Having driven up Farthing Downs, John Scarth decided it would be nice to cycle there to take in the views and the history.
Neolithic origins – The beginnings of the pastoral landscape we know today as Farthing Downs very likely began when, over 2000 years ago, visitors brought animals with them to graze the meadows within the woodland. An ancient trackway still exists today which predates the Celtic field boundaries created by farmers on the Downs 2000 years ago. The trackway was used by the Neolithic visitors. Neolithic pottery and archaeology has been found on the Downs and in nearby gardens and is evidence of early human occupation of the Downs.
The route involves a lot of climbing and steep descents. Head out to Banstead via Ewell. Descend Chipstead Valley to Coulsdon. Pass under the A23 and two railway bridges and filter right up Farthing Downs.
The return route is via Merstham, Reigate and Betchworth. The route is 40 miles in total.
This ride to coffee and cake is definitely a route of two halves.
Climbing Beech Avenue and Critten Lane to cross the downs and descending White Down (caution!). Then its another long easy climb to Holmbury St Mary and descent to Forest Green. Cross the A29 and A24 to reach Newdigate.
The farm shop is on the Rusper Road south of Newdigate.
The return leg is shorter and flatter via Leatherhead.
Climb from Leatherhead to Headley and down Pebble Hill. Some nice countryside from Betchworth. A loop heading to Russ Hill and back via quiet lanes to Brockham. Short spell on A25 towards Dorking. 45 miles/72Km.
There is a cafe and village store opposite the green in Charlwood.
This 57 mile ride takes you to coffee in Reigate. Climb up Crocknorth and along Ranmore Common. Descend to Dorking and a punchy climb up Punchbowl Lane! Flat to Coffee (a flat white maybe!) at Maison du Velo (see cafe review) then once re-fueled some more ups and downs to Merstham and Walton on the Hill. From there to home is all downhill!