North Downs: Accessible by train?

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  • North Downs: Accessible by train?
  • MrSmith

    The North Downs is one of the most easy to access by train riding areas in the country.

    If you’re coming from London, Dorking or Box Hill are the best stations, good trains, and you can ride off road from about 1/2 a mile from the station if you want, or do a 3 mileish road blast to the most popular trails. Holmwood is very good, but doesn’t have many trains. Gomshall is also bang in the middle of the trails, but again, you usually have to change trains to get there, meaning it’s quicker to ride from Dorking or Box Hill.

    I believe you can ride out from Guildford too if you’re coming from Hampshire or somewhere, although I don’t really know that end.



    If you fancy a guided ride we can pick you and your bike up from Dorking station. There is a schedule of rides on the web site (skills sessions too), all graded to suit experience etc.

    Otherwise, as has been mentioned, a short ride from Dorking will get you to Leith Hill, and from there the Surrey Hills stretch out to the west. I’d say the Surrey Hills offer quite a lot more than the North Downs.

    Which station are you coming from?
    This would be helpful in working out the quickest way of getting there.
    Theres some riding near Redhill too.


    Brilliant stuff, thanks guys. I will be coming from Winchester, so Dorking will take a good 1.5 hrs, Guildford about 1hr. I think it’s worth it though for a change of scenery. Is there any public domain info on routes available? I know it can be a sensitive issue – nobody likes to see their trails trashed by excessive numbers of riders – so I won’t be offended if people don’t want to say!

    Thanks again.


    Hey all, I am based in the South of England and mostly ride in the South Downs area. It’s ok, but you have to search quite hard for anything exciting. I was thinking of heading to the North Downs some time for a change of scenery, but don’t have a car. I was just wondering, is it possible to get some good riding done travelling by train? If so, which station would you reccommend?



    Rather op for the extra half hour and go to Dorking station. Easy to get to the good areas from there, Guildford is a little too far away.


    I’m traveling up to holmwood, from Brighton in the next hour or so 🙂 -it’s a short but steep ride up to Coldharbour and the trails. I’ve made the trip fairly regularly over the winter. Great trails.


    wot everyone else says.

    Try and hook up with some locals to get the best out of the trails otherwise you will be pootling about wondering where to go even with any knowledge you can pick up on here.

    Most of the good trails are not on an OS map either.

    I can recommend Glenp above, a very good set-up they have there or alternatively just ask on here closer to the time and someone will have a ride planned you can join in.

    Premier Icon theotherjonv


    (arse – ignore caps but I can’t be arsed to retype)

    In which case don’t write off Guildford as the start point – you can be up to Newlands corner/St Martha’s in 15 mins from Guildford which makes up a decent NW corner of a big square loop taking in Pitch, Holmbury and Leith Hills to the south side and back up to the NDW for the North side. I don’t do GPS but could easily point out some ‘points of interest’ on the OS maps of the area for you to get a good mix of trails.

    Or second what others have said about glenp’s group.


    nobody likes to see their trails trashed by excessive numbers of riders – so I won’t be offended if people don’t want to say!

    i wouldn’t worry about that. people are paying to be guided round the trails every weekend. one more isn’t going to make much difference.

    Premier Icon shortcut

    my best tip for finding good trails up there is to look for a local who will show you around. the trails described and mapped on the stw trail guides are ok. but there are much better routes is you know where you are going.

    post up here and i am sure someone will be more than happy to guide you. depending on when you want to ride, i am happy to volunteer.

    or indeed post up your email and i will let you know when i am next riding up there.


    The ride out from Guildford isn’t really any worse than the ride out from Dorking all offroad and all fun both ways. Depending on waht you want to do, you could spend pretty much an entire day on Leith just freestyling all the singletrack and following your nose.


    I live in Leatherhead and ride with a small group pretty much every weekend (sociable pace!) doing a lot of the good trails so mail me if you like – address in profile.

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