A mere sixteen miles out of central London lies the North Downs Way. An extensive trail path opened in 1978. It runs for a mammoth 173 miles, snaking along the ridge of the chalky North Down hills.
Our loop utilises some of the trail, as twists around the borders of Surrey and Kent. There are some sectors of the route which feature dried mud and gravel and in the spring and summer weather will be suitable for road bikes.
Beginning in Crystal Palace the route heads directly sout,h towards Woldingham and into the grounds of a private school. The road is a public bridleway and suitable for bicycles and walkers but not for cars. It is not long after leaving the school grounds do we enter the first fast section of trail overlooking Godstone.
We then swing west via some sections of gravel and heads along the ridge overlooking Kent's vineyards. At Merstham the route heads north towards London to return home, but not before a quick visit to Fanny's Farm Shop, for a well earned tea and fresh scone.
Update - as of March 2016, Fanny's Farm Shop has closed as the owner has retired. We are on the hunt for the best cream teas in the area.