Oyster Loop Day 7 of 8, a circuit of London for hybrid bikes using Oyster stations.
The Greensand hills of the Weald are the heartland of Kentish cycling, with steep ascents and long steady descents. This ride crosses the Weald to explore some of the historic villages such as Chiddingstone, owned and preserved by the National Trust, and Hever, before returning to the North Downs to climb back to Caterham.
- Total Distance: 58.5km
- Total Ascent: 604m
- Highest Point: 212m
- Lowest Point: 31m
This route explores the Darent and Eden valleys via the Kent villages of Otford, Chiddingstone and Hever before climbing back over the Weald and the North Downs to reach the Gravelly Hill viewpoint and Caterham.
On leaving Knockholt, The route heads down to Shoreham and the Darent Valley which is followed to Otford via bridleways. Minor roads then are followed to Sevenoaks, bypassing the town centre to head up to the Weald. A steady climb follows to Bayley’s Hill, whereupon there is a superb undulating descent to the Eden Valley and Chiddingstone. This unspoilt village has both tea shops and pubs.
The route heads on via quiet lanes past Hever (pub) and Edenbridge, before picking up the Surrey Cycleway at Merle Common. The hardest part of the route then follows with a steep climb to Tilburstow Hill before reaching Bletchingley (pub).
A short stretch of minor road leads on to Sustrans Route 21 which provides a diagonal bridleway to climb on a good track up the North Downs to the viewpoint at Gravelly Hill. A short stretch of downhill forest bridleway then leads to Caterham.
UPDATE: I had been holding back my detailed information on the Oyster Wheel Days until I had the opportunity to re-ride them and check them for accuracy. However due to Coronavirus “shielding”, I will be unable to ride them for some months. I have therefore decided to publish the draft copies in case others get the chance to use them before me. The route card is a simple table of directions and distances, where the description is a book chapter with the same directions, but also detailed maps and a commentary on the route and places of interest.
If you have any comments on these documents, please let me know