Cycling routes throughout the South East, accessible from Guildford in a day
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info [at] cyclingfromguildford [dot] co [dot] uk
I am a keen leisure cyclist - its a great way to get out and about, see the countryside and keep fit. Having exhausted short local rides from my home in Guildford I have taken to exploring further afield. I created this site to share my experience with like minded cyclists.
To maximise convenience and minimise expense, my rides can generally be completed within a day, by using car and/or train to reach the start and/or finish points of the journey. In this way destinations such as, say, Oxford, Portsmouth or Dover are within reach. The rides reflect my own preferences, ie nothing too hairy, generally following quiet roads and tracks, making use of the National and Regional Cycle Routes where convenient. Typically the rides are 40-50 miles, though there is one (Reading to Bristol on the Kennet and Avon Cycleway) which is nearly 100 miles and will require an overnight. The toughest ride is the South Downs Way, which is accomplished in four segments.
My preference is for rides at a fairly leisurely pace. I ride a distinctly 'uncool' sit-up-and-beg Raleigh bike for road rides, or a straightforward (Marin) hardtail mountain bike for anything with significant off road. I generally average around 10mph on flat tarmac, down to 6mph on more challenging off road routes such as the South Downs Way (which is about as challenged as I get). I would regard 6 hours as the maximum time I can ride (the mind is strong, but the body weak), so this means a max distance of about 60 miles on an 'easy' route, 36 miles for a challenge. I don't like to be too far from sustenance, so most routes allow for coffee breaks, snacks and tea. All this means that, with travel time to/from the start/finish, each excursion is a full day, best suited to longer days in late spring, summer, or early autumn.
The rides described offer considerable variety. I try to avoid traffic, using tow paths, country lanes and tracks, or quiet city streets. Occasionally, though, it is necessary to use busy roads, and even on quiet country lanes, traffic can take you unawares, so please take care.
Most rides offer a mix of rural scenery, some panoramic views (on hillier rides at least), but also include some interesting urban landscapes (for example the views across to the City and Docklands from the Thames towpath through South East London).
I include for each ride a Google Map of the route, and a GPS download. These should be fine for planning and hopefully aid navigation. However they should only be regarded as indicative, and you should always carry a map (preferably OS 1:25K Explorer series), and be prepared to make your own route decisions.
Whilst I believe it's fine to cycle on the routes covered in this web site, this should not be taken as proof that an appropriate right of way exists, and the onus lies on the user to verify any such rights of way.
There is always an element of risk in cycling. Also, one person's 'easy ride' is another's 'gruelling challenge'. You use the information on this site entirely at your own risk.
Geeky bit: This website has been developed in a Chrome browser: sorry if it looks a bit funny in other browsers (Safari, Android etc).