Locations to Ride: The South

As part of our ongoing ‘Locations to Ride’ series, BETD highlights some recommended cycling routes across the country. This month we’re taking a look towards the opposite end of the country - from the legendary Devil’s Dyke to the olympic challenges of Box Hill Circuit.

The Devil's Dyke

Quiet roads, a decent challenge of a climb and fantastic views of the Sussex countryside, Devils Dyke is an ideal intermediate trail.  Based near Brighton and Hove, Devils Dyke eases you in with a very gentle gradient, surrounded by the panoramic expanse of countryside and the south coast. Popular with paragliders too, generally it offers a very peaceful ride.

Head east across the rolling hills before a moderate descent into the city. Take note: if you’re intending to go through the South Downs Way, a mountain bike is highly recommended.

Two Tunnels Greenway

A unique and atmospheric route, Two Tunnels Greenway offers a ride like no other. Transforming a disused railway line into a peaceful route for cyclists, hikers and runners alike, the Combe Down Tunnel in particular is home to a sound and light art installation. Exit Combe Down Tunnel to continue over the reservoir, with an excellent view of Midford Castle to your upper right.

Make the stretch even longer by continuing onto the Dundas Aqueduct, following the canal path back into the heart of Bath.

Clovelly, Devon

Not for the faint hearted, Clovelly in Devon is a picturesque village nestled in the hills of the south west. It’s renowned for it’s short, steep cobbled climb through the village, starting close to the sea and rising up into a climb with an immediate gradient of 20% and a second half closer to 30%. Ideal for fans of sore thighs and perfect for lovers of coastal walks, English heritage and beautiful white washed homes.

Box Hill Circuit

Want to test your strength and stamina against Olympians?  Look no further than Box Hill Circuit in Surrey! Renowned for being one of the most testing sections of the road cycling event in London 2012, it’s a steady climb with an average gradient of 4.9% and a good tarmac surface.

You can transform this route from moderate to difficult by modifying how many laps you make around the circuit (in 2012, the male riders lapped it nine times and the women twice), plus keep an eye on the weather, as summer heat adds to the challenge. If you’re more interested in a steady challenge, the route also offers lovely views - particularly at the top of Box Hill - and peaceful surrounding beechwoods.

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