No.2 Houses & Hills

Map (zoom in for more detail)

Download file for GPS

Directions & GPX

Route directions PDF (right click to download)

GPX file (right click to download)

How to navigate using a GPX file on tablet or smartphone.

15 thoughts on “No.2 Houses & Hills”

  1. Another lovely ride. The map and GPX file are perfectly accurate.

    I’m thinking of leading a group of 10-15 cyclists, some inexperienced, on this route in August, but I have a concern – I don’t want to take them down Yorks Hill because some may not have good brakes or be unwilling to descend so steeply and the road is so narrow that there is barely room to pass a vehicle coming up.

    idle Hill Road appears to offer a safer alternative but I didn’t try it. Can anyone comment?

  2. Glad you enjoyed it, George. As it happens Ide Hill is one of the hills on the Ride of the Falling Leaves (though they ride up rather than down). It’s wide and well-surfaced though probably more motor vehicles than Yorks Hill. I’ll admit Yorks Hill can be a terrifying descent as the surface is bad and it’s narrow and incredibly steep at times. It was added to the route because of its place in the history of British cycling. An alternative is to walk down the steepest sections. Either way, have a great ride.

    1. Thanks Jack, yes I found Yorks Hill a bit frightening when I met a van coming up who wasn’t willing to slow down enough. The Ide Hill option allays my concerns.

      I think your book is going to be very handy for ride leaders! I hope you won’t mind if we publish a link to this page for riders.

  3. This ride is a straight 10! Really some of the most idyllic Kentish spots, linked together very nicely. Trust me to pick the day the castles triathlon was sharing several sections, resulting in some cheeful heckling like ‘good effort’ from the lycra brigade as they whistled past the denim contingent. Also today: excellent blackberries in abundance, not to mention edible fungi in profusion – boletus edulis is on the menu for tonight. Braced for some difficult climbs, the reality turned out just fine, and if a mark 2 3-speed Brompton can do the descents and ascents quite easily and without any inclination to get off and walk,really there’s no excuse – use those brakes and pedals!

  4. Just back from a glorious day – lovely ride, excellent well planned route. Enjoyed Yorks Hill going down. Having completed this ride and ride 3, have a sense that the Green Belt is important to us cyclists. Wonder if without it we would have access to such peaceful lanes so close to London. Was concerned to see notice in Stubbs Wood which borders Yorks Hill – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stubbs_Wood_Country_Park – that Kent CC planned to sell it off. Internet search shows local opposition may ensue the Wood is not developed but also illustrates how we cannot take the environment we enjoy for granted.

  5. Did this ride yesterday and enjoyed it a lot. Worth mentioning that there’s a road closure on Mill Lane at the moment (commenced 16th Feb 2015 for approx 6 weeks) whilst the water main is replaced. I figured it was worth a look anyway – the road is pretty well fenced off down by the river but there was about enough room to walk my bike through a gap and continue on my way. I’d suggest having an alternative route to Chiddingstone handy if you aim to do this ride in the next couple of weeks though – just in case.

  6. Hi Jack,

    Hope you are all doing well in the Greater London Borough of Wales!

    Lu and I did this ride today and it’s awesome … highly recommended.

    Just thought I should let you (and other readers) know two things:

    * Boo – the Fir Tree tea shop doesn’t open until 2.30pm on a Sunday.

    * Hooray – Dame Kelly Holmes has opened a posh cycle friendly cafe in Hildenborough – http://www.cafe1809.co.uk/. Worth a visit especially if you have a big group. It’s busy but they have lots of space and healthy snacks for all. (And decent coffee)

    London misses you!

    Dick & Lu

  7. Another great ride, which we tackled today. Did Ightham Mote but no time for Knole. Shot a set of brake pads on York’s Hill. Good lunch and welcome at the Plough in Ivy Hatch. Looking forward to the next ride.

  8. Absolutely stunning ride. Thanks Jack!

    We had a perfect late summer day for it today. The lanes were beautiful and quiet. Just the right amount of challenge up the hills, and fun going down them! The countryside around this area is stunning and I think the ride manages to take in much of the best of it. Lots of friendly cyclists along the way which is always nice to see. We stopped for lunch at the Leicester Arms in Penshurst that did delicious food and has a good garden terrace out the back, but there also looked like several other lovely pubs we passed later in the ride.

    One of the best from the book so far. I will definitely be doing this ride again, possibly combining it with ride two from the book at some point too as suggested to make a longer day of it.

    1. Did this ride for the third time today (14th July 2017). Just as perfect as before..

      There is a road closure until 24th August 2017 on Mill Lane between Bough Beech and Chiddingstone that you can’t ride through.

      There is a short diversion if you turn left on B2027 (rather than right) then take the second right and follow round to the right after you cross the river. I took a slightly longer diversion by taking Hever road, then Uckfield Road then Rectory Lane into Chiddingstone. Both would be easy and don’t add too much to the ride

      You can see the road closure on a map here:
      http://www.kent.gov.uk/roads-and-travel/what-we-look-after/roads/roadworks

  9. A lovely ride, bits of which I do frequently – I live in Sevenoaks! But it does show off this area of Kent very well and includes some of my favourite roads. As it happens I just rode up Yorks this afternoon. I agree it can be a bit treacherous both up and down when wet, but I always prefer it to Ide Hill which has quite a lot of fairly quick traffic.
    One other comment – bikes are now allowed in Knole, and I often ride there on my mountain bike. The park is really beautiful, but I would just say that the surfaces, apart from the main drive, are not great for road bikes.

  10. Ide Hill is a lovely wide sweeping descent of mostly c 5-8% so much less hairy and good views over the reservoir and valley too!

  11. hi, I’m planning on doing this ride with a friend and was wondering if it would be okay on a road bike? I do have a hybrid but it’s fairly chunky and hasn’t been used for a couple of years.

    1. Yes you’ll be fine on a road bike. Just take care going down Yorks Hill, or detour via Ide Hill, which is less steep and has smoother tarmac.

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