Traffic-free Family and Leisure Cycling in Kent, Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire
- Author: Deirdre Huston
- Paperback: 212 pages
- Publisher: Vertebrate Graphics Ltd
- ISBN-10: 1906148244
- ISBN-13: 978-1906148249
- RRP £14.95
- Buy from Amazon UK
Cycling Days Out: South East England is another attractively designed and hugely informative book from the folks at Vertebrate Graphics/Publishing. Their other books include South East Mountain Biking: North and South Downs (which we reviewed here) and Cycling in Sussex: Off-Road Trails and Quiet Lanes (also reviewed). You cannot help but be impressed by the books and they just look and feel very high quality.
This book is divided into chapters by county and each has 5-7 cycle routes (between 1 and 21 miles) with Ordnance Survey mapping and lots of information on each route. For example, step-by-step directions, how to get to the start points, what to see, food and drink stops, and parking and public transport information. The book also includes some very nice photographs.
Each route is graded for difficulty between 1 and 4 stars and there is a useful Cycle Routes at a Glance section near the beginning which divides the routes into different groups, for example good for families, good for wildlife, mountain bike routes, country park routes etc.
One chapter of the book is devoted to Surrey and this includes several cycle routes through London parks, for example Richmond Park and Bushy Park.
The West Sussex chapter includes the Downs Link bridleway, from Shoreham to St Martha’s Hill near Guildford, and this is divided into six stages of between 4 and 7.5 miles. If you are a regular cyclist/mountain biker it’s quite possible to do the whole Downs Link route (37 miles) in a day but the book is all about encouraging families so shorter sections are a good idea.
The Hampshire section includes two routes through the New Forest and having cycled part of the routes when I was cycling from Blandford Forum earlier this year, I can definitely recommend the fantastic scenery and trails in this part of Hampshire.
In summary, this is a high quality and well thought-out book with a wealth of information about leisure cycling in the south east of England. Despite this being one of the busiest and heavily populated areas of the UK, the book does a great job of describing a range of traffic-free cycling routes suitable for all the family – and for more experienced cyclists (like me!) who might want to explore away from their home environment!