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Where to Ride: Surrey

Where to Ride - Surrey

Words and Images: Hugo Gladstone

To many cyclists from South London, Surrey is their playground. It's where the omnipresent bricks, mortar and concrete start to give way to more natural features - and what natural features they are!

Marking the divide between the metropolis and the countryside there is the North Downs with its steep escarpments and hair-pinned roads. Surrey is also one of the most densely forested counties in Great Britain. Even though you're still within a stone's throw of the capital and dozens of sprawling commuter towns, it is easy to feel you've traipsed off into the wilderness. Believe it or not, it was around these parts that Ray Mears first learnt his bush craft techniques!

With these hills, woods and river valleys running through them, there is terrain suitable for all types of cycling. Follow the links below for our recommendations for road, leisure and mountain biking.

Leisure / Family Loop: Blackwater Valley

A nine mile route that threads a pleasant traffic-free loop through the sprawl of Surrey's western fringes.

Road Loop: Surrey Hills


57km around both some of the county's most popular cycling roads. Big hills, fast descents and pleasant refreshment stops.

Mountain Bike Destination: Peaslake


A quaint village tucked away in the hills is the epicentre to some of the best mountain biking in the whole South East.

Further Resources

For further information on good quiet leisure routes in Surrey, the regional pages of Sustrans' website offers some pointers.

Another good source of information is Surrey County Council who have produced a series of free cycling maps. These can either be downloaded from their website or ordered as paper versions by phoning 08456 009009.

For road bikers, plenty of organised events take place throughout the year in Surrey. The Surrey League is one of the best established road racing leagues in the country with dozens of events taking place each year. The league aims to cater to all abilities and includes closed circuit races ideal for novice racers.

If you fancy something a touch less competitive, numerous cyclo-sportives take place in the county. The Guildford Cycle Challenge is just one of these, tackling just about every climb the organisers can squeeze into a tough 82-mile route. There are shorter and easier options.  Evans Cycles also have a particularly high concentration of their year round Ride It events in the area, catering for both roadies and mountain bikers.

Another prolific organiser of off-road events in the county is Trail Break. They organise a variety of mountain bike races, enduros and supported rides.