Climbing Leith Hill, Surrey, England.
At 294 meters (965 feet) above sea level, Leith Hill takes runner-up for the highest point in the county of Surrey (second to Walbury Hill in Berkshire), and is the highest point on the Greensand Ridge. Leith Hill is the highest point in almost 50 miles (Leith Hill).
This is a very a quiet and peaceful roadway over a 2.1 kilometer (1.3 mile) decent and an 7% average grade. The steepest ½ km is 9.1%, which hits in the first kilometer while traveling past Leith Hill Place. This climb has been popular with local cyclists in the Surrey area for years, but entered into the consciousness of the larger British cycling community in 2013, as a major feature in the inaugural Prudential Ride London-Surrey 100 (Sportive Cyclist), an annual cycling festival founded after the 2012 London Olympics to encourage safe bike travel and healthy lifestyles (Prudential Ride London).
Middle of steepest stretch.
This climb begins at southern edge of the Surrey Hill Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, an area rife with activities, natural landscape, and cultural points of interest. One of these points of interest is the Leith Hill Tower, located at the summit of Leith Hill. This tower was built in 1765 by Richard Hull, using materials quarried on site. Hull’s intention in building the tower was to raise the hill 1,000 feet above sea level, and he imagined it to be a place where people could enjoy the English countryside, outfitting the tower with a telescope for such viewing purposes (Leith Hill). Today, visitors can climb the 74-step spiral staircase to the lookout point, where they may see views all the way to the London Eye (Leith Hill Tower).
Leith Tower near top of climb.