Whether you’re searching for the toughest climb or are just in it for the views, there are a multitude of climbs in the UK for every cyclist.
With staycations in the UK looking most likely for our cycling summer holidays this year, there’s no better time to explore locally for those leg-busting climbs!
We asked you for your favourite UK climbs via Instagram:
The Bwlch, South Wales
The Bwlch (b-oo-lch) in Southeast Wales is cited as Britain’s Mont Ventoux, with three ways to climb and average gradient of 5.1%.
This challenging climb provides both stunning views across the Welsh countryside as well as a workout for any cyclist! All three routes up contain hairpin bends, giving you a real mountain-climbing feel more often found in France than the UK.
Leith Hill, Surrey
The highest point in south east England at 993ft, Leith Hill makes for a short but challenging hill climb with an average gradient of 8%. It also featured on the longer RideLondon route, making it a well-known haunt.
Often climbed via the shorter, steeper south ascent, the route takes around 10-20 minutes to complete at a moderate pace. It’s even getting its own café and bike hub soon – so you’ll be able to stop for a cake and get your bike repaired at the top!
If you’re looking to take on Leith Hill, it’s worth doing the nearby Box Hill in the same day. With an average gradient of 6.4% over 2.05km, it’s a steady climb that a range of levels can take on.
Hardknott Pass, Cumbria
Coined as the hardest road in England, this is not a climb to be taken lightly! Originally build in 2AD by the Romans, you can find it in Eksdale, Cumbria.
Surrounded by the stunning Lake District National Park, you’ll be rewarded with incredible scenery once you brave this ascent. And with an average gradient of 13.3% and maximum of 30% (that’s steeper than Alp d’Huez!) you’ll certainly be put through your paces.
If you want to conquer this in the form of a Sportive, you can take on the Fred Whitton Challenge which features the climb.
Cat and Fiddle, Cheshire
One of the longest climbs in England, the Cat & Fiddle in Cheshire has an average gradient of 3.3% over 10km.
If you’re planning on heading up, make sure to keep an eye on the weather! The open Peak District can make for some very challenging head winds.
Horseshoe Pass, North Wales
Horseshoe Pass, near Wrexham, North Wales, is another challenging yet scenic hill climb. Averaging a gradient of 1.9% and reaching gradients of up to 12%, this climb is 11.2km. As you can guess from the name, this climb involves a horseshoe shaped bend along its ascent to 1200ft.
Bealach-na-Ba, Applecross, Scotland
One of the UK’s longest and strongest hill climbs, Bealach-na-Ba is a force to be reckoned with. With an average gradient of 6.8% (reaching a maximum of 20%) over a hefty 9.19km
If the ascent doesn’t take your breath away, the scenery certainly will! Set in the Scottish Highlands, there’s a view at every turn.
Ditching Beacon, East Sussex
While not the biggest or toughest of all cycling climbs, we had to shout out our local hero! Based near HIGH5 HQ, Ditchling Beacon is a popular one amongst the team for a lunchtime ride. It has an average gradient of 9.4% over a brisk 1.5km but can be quite a busy road – so watch out if you’re planning on riding up here.
If you’re taking on the London – Brighton Bike Ride you can expect to pass over Ditchling Beacon.
Mow Cop, Cheshire
Mow Cop is a short but sharp climb with an average gradient of 11.1% over 1.47km – reaching a painful 21% at some points. Once you reach the top, you’re rewarded with stunning views of the surrounding countryside!
This climb is featured on the Cheshire Cat Sportive, so you can find HIGH5 on course to power you to the top. It’s also located near the Cat & Fiddle, so you can plan to take on both in one day if you’re feeling tough enough!
Holme Moss, West Yorkshire
Found in West Yorkshire, Holme Moss has been featured in many iconic sportives and races. With an average gradient of 9.5% and 2.23km long, it’s a tough ride but accessible for many levels.
Cheddar Gorge, Bristol
Climbing through the limestone gorge in Cheddar, this ride is one for the scenery lovers as well as the hill climbers! This climb has an average gradient of 4.7% and covers 3.53km, making it suitable for a wide range of cyclists.
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