Mountain biking in and around London

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  • Mountain biking in and around London
  • dantsw13

    The train is your friend!! I’m down in East Sussex, and an hour in my direction gets you to some great spots


    Having lived in Enfield, north London for 40 odd years, I think I can safely say that you won’t find any mtb in London. The key, in the north is to link up various parks & green spaces by short sections of road. From Oakwood UG, you can radiate out to: Trent Park, Monkden Hadley, Hilly Fields, White Webbs, Forty Hall, Capel Manor, Geoffs Oak, Broxbourne Woods, Wormley Woods etc. You need to explore, a guide would be best, don’t expect anything too rad, but you can have fun. Thetford Forest is more all weather than the clay of north London and can be worth a visit in deepest winter.


    To the west, Swinley and Surrey Hills?


    Yeah, I’ve been to Swinley on a number of occasions and I like it there.

    I’d like to check out Surrey Hills or the South Downs actually, though I understand there are no marked trails out there.

    Can anyone recommend any good trail guides for that area?


    Train to Hitchin from KX – 20 mins.

    Then loads of trails East and West.

    Either follow a route or just go exploring.

    Plenty of ups and downs and bridleways/ singletrack/ etc ..


    Broxbourne woods are pretty good and I can show you around if you need.

    Premier Icon jambalaya

    @coolbeanz – Surrey Hills (or North Downs) – downside is they are a bit of a trek from North London. Have a look at the shop rides from Nirvana Cycles in Westcott for example, they are excellent. They sell a map of their old Killer Loop rides. I think there is loop in the STW trails section on here. You can pay AllBikedUp for a guided ride. Not an exhaustive list at all as there are many shops which have groups. There are a handful of marked/official trails and many unofficial trails (often quite hidden).

    The Starva heat map feature is a good and bad thing, good as it shows where most people are riding, bad as it’s going to lead to more trail wear.

    If you send me an email I will map you a bridleway loop with a few of the better known official trails. The best way is to get out there and ask/follow people.

    Re Surrey Hills/Swinley – Swinley is constantly little up/little down, Surrey Hills tend to be longer climbs and descents. As a lot of the trails are unofficial they are not as maintained or sanitised as at Swinley.

    STW – North and South Downs

    Without doubt the most convenient is Epping forest. Don’t known where in angel you are but you can ride there if you find the river lea (canal) head towards hackney its accessible in various places from there either by regents canal or direct onto the lea. This can take u into the forest. I know a few people that live NE they ride CX use the road the canal then the forest.
    If you wanna ride or know more of the forest I am in there on a regular basis can show you around as there’s a lot of it, you can link up about 50 miles of roughly 80% single track if you know where to go.


    I’m based in Angel, London and I was wondering if anyone can recommend any good mountain biking in and around London? I’ve been to Epping forest and a few times, but that’s about it.

    Any other hidden gems out there?

    Mainly looking for singletrack type trails. Any recommendations of clubs and groups would also be welcome.



    Thanks a lot for all the info everyone.

    I think I will definitely try out the South Downs and Surrey Hills.

    Regarding Epping, I find that I always get lost around there. On occasion, I manage to find some great singletrack, other times I have a terrible time finding anything. Carbonfiend, thanks for the offer, I might get in touch in the future to arrange a ride.

    Interesting point about the Strava Heat Map – I had no idea this existed!


    I moved to London 8 years ago and lived in Angel for 6.
    I only really rode in the Surrey Hills as they were (a bit) familiar and expansive. Train from Kings X to Dorking and then over the hills towards Leith/ Homlbury/ Pitch from there. So much to explore and get lost in, it’s a wonderful area for mountain biking. Having knowledge of the area, or a guide, will certainly get you to the best spots though including the popular trails like Barry Knows Best, Telegraph, Yoghurt Pots, etc. I think Pitch Hill has the most to offer these days but is the furthest away.
    Swinley is a good option as you can get the train out to Martins Heron and ride from there and it’s waymarked.

    I think basically you need to travel for an hour by car or train to get to decent riding.

    Only been to Surrey a couple of times this year as I’m concentrating on road riding at the moment, and I’m based further North now in Crouch End.


    Regarding the South Downs, you could always jump on a Thameslink train down towards Brighton.

    If you get off the train at Hassocks then you’re at the foot of the Downs. A quick slog up to the top of the ridge and you’re on the South Downs Way. From there I’d recommend checking out Stanmer Park, a mile or so south of Ditchling Beacon, which is to the East of Hassocks.

    There’s tons of singletrack in Stanmer that’s looked after by local riders. All unofficial/unmarked paths though but you really can’t miss it if you keep your eyes open. From Stanmer you can fit in a loop back to Hassocks and back to the station.

    If you wanted a longer ride perhaps get the train down Eastbourne and ride the South Downs way back towards Brighton. Something like about 35 miles or so but a nice ride.

    Just a couple of suggestions. Cheers.


    or the South Downs actually, though I understand there are no marked trails out there.


    waterloo to petersfield on train is 1 Hour

    Premier Icon timmys

    For a few things closer to home:

    From Angel you can nip down the canal to Haggerston BMX track

    Up Hampstead Heath there are few little bits and bobs, Sandy Heath is the area to head for. Cheeky but I only ever got shouted at once.

    Queens Wood Highgate allows cycling. Pleasant enough but not really singletrackey.

    I used to use Parkland Walk to link things together a lot.

    Huge stairways around the Emirates were always fun for “suspension testing”.

    Mr esher shore of this parish would be able to help you further if he drops by

    EDIT: Here’s an example of the kind loop I used to do incorporating some of the stuff above:

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