Sign at the hamlet of Toys Hill, Shire County of Kent
#20 on Simon Warren’s Greatest 100 list starts just north of the small Kent village of Four Elms. The first kilometer of the climb is quite mile at a nearly flat 1.9%. The next 1.7 km are where this climb warrants our respect, rising at an 8.8% average grade. As with many (most?) of the Southern England climb on the Top 100 list, our views are blocked by trees much of the way although this does afford for the feel of a private climb that is very peaceful.
Peaceful climb but with few distant views.
Steepest ½ kilometer begins at km 2.2 (11.2%)
“Toys Hill inspired Octavia Hill to found the National Trust in 1895 and it’s an area which has lost little of its charm since, with dense woodland abundant in wildlife and spectacular views of the Weald of Kent from Puddledock Lane, close to the summit of the climb. The hill itself is home to the hamlet of Toys Hill at the very summit, and actually has two ascents.
The pick of these is the southerly ascent, starting from just north of Four Elms. At 2.5km long, it gradually gets harder as you get further up, with shallow gradients at the bottom morphing into near-20 per cent pitches towards the end. Both its length and the gradient make this one of the toughest ascents in Kent.
From the north, the other side of the climb, known as Brasted Chart, averages five per cent over a 2.9km rise starting from the A25. This way is slightly steadier and more consistent, allowing you to gather a smoother rhythm on the way to the top.” More
“A longish climb in Kent. It starts off with a gentle gradient, but is one of those climbs that gets steeper the further you climb up the hill. It averages 6% for the 1.8 miles, but there are ramps of 18% near the top. The climb is mostly tree-lined so is quite sheltered, though it does also shelter many potential views from the top. It is next to Ide Hill.” More