather hilly and takes you through the beautiful countryside of Surrey. It starts in Dorking, which is just a 40 minutes train ride directly from Clapham Junction, London. If you’re after a challenging cross-country ride that can be completed in 3 hours then this is the one!
Once you set off you’ll first join the A24 for a minute or two to get to and pass by the Denbies wine estate. From there the route slowly starts ascending until you reach the toughest climb of the ride that takes you to the top of Ashcombe Wood. Now heading towards St Barnabas Church you’ll eventually turn right onto the bridleway called ‘Dearly Beloved’ that will reward you with the first longish descend. Soon after, you’ll find yourselves cycling around Polesden Lacey and its 1,400 acres of beautiful gardens. Although I always consider it as cheating on ‘the mountain biking exercise’ feel free to have a break and explore this area a little.
Leaving the Ranmore Common, the next 13 km will take you through Dick Focks Common, King’s Hills or Netley Heath, which is my favourite part of the route as it offers perfect cross-country cycling conditions – no flat bits, just climbs and descends. Once you get out of the forest and cross the rail track, you have two options:
a) Make the ride a bit shorter and follow the National Cycling Route 22 all the way to Dorking. The route is very well marked and most of it is parallel to the rail track.
b) Stick to my GPS coordinates and in about 4 km cross the rails back towards Ranmore Common. This path will then take you to a sharp climb that I’ve never managed to defeat without pushing my bike for a few metres at its steepest part. After that just get back onto the road, pass by St Barnabas Church and enjoy a long, gentle descend all the way back to the Denbies wine estate.
You can download the route for your GPS device below the map in the GPX format. If you’ve already done it and have some suggestions or any kind of feedback, please let me know in the comments.