Surrey hills mountain bike trails consists of a set of trails that criss cross the South Downs. 3 of the most popular and well known are Leith Hill, Holmbury Hill and Pitch Hill. Each can all be ridden individually or looped together for an epic day out. These set of hills are a combination of natural and purpose built single-track in a great countryside setting. It is not way-marked so either get a map, or hook up with a local group.
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.
Summer Lightning has just had a major extension and although not fully open has soft launched (as at February 2014). The 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 that will provide a fast and flowing alternative to the congested bridleway descent that's the option at present. The full trail is around 9km and the new extension forms around 4km of this. For the soft launch 2 sections of the new trail, either side of Coldharbour cricket pitch, are now rideable and the tapes have been removed. More time is needed for the new tower descent (so please keep off).
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 10's and 10's of miles of single track and the opportunity to mix and match and piece together trails is something else. The trails are 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. Overall if you live in or around London the Surrey Hills has some of the best mountain biking on offer in England.
- 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 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 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).
- 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
- Hurtwood Trails are the MTB volunteer group responsible for trail development on the Hurtwood Estate in Surrey Hills.
- VC Goldalming Haslemer Surrey Hills Cycling
- Redhill Cycling Club
- Muddy Moles
- Love to Ride
- 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 or a short review.