Cycle route: 40 miles of Autumn woodland with Dulwich Paragon's David Joss Buckley (From News Shopper)
Get involved: Send pictures, video, news and views - text NEWS SHOPPER to 80360 or email us
Cycle route: 40 miles of Autumn woodland with Dulwich Paragon's David Joss Buckley
3:11pm Monday 7th October 2013 in Leisure latest news
The spectacular Fall in New England is famed and having seen it myself, the hype is justified, because it really is stunning, writes Dulwich Paragon Cycling Club's David Joss Buckley.
However, we're lucky in our part of the world because the splendours of autumn can be witnessed much closer to home.
Knatts Valley and the slopes of the North Downs are going to look stunning for the next few weeks as the leaves turn from green to gold.
This route is 60k or 40 miles with 600 meters of climbing - and will be a challenge for some - but the rewards for all make it worth the effort.
It's a circular course starting at Sidcup Station, but you can pick it up at any point en route.
It takes the rider down Rectory Lane past the western edge of Footscray Meadows, home of Big Bill - supposedly one of the oldest sweet chestnuts in southern England, then follows the valley of the River Cray before swinging east towards Well Hill and Beechen Woods.
A left turn onto Dalton's Road to Crockenhill, then a right off Eynsford Road brings you to Crockenhill Lane, where it crosses the M25.
There are great views here over the thickly wooded Darenth Valley. On the far slopes are the wonderful hanging woods clothing Knatts Valley, which is where the route takes you.
The road is narrow, but the valley itself is wide, quiet and so remote that it's hard to believe it's just a few miles to the suburbs.
There's some climbing to do now but eventually you'll emerges on the gloriously-named Tinker Pot Lane.
Catch your breath and revel in the glorious woodlands around you before moving off once more, via Shoreham to Pilgrim's Way.
A seriously hard climb up Brasted Hill brings you to more wonderful woodland scenery - and some respite for the legs, as you drop down and cross the A21.
One more stiff hill lies ahead before Chelsfield and the turn onto the long descent towards St Mary Cray.
More stunning views here - on a clear day you'll even get a glimpse of the Shard.
Coming back into Sidcup, the route runs parallel to the A20, up Watery Lane and past 18th century Frognal House, was once the main building of the original Queen's (later Queen Mary's) Hospital - famous for the facial and plastic surgery conducted there during the First World War.
It's a medium-hard route and is probably going to take something around 2.5 - 3 hours for the averagely-fit cyclist.
Some will go quicker, some slower - keep your heads up and look around; the sights and smells of the fabulous Kent countryside are very special at this time of year.
It's not Maine and there's no maple syrup, but there's enough arboreal splendour to satisfy even the most demanding autumnophile.
- Single this Christmas? Start enjoying it, says London Dating Coach Hayley Quinn
- Christmas survival tips from Bexley bootcamp expert
- Me and My Tattoo: Jenny Corley
- Falling out is easy but making up is difficult, says London Dating Coach Hayley Quinn
- Christmas gift guide 2013: What to buy sports players and fitness fanatics
Comments are closed on this article.