Book Review – Cycling Climbs of South East England


Anyone curious about climbs called Box Hill or Whiteleaf then look no further than Cycling Climbs of South East England, your guide to the cycling hills in the SE

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Book Review – Cycling Climbs of South East England

Publication Date: August 6th, 2015

Top of the pile of books I have sitting on my desk waiting for a review is a book for climbers; Simon Warren’s Cycling climbs of South East England. It’s the smallest of the books (a tad smaller than an iPad mini screen), in a good way, being a handy size to stick in a back pocket and take with you if exploring the climbs is what you want to do.

This book, published by Frances Lincoln, has 140 plus pages that you can dip into for information. It details 60 of the greatest hills in London and the Home Counties with well over half of the hills new to the series.


Those of you who were watching the RideLondon Classic on Sunday will have heard of a couple of climbs featured in the book, Leith Hill and Box Hill. Each has a page of information from a description of the hill and some history along with the length, approx. climb time and height gain. Oh, and a photo so you can recognise it!

The toughness of the climbs is also given a rating!

From the rolling vistas of the Chilterns, through the twisting lanes of the Surrey Hills all the way to the rugged white cliffs of Dover, the South-East is littered with tough climbs as riders in RideLondon and the Tour of Britain have found.

Many climbs have now become household names such as the mighty Box Hill or Ditchling Beacon, but many others lay hidden, gems waiting for you to discover.

The book is broken up into regions with each one having a list of climbs in that region showing the location of the hill in question and at the back of the book are some pages listing the climbs with space to note the date ridden and the time taken.


I especially found the book exciting to read though as many of the climbs have been the scene of bike races over the years (remember the Archer and Whiteleaf?) The book has no index which would be useful but that’s an easy fix and worth the trouble as it’s a great read and resource for those of us who don’t even like going up hills!

Finally, being the masochist that I am, I had to flick through and find the toughest climb in the book and that is Barhatch Lane in Surrey which Simon gives a 9/10 rating. Riders after a challenge, seek it out and give it ago!

With an RRP of £8.99 it’s a lovely gift or purchase for the cyclist who loves a challenge, especially those in the South East or those paying the area a visit. Quite simply, for anyone looking for ideas for a training route, ie, pick a region from the book and do the climbs for a hard day in the saddle, this is a fantastic guide to have in your pocket. Congrats to Simon for the guide, enjoyed taking in the climbs especially the ones that are household names.


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