/ Searching for hills- London to Cambridge

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android_lloyd - on 07 May 2013
Afternoon all,

Bit of a double barrelled question here.
I'm in search of some hills to ride up in preparation for a cycling event around the Chilterns. We rode down to Brighton last week and I was underwhelmed by Ditchling beacon(my buddy less so) We are thinking of heading north instead for a change. I'm from Essex so am fully aware of the lack of hills in the east...just wondered if anyone has any knowledge of big hills out to the north of London. Or failing that, just a lovely scenic route to Cambridge.

Cheers,
Lloyd
Irk the Purist - on 07 May 2013
In reply to android_lloyd:

In what way underwhelmed?

If you want hills within a ride of London you are surely limited to North/South Downs (I say limited, there's a lot of riding there!) or the Chilterns. Maybe parts of the Cotswolds depending on how far you want to ride.

It's not going to get much steeper than Ditchling though!
GrahamD - on 07 May 2013
In reply to android_lloyd:

I'm not sure about the section south of Harlow, but there are some lovely undulating routes from Harlow Northwards.

For longer drags, if you can get a route to Ware, there is a road that runs paralell to the A10 for a while to Puckeridge, then the road up through Braughing, hare St, Barley, Barkway, then turn off up to GtChisill (the highest point in Cambridgesire). Loads of scenic options from there to Cambridge itself but try heading for Flint Cross (on A505) across to Fowlmere, Shepreth and a last hilly bit through Barrington to Haslingfield, Combuton, Madingly and into Cambridge from the West
android_lloyd - on 07 May 2013
In reply to Eric the Red: When I toured in Canada, it changed/warped my perspective on what a hill is I think. A few +2hr ascents on a loaded bike in the mountains was a shock to the body and mind! Heard/believed the hype about Ditchling from friends...underwhelmed.

GrahamD thank you for the detail info.Definately have to get that highest point! Might be the start of a new 'county top bagging' trend.(doubt it)

Lloyd
dissonance - on 07 May 2013
In reply to GrahamD:

> I'm not sure about the section south of Harlow, but there are some lovely undulating routes from Harlow Northwards.

looping around the Lee valley will give some useful bits. Nothing long but lots of climbs and drops if the back roads are chosen carefully.

Depending where in Essex the Essex/Suffolk border is also good for that sort of riding. Nothing long but bouncing up and down round the Stour valley gets some hill work in.
Arms Cliff - on 08 May 2013
In reply to android_lloyd: I'm afraid you're not going to find any 2+ hours ascents in the south of the UK...

There are some pretty steep hills in Kent which can be linked together to get in quite a few vertical metres on a ride, and a lot of them are back lanes so don't have too much traffic.
Irk the Purist - on 08 May 2013
In reply to android_lloyd:

The South Downs run from Winchester in Hampshire for over 100 miles to Eastbourne in East Sussex. The North Downs run all the way from Kent to Surrey. The greensand ridge of which much of the Surrey Hills is composed was considered plenty for the Olympic road race. If you can't come up with a challenging ride using those you aren't trying.

I suspect you aren't really after advice but wanted to say how easy Ditchling was. Maybe try it on a unicycle?!

android_lloyd - on 08 May 2013
In reply to Eric the Red: Well I'm after advice about hills to the north of London. Next time i'll cut to the chase to avoid any accusations of willy waving. Although i'm pretty sure most people don't care if it's easy or not.
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Arms Cliff - on 08 May 2013
In reply to android_lloyd: This is the standard nice way of riding London to Cambridge, there are some slight lumps in Epping but the rest of it is pan flat. http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=1468463

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