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Leith Hill
Summer Lightning

Ranmore Common

The Other Redlands
Foot and Mouth/Collateral Damage
Wave of Mutilation

Holmbury Hill
Barry Knows Best/Golden Birdies
The Rollercoaster / Yoghurt Pots
also known as Parklife
Reservoir Dogs
Telegraph Row/Road


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Read more about the North_Downs?

Cliff Richard, Barry Knows Best and the Yoghurt Pots. You've heard about the trails but how do you actually find 'em?

Well, read on and find out...

Set within a triangle of Pitch_Hill, Leith_Hill and Holmbury_Hill are acres of Surrey forest, set upon rolling greensand ridges that top out just under 300m (985ft).

There are a number of terms in use for this area. Most of the references on the singletrackworld forum are to the North Downs but the area is also known as the Surrey Hills. References are also made to the individual hills i.e. Leith, Pitch or Holmbury whilst others refer to the main villages i.e. the Dorking / Westcott / Coldharbour area. Don't worry, everyone is referring to the same area and set of trails that we have come to love and ride so much.

It seems to be a peculiarity of this area that everyone wants to name a trail. Some are so good they have even been named twice. In my experience it is because there are so many trails, each one criss-crossing with others that it's easier to refer to Reservoir_Dogs, rather than 'let's go to that one that starts near the top and then goes through the bushes for a while before the descent towards the reservoir".

A lot of trails were named by Simon of Nirvana Cycles and his band of riders and there are also the fantastic purpose built Redlands Trails that have all been individually named by Jon, Bec and the team.

Here is a list of some of my favourite sections of trail, most of them gnarly stuff with tree roots, berms, hidden drop-off's etc. that will keep you on your toes (or your brakes) all the way down. They could probably be classed as something like 'advanced mtb', 'extreme XC' or 'freeride lite' but to me they are just great riding.

Some of them refer to a single, short descent e.g. Deliverance but they can be linked to other trails to create a longer ride.

So here they are, the routes they didn't want you to see...


Regurgitator is the opening climb of the 'Summer_Lightning' set of trails based in Redlands wood, Coldharbour.

So called by Jo, one of the original builders, because shortly after climbing it for the first time, it bought back memories of the lunch he had only just finished.

Start at The Plough Pub in Coldharbour. With your back to the pub, go down Wolverns Lane (the level tarmac road immediately opposite). Follow Wolverns Lane for a couple of hundred yards, keeping an eye out for a small trail which branches diagonally off to the left.

You will know you have the right trail because within 5 metres you will be changing into your granny ring for the first of a series of tight switchback turns.

Follow this to the top and turn left. The trail is clearly marked from here and leads you on a twisting turning loop before exiting onto a bridleway (you are on Wolverns Lane again - only further up) and right near the entrance to Summer Lightning.

Trail length about 500 metres

Summer Lightning

Summer Lightning is a purpose built trail, built and organised by The Redlands Project.

The trail is just off Wolverns Lane. Either start from the Regurgitator exit, or follow Wolverns Lane for about half a mile from The Plough Pub

At the crest of the hill is a bridleway on your left with a gated entrance. Take this bridleway by going through the gap in the trees to the right of the fence. There is a really rooty but sandy section immediately through the gate to confirm you are on the right trail.

Head gently uphill for about 100 metres. On your right is a trail entrance with a red 'MTB trail' marker. This is Summer Lightning.

Follow the trail until exiting onto a narrow bridleway. Turn right, straight across the crossroads and the trail continues down to your left (again marked in red).

Exit onto another bridleway and turn right. The trail continues off to the left.

Again, exit onto another bridleway at a major trail crossroads. Turn right and about 50 metres down the trail is another marked entrance on your left. This is the final section.

Trail length about 1000 metres

Reservoir Dogs

From the top of Holmbury Hill go down via the rollercoaster / yoghurt pots. When this exits onto the main bridleway, turn left up the hill.

Bear right at the top and carry on over two small crests (still on the main bridleway). Descend slightly to the pond and turn right here, still following the main bridleway. After about 200 yards there is an entrance on the right (see picture).

This starts off very narrow and goes through some big bushes but soon widens out into a definite trail that twists and turns before descending down to the Reservoir. This is the end of Reservoir Dogs but that's only a starter.

Exit to the left of the reservoir and go to the B road. Cross this and there is a forked trail immediately in front of you. Take the left trail and this is the start of Barry Knows Best.

Trail length about 500 metres

Barry Knows Best/Golden Birdies

At the end of Reservoir Dogs, exit to the left of the reservoir and go to the B road. Cross this and there is a forked trail immediately in front of you. Take the left trail and this is the start of Barry Knows Best.

Rumoured to be named by Barry, who obviously knew the best trails in the area, this has also been named as Golden Birdies by Nirvana Cycles after a Captain Beefheart song (no, don't ask me why).

This is a much longer, much better trail but look out for the sudden drop off fairly close to the start and the steep descent at the end.

This descends down the side of Holmbury Hill and exits onto another B road. Turn right onto the road and it is about 400 yards down to the store at Peaslake. take some time for refreshments here.

Trail length about 500 metres

Cliff Richard

From the trail up to the tower, this is off to the left, hidden in some bushes. The exact location is very difficult to describe and this trail is definitely not for beginnners so you will have to tag along with us if you want to know more.

After a fairly straightforward start, this quickly turns very hairy with a couple of large and unexpected drop-offs that occur on sharp corners.

Be careful out there...


Deliverance is an extrememly steep descent so called because the dilapidated corrugated shack and general appearance of the area remind you of that great Burt Reynolds film of the same name.

Plus, if you lose control on the descent you're gonna get f*cked as Mike, Martin and numerous others have discovered.

Trail length about 20 metres

PLEASE RESPECT the boundary fence at the bottom of Deliverance. IT is there for a reason so just go 20 metres further up the trail rather than cutting across the banks.

Wave of Mutilation

There is currently a lot of hassle between mountain bikers, land owners and the Forestry Commission Ranger in this area so I have decided to remove the direction to the trail from the site.


Telegraph Row/Road

Start from the Green bench at the 5-ways crossroads half-way up Holmbury Hill.

With your back to the bench, take the level route in front of you. Leading off to the left is a route climbing slightly through the ferns and then through some larger rhodedendron bushes.

Follow this until it exits onto a fire road. Straight across and follow the telegraph poles all the way to the exit into the car park near Holmbury Youth Hostel.

Trail length about 1.5 miles

Blind Terror and Blind Terror 2

Set on the side of Ranmore Common, North of the A25 these are more of a big drop-in than a trail but again, these are pause at the top and check you have balls of steel before setting off.

Exact location is still being mapped.

The Rollercoaster / Yoghurt Pots a.k.a. Parklife

So called because;

  • the switchback ride reminds you of a rollercoaster.
  • Or, alternative name is because some of the bomb holes never dry out and always have a yoghurty type substance in the bottom that really stinks when you ride through it
  • No idea where the name Parklife comes from but could be because you joggers just go round, and round, and round...

Start from the viewpoint at the top of Holmbury Hill.

With your back to the circular stone seat, take the bridleway going straight ahead. After about 25 metres, take the wide trail entrance to the right hand side which has a small tree growing in the triangular entrance.

You will know this is the right trail if you are faced with two fairly steep drops one after the other.

Follow the twisting, turning trail until it exits onto the main bridleway once more. Turn left (uphill) to go towards Reservoir Dogs or right (downhill) leads you to a major trail crossroads.

Trail length about 400 metres

Foot and Mouth/Collateral Damage

There is currently a lot of hassle between mountain bikers, land owners and the Forestry Commission Ranger in this area so I have decided to remove the direction to the trail from the site.


The Other Redlands

There is currently a lot of hassle between mountain bikers, land owners and the Forestry Commission Ranger in this area so I have decided to remove the direction to the trail from the site.


The Quarry

THE place to do doubles and unbelievable drop-offs. Some of the drop-off's require a four foot landing ramp. Check out some of the video_clips at Chocolate_Foot.

Park in the car park near High Ashes Farm (signposted and marked on local maps) and then cycle back towards Dorking. After a couple of hundred metres there is a gated entrance on the right. Turn in here and within 30 metres you are in the Quarry.

Pitch Hill

Find it by heading south by car from the A25. Park in the car park just South of Peaslake and head off through the car park to follow the trail up to the top of Pitch Hill. We are just exploring this at the moment and discovering loads of trails. Stick to the bridleways until you get a bit of height and then just follow any interesting looking trails you see - there are loads of singletrack entrances on each side of the bridleway.

Leith Hill

Find it by taking the Coldharbour road from Dorking. Park in Wolvern's Lane opposite the Plough Pub. From here the most fun way is to take Regurgitator and then Summer_Lightning and then make your way to the tower. Loads of stuff is around here if you look for it.

Holmbury Hill

Find it by turning onto the B2126 in Abinger Hammer and then follow until you go through Holmbury St Mary. Turn right up a narrow road to park near the Youth Hostel (signposted).

As you face away from the Youth Hostel, take the trail heading uphill at the left hand side of the car park. You will need to follow your nose a bit but this will eventually take you to the viewpoint at the top of Holmbury Hill. From here you have the Yoghurt_Pots and Telegraph_Road, Barry_Knows_Best etc.

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all photos and content copyright of Richard Sear 1999 to 2015