So, you have decided to live a healthier life. You’ve got involved with a bike to work scheme and have a spanking new mountain bike perfect for road and off road. Well, the next thing you will be looking for is ways to enjoy cycling in your social time. In this piece we take a look at four of the best cycle routes in the south of England. These are sure to leave you excited, inspired and exhausted; if not exhilarated.
Petersfield-Cocking in Southdowns way
From London you can jump on a train over to Petersfield and within a short cycle you can be in a National Park. You have a superb ride with spectacular views between Buriton and South Harting, stretching for around ten miles. You can then loop back through the woodland and chalk white tracks from Cocking in a super 25 mile route. You will truly enjoy the experience. Best of all it’s easy to get to from London.
Foulness Island in Essex
This island is actually ministry of defence land. During the month of September there is an annual event run by the Rotary Club. During this period cyclists can enjoy the colonies of seals and stunning bird life by touring around the flat roads. It’s a bit of a funny ride, with air raid shelters and military equipment jutting out here and there, clashing with the peacefully grazing cattle and stunningly natural countryside.
This is a decent trip for those that want a bit of a longer ride. It is a hundred and seventy miles round trip that cuts into Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire and of course the Chilterns hills. The scene is set with red kites and chalk downs inspiring you along the way. You don’t have to do the whole ride but you will probably be so captivated by the scenery and the undulating countryside you will want to go all the way. Most of the route is roads but some of the way you will be on exciting off road tracks. As a real bonus is there are plenty of pubs along the way for you to stop and enjoy a beverage.
Corkscrew Lane in South London
This is a somewhat secret section of South London where a corridor leads you through into country lanes and sparsely populated villages. If you cycle from Crystal Palace through Elmers End and then onto West Wickham you will soon find yourself cycling along Corkscrew Lane. You will then experience the juxtaposition of city and countryside as you hit valleys, rolling fields and woodland.
If you continue along the lane you will end up at a peak from which you can see a clear thirty miles on a good day. There are some exhilarating drops where you will hit forty miles per hour. There are some steep climbs of 15%. This is a truly varied and exciting ride and it’s within a short ride of South London.
If you are trading in your car for your bicycle to get to work then you will find you have more energy and more inclination to tackle one of these routes. Along the way you will meet other people doing the same and the community spirit you will experience will be refreshing.
If you are cycling with your family, and enjoying a healthy ride as a group, any of these routes could be appropriate and help you enjoy the benefits of cycling. Just watch out for the high speed sections of Corkscrew Lane though.