London's roads to ride this autumn
Grab your wheels and hit these spectacular and quiet roads around London's home counties
Autumn is the start of the new school year and for most, it is time for a fresh start: pack away your sun cream, take that replenished energy, and apply it to work. Boo! As the weather cools, the roads empty and you can have the world to yourself, so extend your summer and head out on our chosen stretches of road — picked for beauty and sheer pedal-to-metal potential. Ready, set...
Knatts Valley Road, Kent
Located twenty miles south-east of central London, Knatts Valley Road is a three-and-a-half mile stretch that starts enclosed before opening out to reveal a stunning strip of Tarmac, hugged on each side by sloping green fields of Kent.
The best way to ride this road is from south to north. Approach from the village of Clarks Bottom.
Fingrith Hall Lane, Essex
This is a quintessential Essex lane: flat, narrow, and lined with freshly harvested farmers' fields. You'll pass through white, clapboard homes and thatch-roofed houses that will set off perfectly on an autumn day. Stop at Megarry's Antiques and Tea Shop, an eclectic cake shop in Blackmore village located at the end of the Fingrith Lane.
Woldingham School Road, Surrey
Headley Lane, Surrey
Box Hill's legendary ascent with curving switchbacks has almost become a motorway in recent years thanks, in part, to its use in the 2012 Olympic road race. In comparison, Longbottom Road leading to Headley Lane has gone almost unnoticed by cyclists and other road users, despite running parallel to Surrey's great beauty spot.
We highly recommend riding this alternative road, preferably in the direction towards Mickleham or Westhumble. Its fast, fun, and seemingly never-ending descent requires you to pedal to maintain speed without feeling like you're putting in too much effort along the two mile stretch. At the bottom, you can turn left and ascend Box Hill.
Berkhampsted Lane, Hertford
A touch north of London's roaring orbital motorway, the M25, is the quiet and secluded Berkhamsted Lane. The stretch initially descends, allowing you to pick up plenty of speed to ascend over the rise towards Little Berkhamsted village. Headrows line the road all the way along, keeping crosswinds to a minimum and your ride all the more speedy.
Culham Lane, Berkshire
Culham Lane's low, perfectly kept hedges give you a fantastic view across Berkshire and Oxfordshire farmland. It is pleasant and peaceful out here because the lane is a rather indirect way to reach Henley-upon-Thames, in all its wisteria-clad 18th-century glory. Flat as a pancake with almost perfect Tarmac, you can lay down some serious watts for just over two miles.
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