London to Brighton is a well-trodden cycle route through a national park and an Area of Natural Beauty and, at approximately 60 miles, makes for some super weekend wheeling. Challenge yourself with a day trip, or book a BnB in Surrey for a leisurely two day tour.
Set off on a road or mountain bike for this entirely tarmacked adventure, and fuel up for some leg-burning climbs.
Leg I: Escape the city
The first third of this ride is a weave out of London, and a duck under the M25, to Redhill. There are an infinite number of options for getting out of the city, but we have two favourites.
From Waterloo, either head due south via Herne Hill and Crystal Palace to Croydon. Skirt the edge of Crystal Palace Park and stop at Officina Cafe - a lovely cycling friendly little place which happens to have mouth-wateringly good sausage rolls. If you need to get any bike maintenance done ahead of the ride pop next door to Cadence.
Otherwise head westwards from Waterloo to Wandsworth Bridge Road and jump on The Wandle Trail. It's a beautiful, and quiet, ride along the river down to Croydon.
From Croydon, follow country lanes to Redhill.
You can also skip this section entirely if you want to fast-track yourself out of London. Just hop on the train at Victoria, Blackfriars or London Bridge and head to Redhill.
Leg II: Redhill to Ditchling
From Redhill the roads become quieter and the landscape more beautiful. Continue south around the outside of Gatwick Airport, cross the M23 at Shipley and make your way into the High Weald AONB.
If you're on a road bike, enjoy the country lanes. If you're on a mountain bike, check out some of High Weald's trails.
Leg III: Ditchling to the beach
The whole ride is a little bit hilly, but this route saves the best till last with a monstrous climb up Ditchling Beacon in its final stages. Have a well earned break, and fuel up, at The White Horse. Then warm your legs back up, pop your emergency chocolate somewhere in easy reach, and go for it!
Soak your weary legs in the sea and breathe in the fresh salty air. You've made it. Go win yourself an obnoxiously large celebratory stuffed animal on the pier. Scoff down some Regency fish and chips, drink a pint on the seafront, and revel in the fun of this city by the sea.