Surrey hills mountain bike trails stumpy_dan Hot

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Surrey Shredding | Winterfold Forest | Sam Dixon-French
Pedal and Spoke Santa Cruz - Surrey Hills Mountain Biking
SAM REYNOLDS SICK EDIT
Surrey Hills - New MTB Trail linking to Summer Lightning from Leith Hill
New Leith Hill descent and Summer Lightning extension
Surrey Hills - Leith Hill

Surrey hills mountain bike trails consists of a set of trails that criss cross the North Downs. 4 of the most popular and well known are Leith Hill, Holmbury Hill, Pitch Hill and Winterfold hill. Each can all be ridden individually or looped together. These set of hills are a combination of natural and purpose built single-track in a great countryside setting. 

In early 2014 Summer Lightning had a major extension built. This new Summer Lightning trail starts just below the iconic Leith Hill Tower and runs to connect up to the old Summer Lightning section. It's a red graded trail and both old and new sections are 9km (the new extension forms around 4km of this). 

The Trails Overview

Being the highest point in the North Downs you would expect it to be the best riding accessible to London and Home counties riders. The thing is you would not expect it to be quite as good as it is. There are many miles of single track (all non way marked) and the opportunity to mix and match and piece together trails is something else. The trails are predominately managed by Hurtwood Trails who do a good job also of communicating all the latest trail developments and conditions.  The trails are diverse and you will find berms, drops, roots, switchbacks and steep technical descents all in abundance. 

There are quite a few places to start like Peaslake,  Nirvana Cycles in Westcot, Leith Hill Tower and many more dotted along the way. Some of the trails worth checking out are Barry Knows Best, Yoghurt Pots, Deliverance, the Quarry and Summer Lightning to name but a few.

Leith Hill

  • Leith hill is probably the steepest of the three hills and home to The Tower the highest point on Leith Hill as well as the highest point in the North downs. Hence there are tough climbs and some really rewarding descents. You will be surpised how steep it can get! NB although facilites are limited there is a neat litle kiosk for tea and cake at the top on The Tower. Some of the famous more carved trails here are Summer Lighting (twisty singletrack with low berms), Deliverance (very steep), The Quarry (for jumping and drops) Crooked Furrow, Regurgitator & Waggledance. Nirvana Cycles in Westcot is a decent shop and a common place to start. They have maps and also organise informal rides on the weekends including their renowned Jump class.

Holmbury Hill. 

  • Holmbury Hill is another great hill and can be started from the village of Peaslake.  Famous here is the village store for more tea and cake and a good friendly bike shop Pedal and Spoke run by Howard (who sold me my Butcher) where you can hire bikes, buy gear and get some good advice. Both places are unmissable due the constant swarm of bikers around them. There is a biker friendly pub just opposite the store also. Famous trails here are Barry Knows Best (tight flowing singletrack that is worth doing twice) which traverses down the final descent with roots galore reminiscent of a Welsh trail centre and the Yoghurt Pots (which has just had an upgrade and makeover) full of rolling dips as you descend and the Telegraph Row which is a neat bit of fast and very tight singletrack on a less steep decline but still lets you drive speed (keep pedalling mind).

Pitch Hill

  • Pitch Hill is the final of the hills and as rewarding as the others with the same abundance of singletrack and thrills. Famous trails are Supernova (quite technical)and the set of trails know as the T Trails (rooty and flowy and some are quite technical and others involved a fair bit of pedalling).

Useful Sites

  • A great resource for detailed trail guides for each of the hills can be found at the Surrey Hills MTBer website here

Clubs and Groups

Other Stuff

  • The Summer Lightning project is being managed by Ian Warby from CTC, built by Olie Burton from Track Lines with Richard Kelly from All Biked Up leading the hand build team and coordinating the volunteers working on the trail.

Share

  • If you have ridden any of the mountain bike trails in the Surrey Hills then why not share your experience with the community and favourite the trail, post some pics, vids, routes (GPX) or a short review. 
  • File Description
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  • Pitch-Up-Look-Sharp-16-1411075642
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  • Holmbury-hill-highlights-28-1411076040
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  • IMB-Gps-Track-Surrey-UK-56-1411076045
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Trails

Type of Centre/Base
Trail Grades
  • Red (Difficult)
  • Ungraded (natural)
Type of Trail(s)
Cross Country (XC )

Location

Website
Country
England
County/State
Surrey
Trail, Centre or Base
Address
GU59RR
Sat Nav Co-ordinates
GU5 9RR
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User reviews

Average user rating from: 5 user(s)

Overall rating 
 
3.9
Grin Factor 
 
3.8  (5)
Trail Variety 
 
4.5  (5)
Skills Development 
 
4.1  (5)
Trail Quality  
 
3.5  (5)
Facilities 
 
2.9  (5)
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Ratings (the higher the better)
  • Grin Factor
    Level of fun had, or to be had
  • Trail Variety
    Variety of specific trail or overall trail centre. Mix of obstacles, berms, jumps, drops, shore etc.
  • Skills Development
    Did it develop or push your skills and leave you with more to come back and learn
  • Trail Quality
    Are the trails well built /maintained using sustainable techniques?
  • Facilities
    From cafe post ride grub to bike wash. Did it meet your expectations?
User Review
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There is also Winterfold hill, along with a cheeky hill that won't mention, but that gives 5 hills along the south of the hills, but the Surrey Hills also includes the North Downs on the other side of the A25, including Ranmore and Box Hill where there is more to be found, with many cheeky spots to ride. That side involves a lot more climbing, but some sweet descents and play areas. Technically the Surrey Hills even includes the Hogs Back along to Farnham, but that's one for the more long distance xc oriented rides.

DH - well no, it's not a DH venue, though there are DH spots. Problem is the best are cheeky so you'll just have to ask around to find them or just explore. I'm not a DHer myself though I give it a little go on occasion. I'd prefer somewhere with an uplift for that, but I see plenty with full DH rigs playing in the hills, and there are big gaps about that you won't necessarily find in some DH trail centres.

XC - yes there's plenty of that in all kinds of variety.

However the good stuff is general singletrack which can vary in nature from simple natural trails, to singletrack with berms, jumps, gaps, roots, rocks, and whatever thrown at you. Some flat, some down, some even up.

Flat? - not really, unless you stick to Holmbury ;) - explore beyond the tourist trails and you'll find the cracking descents, though you will have to deal with the climbs back up.
Overall rating 
 
4.4
Grin Factor 
 
4.5
Trail Variety 
 
5.0
Skills Development 
 
4.5
Trail Quality  
 
4.0
Facilities 
 
3.5
tjmoore Reviewed by tjmoore December 18, 2013
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (4)

There's more than just the 3 hills

There is also Winterfold hill, along with a cheeky hill that won't mention, but that gives 5 hills along the south of the hills, but the Surrey Hills also includes the North Downs on the other side of the A25, including Ranmore and Box Hill where there is more to be found, with many cheeky spots to ride. That side involves a lot more climbing, but some sweet descents and play areas. Technically the Surrey Hills even includes the Hogs Back along to Farnham, but that's one for the more long distance xc oriented rides.

DH - well no, it's not a DH venue, though there are DH spots. Problem is the best are cheeky so you'll just have to ask around to find them or just explore. I'm not a DHer myself though I give it a little go on occasion. I'd prefer somewhere with an uplift for that, but I see plenty with full DH rigs playing in the hills, and there are big gaps about that you won't necessarily find in some DH trail centres.

XC - yes there's plenty of that in all kinds of variety.

However the good stuff is general singletrack which can vary in nature from simple natural trails, to singletrack with berms, jumps, gaps, roots, rocks, and whatever thrown at you. Some flat, some down, some even up.

Flat? - not really, unless you stick to Holmbury ;) - explore beyond the tourist trails and you'll find the cracking descents, though you will have to deal with the climbs back up.

User Review

Good Points
Huge variety, vast area, always changing conditions, something for everyone, not a trail centre, cheese straws and meat slices in Peaslake store. Plenty of places to start from. Fast running flowing trails in the dry. Mud and slippery roots when wet (see also bad points). Depending on the hill, some areas drain better than others. Great fun in the snow also. Bike shop by the trails in Peaslake, bike shop in Westcott, more in Dorking and surrounding areas. Lots of demo opportunities on quality trails.
Bad Points
Mud and slippery roots when wet (see also good points). Very busy at weekends and parking can be an issue in Peaslake, especially on a Sunday (p.s. *Please* don't park in the village, use one of the Hurtwood car parks). Parking in Westcott is limited also for Leith, though there are many car parks around Leith or if you don't mind a bit of a ride to get there, park in Dorking or even make it a long one and park Peaslake way and ride all the hills!

No trail signs - but that's more of a good point. It's not a trail centre.
Would you recommend?
Yes
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I am a DHer, but recently competed in the megavalanche. Much of my training was based in the SH due to the great number of trails and the effort factor that is involved. I once rode 60km in one day all off road and not riding the same trail twice!

However I find many of the trails bland and easy, and I hate the holmbury hill loop! Far too flat! As a DHer, it really does not feed me enough thrill. There are also too many snotty roadies around for my liking. Despite this, nothing compares to the SH in the south east if all you want is a long, social mtb ride. Which is what most people want... So it may not be to my taste (hence the low score), but I can see why its one of Britains most popular mtb areas.
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Grin Factor 
 
2.0
Trail Variety 
 
4.5
Skills Development 
 
3.0
Trail Quality  
 
3.0
Facilities 
 
2.0
houltykid Reviewed by houltykid August 11, 2013
Top 500 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (1)

Good enduro practice, but too easy

I am a DHer, but recently competed in the megavalanche. Much of my training was based in the SH due to the great number of trails and the effort factor that is involved. I once rode 60km in one day all off road and not riding the same trail twice!

However I find many of the trails bland and easy, and I hate the holmbury hill loop! Far too flat! As a DHer, it really does not feed me enough thrill. There are also too many snotty roadies around for my liking. Despite this, nothing compares to the SH in the south east if all you want is a long, social mtb ride. Which is what most people want... So it may not be to my taste (hence the low score), but I can see why its one of Britains most popular mtb areas.

User Review

Good Points
Lots of it, long rides, long trails, many trails
Bad Points
too easy and mostly flat
Would you recommend?
Yes
Surrey Shredding | Winterfold Forest | Sam Dixon-French
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So many different routes you can link up it's not true. If you like the more technical stuff that's over on the Pitch Hill side. Put a big loop together with all the good bits and you can have an excellent, and tiring, day out. I tend not to go if the weather has been really wet, the high volume of traffic means some trails really suffer in bad weather.
Overall rating 
 
4.6
Grin Factor 
 
5.0
Trail Variety 
 
5.0
Skills Development 
 
5.0
Trail Quality  
 
3.5
Facilities 
 
4.0
Hummerlicious Reviewed by Hummerlicious April 21, 2013
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (7)

Miles of trails

So many different routes you can link up it's not true. If you like the more technical stuff that's over on the Pitch Hill side. Put a big loop together with all the good bits and you can have an excellent, and tiring, day out. I tend not to go if the weather has been really wet, the high volume of traffic means some trails really suffer in bad weather.

User Review

Good Points
Lots of trails
Bad Points
YOU need to put your route together
Can be really busy at the weekend
Trails can suffer in wet weather, use your discretion
Would you recommend?
Yes
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I have been demoing bikes in the Surrey Hills and had decided to take each one out on the same route for consistency. Good news is that over a period of 6 weeks I have managed a to knit together quite a neat little route.
Overall rating 
 
3.8
Grin Factor 
 
3.5
Trail Variety 
 
4.0
Skills Development 
 
4.0
Trail Quality  
 
4.0
Facilities 
 
3.0
DirtNumpty Reviewed by DirtNumpty June 08, 2011
Last updated: October 15, 2012
Top 500 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (1)

Holmbury Hill (Surrey Hills)

I have been demoing bikes in the Surrey Hills and had decided to take each one out on the same route for consistency. Good news is that over a period of 6 weeks I have managed a to knit together quite a neat little route.

User Review

Good Points
Good elevation for the south of England with good ascent and descent and flowing singletrack.
Bad Points
Some of the ups and connecting parts are fire track and you do pass the same points on the track a little often but it feels right none the less.
Would you recommend?
Yes
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The listing pretty much says it all. Its a stones throw from Guildford and Dorking and reasonably accesible from the big smoke. If you are looking for that all day wales feeling and are trapped down south then this is where you need to head.
Overall rating 
 
3.6
Grin Factor 
 
4.0
Trail Variety 
 
4.0
Skills Development 
 
4.0
Trail Quality  
 
3.0
Facilities 
 
2.0
stumpy_dan Reviewed by stumpy_dan October 17, 2009
#1 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (57)

Surrey hills a little bit of Wales in England

The listing pretty much says it all. Its a stones throw from Guildford and Dorking and reasonably accesible from the big smoke. If you are looking for that all day wales feeling and are trapped down south then this is where you need to head.

User Review

Good Points
Miles of the stuff, all great stuff
Bad Points
Better waymarking needed. Visitor centre would not go amiss
Would you recommend?
Yes
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