Surrey Hills MTB Trail (Leith Hill & Holmbury Hill)

This is one of my favourite mountain bike 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. I’ve been riding this Surrey Hills MTB trail for many years and still haven’t got bored of it!

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 Hills 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 offers some challenging mountain biking 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 MTB trail 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 the 3 km long Summer Lightning trail that starts on top of Leith Hill. Especially the second part is really fun!

I really hope you’ll have a great day mountain biking and if you have any comments, improvements or suggestions please share them in the comments below. You can download this Surrey Hills MTB trail in GPX by clicking on the “Download” button below the map.

Could anyone please do me a favour? This is an old post and I realised I don’t have any decent pictures of this route. Could anyone please take a few pictures and share them with me? I’ll then upload them here and also change the terrible main image 🙂  It would be highly appreciated! Just ping me in the comments below and I’ll share my email address with you. Thanks! (favour request posted on 1st May 2021)

Download file: dorking.gpx

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. It’s definitely one of my favourite mountain bike trails in Surrey Hills!

Yoghurt Pots

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 single track is a great warm up before you move onto Berry Knows Best.

Telegraph Row

Telegraph Row is the longest bike 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.

Leith Hill
Holmbury Hill
Leith Hill Tower


    1. Hi Ruben, I’ve seen people with gravel bikes in Swinley Forest and other similar places so why not… Maybe you just want to avoid the single tracks such as Berry Knows Best, Yoghurt Pots etc. I guess it just depends on how good you are on your gravel bike. And even without the single tracks the Surrey Hills trail is an amazing bike ride!

      Let me know how you enjoyed it! I hope you find my blog useful

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