Overview – Distance: 240 km, Climbing: 2050 m
Café stops – Brentwood, Westerham
At Dittons Velo we love a crazy ride!
Start very early to avoid the traffic around Heathrow and Uxbridge. Once you get past Rickmansworth and into the countryside, 55km in, it is time to relax and think about drinks and fuelling.
Next up it’s Potters Bar at 90km which might be a good place for a quick corner shop stop for supplies. We pushed on to the Black Horse pub in Brentwood (135km) for a big breakfast/brunch. At that point you are over half way and start heading south towards the Dartford crossing.
The traffic starts to get busy towards South Ockenden but then the route diverts through residential estates and cycle lanes heading towards the River Thames. At West Thurrock you have to take a right just before the bridge and head through the blue gates up the ramp to the Crossing Control point. Use the yellow phone to call for the bike crossing service.
You decide whether you pause your Strava on the crossing or get a 55kph segment!
Once south of the river, suitably rested, you have to negotiate busy roundabouts and minimal cycle lanes. It pays to zoom out on your GPS device to ensure you get the correct exit onto Cotton Lane towards Stone. Enjoy the views over Dartford from the hillside!
Push on to Shoreham where the roads are quieter and then hit the countryside with The M25 on your right. Cross over the motorway and the next food stop is less than a mile away at Eat’n’Mess before Sundridge. Alternatively, there are cafés in Brastead.
The next landmark is Godstone at 200km. Your tired legs will be complaining as you climb up to Bletchingley (the highest point on the route), then another short climb before descending into Redhill. With only 32km to go, the mood rises as it’s “downhill” all the way home.
At Betchworth you have the option of going up Pebble Hill (ouch!) to more closely follow the M25 or take the flatter route to Dorking and Leatherhead. We chose the latter!