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  • Leatherhead / Surrey Hills
  • Premier Icon mahalo
    Full Member

    I know my way round Peaslake well enough and a little bit on Leith and Hindhead but never ridden the area north of Dorking. Ranmore/Mickleham

    Has anyone got a good beginner* route of the area I can use please? I guess I’ll be exploring in the dark too at first. Also can I ride from Leatherhead or is better to drive down and park amongst it?

    *beginner as in total alien – not on stabilisers. I’m looking for the steeper stuff if poss…

    Also has anyone ridden the bmx / pump tracks at Wormwood Scrubs or Gurnell in Ealing? Wondered if they were rideable after dark too?

    Premier Icon jimdubleyou
    Full Member

    I often use that area for a play on my way to the in-laws.

    If you head SE from Leatherhead towards Headley on the B2033 about 2/3 k from the A24 there’s a bridleway that puts you on top of Michelham downs. From there, head down the bridleway to Juniper Hall – it’s a quick, rocky-ish decent, quite good fun.

    From there, head up the Box hill Bridleway and find you way to the Juniper bottom trail. This is more of the same, but it’s easy to find and fast.

    Ranmoor has got a few decent trails off the back too.

    If you pop into the bike shop in Dorking, they sell a trail map of the area which lists what bridleways are actually worth riding.

    Premier Icon milko9000
    Full Member

    The BMX track itself at Gurnell isn’t lit, but the little skatepark next to it is and there’s quite a lot of other lighting around the place, it’s a light-coloured surface as well. Without having actually tried it myself I reckon you could probably get around fine after dark. It’s not exactly a big track, I wouldn’t travel too far to get on it!

    There’s some brilliant stuff around Ranmore/Dorking but I wouldn’t know how to find it myself and I think most of what I was shown was a bit on the cheeky side.

    Premier Icon mahalo
    Full Member

    cool thanks. im in Kew so Gurnell is only about 5 miles away, as is scrubs. will prob have a wander round both.. unless there is owt else between Kew and Leatherface worth checking out?

    Premier Icon aP
    Free Member

    We ride out from near Twickenham so not far from Kew. We do quite a bit of riding on and around Mickelham and Ranmore Commons – mostly on drop bar bikes (either CX 700c/33 or 650b/42). There’s some nice routes out and back, sometimes we’ll ride out (75% off-road) to Newlands Corner and then drop down into Wisley and pick up the Wey Navigation. When the days are longer its possible to ride out to Leith Hill and back, but it is quite along day.
    If you;re interested let me know.

    Premier Icon mahalo
    Full Member

    thanks ap but im not much of a mile muncher. should have mentioned im only in the area a few evenings per week too, but im just happy sessioning the same few tracks a couple of times if i can find some good ones!

    Premier Icon aP
    Free Member

    No worries. There’s definitely some good stuff on Mickelham Down – just look at the Strava heat-map.

    Premier Icon kilo
    Full Member

    From there, head down the bridleway to Juniper Hall – it’s a quick, rocky-ish decent, quite good fun.

    Is that the Stane Street descent? There’s a track to the left of that that takes you out near the steps up to Mickleham downs which is much more testing. Trailforks suggests that might be white honky

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
    Full Member

    there used to be a cracking trail from opposite Smith and Western which drops you out eventually near Juniper Hall. China Pig, maybe?

    Premier Icon kilo
    Full Member

    Yes, China pig, You head in by S and W for about 150 feet and then veer right just past the fence on the left, nice flow trail, we do it a lot on the cx bikes

    Premier Icon aP
    Free Member

    Our preferred route off Mickleham is via the flowy singletrack that leads off the southern tip of the cut open area, goes past the water tanks then brings you out by the gate on Headley Road opposite Juniper Hall. There is a vertical route down as well…

    Premier Icon Cheezpleez
    Full Member

    It’s not the best time of year for Ranmore, Boxhill and Mickleham. They’re all on slippy, claggy chalk and clay. Mickleham holds up the best.

    You can, of course, still get a good ride in but it helps to know which bits to avoid.

    Premier Icon senorj
    Full Member

    I used to often ride from box hill to Peaslake etc via bits of Norbury park/mickleham down/Polesden Lacey – I used to like the Bway from the church at the top of Ranmore down to P.Lacey. There’s loads of bways,cheek & bits of single-track if you look.
    Not been in AGES , lovely part of the world.

    Premier Icon deadkenny
    Free Member

    there used to be a cracking trail from opposite Smith and Western which drops you out eventually near Juniper Hall. China Pig, maybe?

    Yeah, that’s the one. Is a marked footpath. Watch out for walkers.

    Loads of stuff about along the North Downs which covers all this, but as said it’s not great in the wet. Singletrack around is all cheeky and somewhat sensitive. There are issues with land owners like Nat Trust and some of the locals. Stickman is prevalent also.

    That said a large amount is just paths, bridleways and natural(ish) tracks that are rideable and turn into really nice flowy singletrack (maybe with subtle pixie work 😉 ). I prefer it to the manufactured riding of Peaslake.

    Premier Icon bentudder
    Full Member

    Hiya, local rider here. The geology makes North Downs vs. Greensand Hills a seasonal thing. Greensands (Leith, Holmbury, Pitch) are, well, greensand, so they drain really well and as a result tend to erode less during winter. Forestry planting policy has also made for lots of evergreens, which suck up lots of water. North Downs is different – a lot more deciduous growth, and also the geo is chalk and London Clay, so lots of issues with leaf mulch, claggy mud and ice-rink style surfaces.
    I’m usually out midweek in the evenings, and during the winter we tend to head towards Leith rather than onto the northern bits because it’s less of a slopfest. The North Downs is as greasy as hell at the moment, so you need to pick and choose and some of the funnerer stuff is a bit less fun and a bit more whoops as a result. During the other three seasons it’s lovely, though – very fast trails when dry.
    Hope that helps. As Deadkenny says, stickman, sensitivities around some areas. You may have better results at this time of year exploring Leith and Holmbury a bit more – there’s oodles of good stuff!

    Premier Icon jimdubleyou
    Full Member

    so lots of issues with leaf mulch, claggy mud and ice-rink style surfaces.

    I’ve got a nice scar on my leg where it was sliced open on some flint after I had an off on wet chalk clay – I think that was coming off Ranmore.

    Is that the Stane Street descent? There’s a track to the left of that that takes you out near the steps up to Mickleham downs which is much more testing. Trailforks suggests that might be white honky

    Yes – Stane Street, think it holds up to weather quite well?

    Not tried much of the cheeky trails of Michelham as I’m usually just passing through. I did make the mistake of planning a route up to Michelham from Cockshot Cottage once, had to carry the bike!

    I think that’s where White Honkey comes out, but never tried it…

    Premier Icon bentudder
    Full Member

    Jim, there’s some delicious stuff off Mickleham. Well worth a bit of exploring!

    Premier Icon tonyg2003
    Full Member

    These are my local trails. After a few years of trails being built on the North side of Ranmore (facing Polsden Lacey) we now (last year or so) have had lots more cheeky tails built off Mickelham Gallops and the Juniper Hall side of Boxhil. I don’t ride over at Peaslake and Leigh Hill so much now due to the trail network now on the doorstep. Not too jumpy – but that suits me.

    Premier Icon mahalo
    Full Member

    Well ive ridden round here a fair few times now, and had a good explore but im not a big fan. Its doorstep riding so cant be too harsh, but it’s a pretty boring and not even that nice to look at. At least riding round pitch and winterfold you are in a proper forest with big proud pine trees and there are a couple of nice viewpoints to head for.

    The woods round here are scraggy, full of what feels like illegitimate bastard vegetation, and that nasty chalky dirt under foot. I did find a couple of decent trails, one called white honky (strava names) is alright? From the bottom of there I go along and drop into one i think is called ‘cheers tony’ which has some nice fast berms. Then I headed out for a lap of box hill and the recommended China Pig, I only made this mistake once! After that snorefest I climb up the steps and do one called ‘pink sock’? this probably the best one around, has a couple of features fashioned from fallen trees. Then it’s back up for another called ‘Seans Helmet’ I like this one too. I missioned over to Ranmore to look for the fabled ‘Ricin Beans’ trail, which turned out to be just a flat footpath… then I sulked of back to leatherhead through some fields.

    Its all a bit too well established & trail-centre-ish, motorways. I hope there is some fresher cut or steeper stuff hidden about..?

    Premier Icon tonyg2003
    Full Member

    Well you found a few of the local trails and missed some of the better ones. There is a new line above China Pig that is much better and there are better trails on Mickleham that you missed. Wizards sleeve, Pot Noddle, Vietcong, Tankslapper. However it’s far smaller that Peaslake / Leigh Hill. It’s it’s my doorstep riding.

    Ricin beans is flat! You missed Flinty Bad Man, Rip Van Winkle and some other steep / jumpy trails. Lots too ride on Ranmore.

    Although I agree that It Peaslake PCC more in!

    Premier Icon deadkenny
    Free Member

    Its all a bit too well established & trail-centre-ish, motorways.

    Odd. I’d say it’s very unlike a trail centre round there. It’s natural woodlands, animal tracks, walking paths and some cheeky fun steep stuff. More raw riding. Needs to stay this way, not hordes of people with vans, Enduro rigs and spades. And please, not a dozen loam lines down the same hill to piss off the land owner and make a mess of the place.

    Peaslake is more like a trail centre, or bike park (sadly).

    There’s a lot of sensitivity along North Downs side and far less tolerance for riding compared to Peaslake area. Frequent sticking and blocking off. Juniper Hill is getting fenced off in parts and private signs up now on trail entrances.

    A little concerned really about the public chat here anyway, especially some of the more sensitive trail names mentioned. But I guess if they’re on Trail Forks 🙄

    In short, great riding that’s a change from the bike park stuff. Just be sensible and don’t do anything to draw too much attention or cause conflict.

    Premier Icon tonyg2003
    Full Member

    I agree with DeadKenny. I find this area very very quiet (I rarely see anyone else on the trails) compared to Peaslake and Leigh plus the trails are mostly very much singletrack and discrete.

    The other good trails are over towards sawmill / honeysuckle bottom (!!) but there are only a few goodies.

    Still you can put some very reasonable rides together in this area.

    Premier Icon stuc
    Free Member

    Seems a good thread to ask about getting from East Horsley too Peaslake.

    A quick look on the OS map shows quite a few bridleway to the south through The Sheepleas, Effingham Forest and Netley Heath. Anything of interest in these areas on the way through or just the marked bridleways. Thanks.

    Premier Icon tonyg2003
    Full Member

    Definitely ride up and do Bingo
    bingo Dave and Wonderland before heading up to Ranmore and one of the cheeky descents to Abinger before going to Peaslake.

    Premier Icon freeridenick
    Free Member

    Seriously – mentioning these extremely sensitive trails on an open forum….WTF
    we have enough problems already

Viewing 25 posts - 1 through 25 (of 25 total)

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