This page provides a summary for cycling and climbing by bike the top 10 climbs in the United Kingdom, particularly Simon Warren's Top 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs - Britain (see our separate page for Simon Warren's 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs, Britain, with map, details and photos for all 100 which we have personally documented, or our United Kingdom Climb Page).
The Top 10 road bike climbs in the UK are presented in reverse order below. Also see our our general United Kingdom Climbs page, and our Simon Warren 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs, Britain page. These climbs are ranked by the FIETS Index.
#10 UK HARDEST HILL CLIMB
Ride 2.3 kilometers gaining 262 meters at 11.4% average grade.
This is a 2.3 kilometers climb at a fairly steady 11.4%! There is a 200 meter section beginning at 900 meters that averages a punishing 18%. As we climb we enter open grazing pasture land. We also have noticed that the cloud formations of Britain, at least during August and September when we rode there, are picturesque unto themselves.
#9 UK HARDEST HILL CLIMB
Ride 3.2 kilometers gaining 314 meters at 9.8% average grade.
England: North-West Region.
This climb is our favorite of Simon Warren’s 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs. The Official 100 climb begins at the bridge over River Esk three kilometers from the pass. Starting at the bridge gives us a nearly flat (1.5%) 800 meter warm up until one of the greatest cycling challenges in the United Kingdom begins. The final 2.2 kilometers are at a very tough 14% average grade! There is a 300 meter segment near the pass that averages just over 21%.
#8 UK HARDEST HILL CLIMB
Ride 2.5 kilometers gaining 282 meters at 11.2%.
England: North-West Region.
Wrynose Pass East is a very remote and difficult climb in the middle of Lake District National Park. The first 250 meters of the climb average 12%. The first two kilometers are an extremely challenging 13.2% average grade, with the final 700 meters of that first segment coming in at a brutal 17.5%. Hang in there because you can almost coast the final 500 meters to the summit, with a 3.6% average.
#7 UK HARDEST HILL CLIMB
Ride 4.8 kilometers gaining 401 meters at 8.2% average grade.
England: North-West Region
Kirkstone Pass is the highest pass in England’s Lake District that is open to traffic, reaching a height of 1,489 feet (454 m). Riding “The Struggle,” you’ll cycle 4.8 km (just under 3 miles) at an average 8.2% grade.
#6 UK HARDEST HILL CLIMB
Ride 3.2 kilometers gaining 323 meters at 10.3% average grade.
England: South-West Region
The first 200 meters of the Dunkery Beacon climb are very steep at 17.5%, tapering to 11.5% for the next 650 meters, until finally easing to 1.5% for a restful 400 meters that is the calm before the next storm: 1.4 km at 12.7%. We coast home over the last half kilometer at 5% average grade.
#5 UK HARDEST HILL CLIMB
Ride 2.5 kilometers gaining 302 meters at 12.1% average grade.
England: South-West Region
Porlock Hill packs a punch from the get-go. The first 300 meters average 11% (a nice warm up) followed by the 450 meter double hairpin section at 18.5% average grade. This 2.5 kilometer climbs is difficult throughout and is bordered for the first kilometer by bushes and trees until opening up with pasture lands and northerly views of Bristol Channel for the last 1.5 kilometers.
#4 UK HARDEST HILL CLIMB
Ride 9.2 kilometers gaining 625 meters at 6.8% average grade.
Bealach na Ba is one of the most scenic, challenging, and exceptional climbing experiences in the UK. This road is one the farthest outliers of all Britain’s 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs, situated in the far northwestern Highland Council Area of Scotland. Perhaps the greatest testament to Bealach na Ba is that is is the only climb in the United Kingdom listed in Daniel Friebe’s exceptional climbing books, Mountain High and Mountain Higher (pages 28-31 of Mountain Higher). This is a bucket-list climb. Though a chore to get to, it is well worth the effort.
#3 UK HARDEST HILL CLIMB
Ride 8.3 kilometers gaining 596 meters at 7.2% average grade.
This side of the climb begins in the Scottish Highlands’ village of Shore Street on Applecross Bay. The ascent from Applecross is statistically just as challenging and nearly as long as the traditional climb from the west.
#2 UK HARDEST HILL CLIMB
Ride 2.6 kilometers gaining 368 meters at 14.1% average grade.
This is the second highest paved mountain pass in Wales, and is a gorgeous climb beginning in the midst of lush pastureland. Bwlch y Groes has been a renowned climb in Wales and is considered the most difficult climb in the area.
#1 HARDEST BIKE CLIMB IN THE UK
The Great Dun Fell is the most difficult hill climb in the United Kingdom
Ride 7.5 kilometers gaining 625 meters at 8.4% average grade
This unique road bike climb is both the hardest in the UK and the highest paved road in England. The climb takes us from 714 meters to the radar dome 848 meters (2,782’) above sea level in just 7.5 kilometers! The road ends at an Air Traffic Control facility that services Northern England and Southern Scotland.
THE LONGEST BIKE CLIMB IN THE UK
Lowther Hill is the longest bike climb in the UK
Ride 15.7 Kilometers gaining 536 meters at 2.9% average grade.
THE MOST EPIC BIKE CLIMB IN THE UK
Bealach na Ba
The most epic bike climb in the United Kingdom.
Bealach na Ba the #2 most difficult climb Britain’s top 100 GCC and the sixth longest, is a scenic jewel. It is one of the more popular with 6,300 Strava members recording the route as of October, 2018 despite its geographic isolation. The climb is 9.2 kilometers and averages 6.8% grade.
THE HIGHEST BIKE CLIMB IN THE UK
The Great Dun Fell takes top position for hardest and highest bike climb in the UK
This climb ends at 848 meters above sea level.
THE STEEPEST BIKE CLIMB IN THE UK
Constitution Hill in Uplands, Wales is the steepest bike climb in the UK
300 meters at 22.1% average grade!!
OUR FAVORITE UK HILL CLIMB
Hardknott Pass is a magnificent bucket list climb for all cyclists, not just British citizens. This is our favorite of Simon Warren’s 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs. Hardknott Pass is a 10/10 in Simon Warren’s book and while that means it’s difficulty is 10 on a scale of 10, it could be a 10 for challenge and a 10 also for scenery. This ride is simply an amazing experience.
 This website is primarily about climbing by bike. We have chosen to use an objective index to quantify and rank climbs, known as The Fiets Index (developed by the Dutch cycling magazine Fiets).
The actual formula is: [H^2/D*10] + (T-1000:1000; but only if greater than 0)
H = ending elevation minus starting elevation in meters.
D = total distance traveled in meters.
T = Height in meters.
Note: Only add T-1000 if that number is greater than zero.