Viewed 1555 times, downloaded 26 times
near Greenwich, England (United Kingdom)
National Cycle Route number 21, from Greenwich in London to Eastbourne in the South coast, 147 km-92 mile long, 1,500-1,600 meters of ascent, most of it off road.
Long but easy route, following in its second half several disused railway lines:
- first the Worth Way between Three Bridges (Crawley) and East Grinstead (11 km-7 miles),
- then the Forest Way between East Grinstead and Groombridge (15 km-9 miles),
- and finally the Cuckoo Trail between Heathfield and Polegate (22 km-14 miles), near Eastbourne.
All these ways are completely flat and very well surfaced, allowing you to progress at a good pace.
Just two sections are a bit more complicated or hilly, about 20 km each, the first one between Croydon and the M25, and the second one between Eridge Station (see waypoint) and Heathfield. To tackle this last section you will need to keep some energy with you, it starts like a roller coaster and finishes, just before Heathfield, with a short off-road stretch quite tough when wet (marked with a waypoint as well). Then, after Heathfield, all the way to Eastbourne following the Cuckoo Trail will be downhill.
Passing through Gatwick airport is quite amazing, you ride underneath several buildings of the South terminal and then just below the landing planes.
A hybrid bike would be the best choice, unless it is very wet, but then it may be better to try another day when it's drier.
No need to carry too much food or drinks with you, there are plenty of shops, stores, petrol stations and pubs along the route.
The route is quite long but has no technical difficulties (reason why it's classified as easy). If you prefer to split the route into two stages, its middle point both in distance and time is halfway between Three Bridges and East Grinstead, on the Worth Way. Both towns have good rail connections.
Riding from London to the South coast, following most of the time quiet paths through forests, was a very pleasant experience.