Box Hill (SW #14) Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

0.6
FIETS
1.5 mi
DISTANCE
401 ft
GAINED
5.2 %
AVG. GRADE

FULL CLIMB STATS

INTRO

The Box Hill climb is Climb #14 of Simon Warren's 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs (Great Britain) and was climbed nine times during the 2012 Olympic Road Race - the Great Britain team that competed in those Olympics was the greatest Olympic road racing team ever (the five riders from Great Britain on that July 28, 2012 day were Sir Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome, Mark Cavendish, David Millar and Ian Stannard). 

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MEMBER RATING

Difficulty: Easy
4
Road
3
Traffic
3
Scenery

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Dec 10, 2021
difficulty: Easy
scenery: 3
traffic: 3
road: 4
Dec 10, 2021
scenery: 3
traffic: 3
road: 4
Despite its reputation this is one of the easier climbs in the area, with a steady 4-5% gradient. Nice National Trust café at the top, popular with cyclists and walkers. Great views across the Sussex Weald from the viewing-point. Visit midweek if possible as weekends can be very busy with cars and cyclists, especially in good weather.
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CLIMB SUMMARY

Cycling Box Hill - one-lane roadway with stencil painted on saying "I [oak leaf symbol in place of a heart] BOX HILL", lined with dense tall grasses   

Cycling Box Hill, England.

                                                                                   

Simon Warren (Britain Cycling Bible, 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs, p. 37) calls Box Hill “The Alpe d’Huez of the south-east [England],” so it’s no wonder that this is the most scenic of the London area climbs.  While most of the climbs around here have either no or very minimal distant views throughout the ride, Box Hill allows us about a half kilometer of beautiful open views near the top, where there is a lookout on the switchback overlooking the climb and the farmlands below. This ride is one of the most iconic climbs in Britain, due to its accessibility to London and allowance for every type of cyclist.  This climb is challenging, while at the same time being manageable for most casual cyclists.  

 Box Hill is the crown jewel climb of the London area. The secret is out on the climb too. I saw dozens of fellow cyclists on the sunny afternoon that I rode Box Hill in late July 2022  (my second ride up Box Hill - the first was for our 60 day UK top climb documenting trip in 2018). As you climb you’ll see a number of spray paintings on the road making the climb have an almost Alpine feel. Well, an Alpine feel except that the climb is just 1.4 miles in length and never reaches double digit gradients. This road will likely be very busy on any given day as it is a popular destination for cyclists, tourists, hikers, motorcyclists, etc. Incredibly, the record for the hillclimb is 4 minutes 32 seconds with an average speed of just under 20 miles an hour. I didn’t go quite that fast when I rode . . .

Parking at the bottom is difficult, but if you drive to the top you can park there. At the summit there is a well equipped cafe with friendly workers.  The road quality is pristine and we met a few other cyclists the morning we rode. Box Hill is a very popular climb, although a fairly short and easy ride.

Cycling Box Hill - densely tree-lined roadway, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner 

Thick foliage borders the roadway intermittently for about half the climb.

Hairpins at 2 giant hairpins in the middle of the climb average 5.5%.

The signs leave little doubt that this climb has some history.

Bottom Photo:  “MOMENTUM Sun God”

Some of the wonderful scenes along the climb.

Photo:  The Guardian

Box Hill was included in the 2012 Olympic Road Race -- nine times up Box Hill in a race that left the greatest Olympic Cycling Team ever short of the podium (Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome, Mark Cavendish -- charted for the gold medal,  David Millar, and Ian Stannard).

Cycling Box Hill - white brick wall with "Welcome To Box Hill" painted on it, road bike leaning against wall next to drinking faucet

Climb Finish at the National Trust Visitor area and cafe

Google Review 4.8 on 5,061 reviews as of November, 2022.

Box Hill Overlook.

This climb is in the Surrey Hill Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty:

The highest summit of the Surrey Hills AONB, Leith Hill near Coldharbour, is 294 metres (965 ft) above sea level. It is part of the Greensand Ridge, which traverses the AONB from west to east, and is the highest point in southeast England. These hills are formed mostly by chalk and greensand providing a habitat for rare plants and insects (Surrey Hills AONB).

Cycling Box Hill - wooden sign for The National Trust Box Hill

Part of the National Trust of the UK.

That’s a wrap . . . and, we mean it - this was the 95th climb of our 2 ½ month 2022 UK + Ireland Cycling trip.

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