Sign up for our newsletter


Box Hill crowned Strava's most popular hill climb segment

Surrey’s National Trust gem beats out Alpine passes to claim crown. Photo: George Marshall

The National Trust’s Box Hill has been named the most popular cycling hill climb in the world, according to data from Strava. Since the exercise app was launched in 2009, more than 103,000 people have taken on the 2.5km segment made famous by its inclusion in the London 2012 Olympics and successive RideLondon races and sportives.

The time to beat on the climb, which eventually rises by a total of 133m, is a remarkable 4 minutes 37 seconds - which works out at an average speed of 32.5kmh.

Box Hill - itself steeped in the history of the sport, having drawn crowds for Dorking Cycle Club events since the 1890s - managed to beat out world famous climbs such as Alpe d’Huez and Mont Ventoux to claim the crown.

Gareth Mills, UK country manager at Strava, said: 'Box Hill has been an iconic cycling destination for over a century and Strava members have embraced the challenge it presents to amateurs and professionals alike.

‘As the most popular climb in the world on Strava, it's definitely the place to see how you shape up against your friends – or simply to take in the scenery and feel great about making it to the top!’

For Alpe d’Huez and Mont Ventoux, just 21,348 and 76,656 cyclists respectively have posted a Strava time on the iconic French roads, less combined than those who have tackled Box Hill.

Andrew Wright, the National Trust's countryside manager for Box Hill, said: ‘It’s a real phenomenon. Who'd have thought that Box Hill would be more popular than some of the great Tour de France climbs like Alpe d’Huez?’

The proximity of many more cyclists from the heavily populated Greater London and South East region and the relative ease of the climb up Box Hill obviously play in its favour when compared directly to the iconic ascents used by the Tour de France simply in terms of the number of riders reaching the summit of each, but Surrey's own hairpin climb has its own charm to attract the high numbers of riders.

Once at the top, the National Trust's ever-busy and presumably profitable kiosk and cafe - which are forever requesting applicants to work unpaid as volunteers - can supply refreshments, but through the village riders can refuel at Destination Bike for better cake, decent coffee and to support an independent local business.

Read more about: