Where's the best place in the UK for good climbing training?

barrybridges
barrybridges Posts: 420
edited May 2013 in Road general
Genuine question, not a competition.

I'm riding the Marmotte in 8 weeks and would quite like to take a few days off in the next couple of weeks for a trip into the hills.

Is there anywhere in the UK that is worth a short visit, with long and tough climbs?

Coming from Surrey there's plenty of good climbs here, but all short. I'm assuming places like Scotland will have son's good climbs, but is it sufficiently tougher/longer that it's worth a specific trip?
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Comments

  • ianbar
    ianbar Posts: 1,354
    could you get to wales? were on holls in herefordshire this week and its very up and down here but i recon the black mountaains and brecon beacons would be good.
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  • Tom_UK
    Tom_UK Posts: 171
    You could always just do some long efforts at sweet spot, a hour at sweetspot feels like you have climbed something in the alps thats for sure!
  • imposter2.0
    imposter2.0 Posts: 12,028
    Get yourself down to Neath/Port Talbot/Ammanford area and ride the Bwlch, Rhigos and Black Mountain..

    Or just do the SS efforts, as mentioned above.
  • briantrumpet
    briantrumpet Posts: 17,865
    I think it's actually pretty difficult to find many climbs in the UK to compare with Alpine ones - we've got lots of hills in Dartmoor & Exmoor down here, but even something like Haytor (about 335 metres of ascent over about 5km, I think) only takes about 20 minutes, and the gradient varies all over the place. The Alpine ones, in contrast, tend to be long steady slogs with 800 - 1200 metres of ascent over 10 - 15 miles, where you just settle into a rhythm, but can take an hour or more. Maybe one or two of the Scottish ones are like that, but I doubt if you'll find many concentrated in one area, wherever you go in the UK.
  • barrybridges
    barrybridges Posts: 420
    Thanks for your replies. I've already done quite a lot of SS training, but I fancy a bit of a change; a chance to actually get out somewhere new.

    Some of the climbs in that Guardian article are tough, but where would I go to get climb-after-climb after climb? They are all quite short, bar a few of them.

    Ideally we could go somewhere which is generally "full of hills" so a full hard day's riding; maybe Brecon. Beacons/Cumbria?
  • imposter2.0
    imposter2.0 Posts: 12,028
    Some of the climbs in that Guardian article are tough, but where would I go to get climb-after-climb after climb?

    Like I said, the Neath & Rhondda valleys.
  • defbref
    defbref Posts: 15
    How about doing the Fred Whitton route? You've missed the actual event (was last sunday), but with 6 tough climbs nothing to stop you doing it on your own.

    http://www.fredwhittonchallenge.org.uk/route.php
  • Tc1993
    Tc1993 Posts: 23
    The Isle of Man
  • thefd
    thefd Posts: 1,021
    Some of the climbs in that Guardian article are tough, but where would I go to get climb-after-climb after climb?
    If you do Bealach Na Ba into Applecross then continue up the coast to Sheildig there are a lot of climbs (I've just done it and it was tough). Everyone focuses on Bealach being tough, and it is, but there are quite a few of tough climbs after it. If you start at Kinlochewe and ride down to Loch Carron, up Bealach, and on to Sheildig, past Torridon and back to Kinlochewe there is quite a bit of climbing and it is 90 miles in total.

    Otherwise head to the Borders and ride around there, and you will be going down and up all day!
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  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    defbref wrote:
    How about doing the Fred Whitton route? You've missed the actual event (was last sunday), but with 6 tough climbs nothing to stop you doing it on your own.

    http://www.fredwhittonchallenge.org.uk/route.php

    It's not such a great route for the OPs needs - there are big gaps between a lot of the big climbs and they are short and steep rather than long and less steep. Great Dun Fell (I think - not having done it) and Holme Moss from the West might be nearer the mark but for hill training you can do worse than to just ride around Bowland. Climb after climb after climb in short succession. Never very big but they wear you down like anything!
    Faster than a tent.......
  • Some of the climbs in that Guardian article are tough, but where would I go to get climb-after-climb after climb?
    I know it's not exactly fun, but back and forth over Bury Hill (A284 north of Arundel) might fit the bill if you want long climbs without to much descent. Okay, you clearly have to descend, but it's very rapid decent indeed on both sides if you're so minded, so you'll spend a very good proportion of the time going up.
    Mangeur
  • cat_with_no_tail
    cat_with_no_tail Posts: 12,981
    Tc1993 wrote:
    The Isle of Man

    You knows it!

    :wink:

    Not sure if it's what the OP is looking or though, although it depends on his definition of a long climb I guess.

    I'd say for short, steep, tough climbs you're spoilt for choice here, there is nothing a decent rider can't get up in 30min though. The biggest climb we have is only about 450m, but there are hills absolutely everywhere. To the point where it is actually difficult to do a 30km ride with less than 1,000m climbing (Unless you just do laps of the north).
  • Maillot
    Maillot Posts: 30
    The Peak District. The name gives it away really. We did our etape training (2010, 3 cols, including Tourmalet) in the Peaks. Although it has a lot of short climbs, it's easy to thread a few together to mimic long Alpine climbs. Cat and Fiddle, into the Goyt valley, or into the Hope Valley, and then to Stannage Edge etc. The Lakes and Wales tend to have a lot of short, but very steep climbs, which are less common in the Alps. Finding routes to help develop the rhythm is the trick, as many above have posted.
  • ednino
    ednino Posts: 684
    ianbar wrote:
    could you get to wales? were on holls in herefordshire this week and its very up and down here but i recon the black mountaains and brecon beacons would be good.

    I live in Hereford, but travel out to mid Wales for proper rides.

    Rhayader Elan Valley mountain road to Aberystwyth or any roads in North Wales, Dolgellau area. Epic stuff 8)

    My little 18mile loop in Elan Valley has 3,000ft of climbing lol
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,243
    ednino wrote:
    ianbar wrote:
    could you get to wales? were on holls in herefordshire this week and its very up and down here but i recon the black mountaains and brecon beacons would be good.

    I live in Hereford, but travel out to mid Wales for proper rides.

    Rhayader Elan Valley mountain road to Aberystwyth or any roads in North Wales, Dolgellau area. Epic stuff 8)

    My little 18mile loop in Elan Valley has 3,000ft of climbing lol

    Yeah, that is a damn good route
    left the forum March 2023
  • backo
    backo Posts: 167
    try this route...bit of a drive for you but meant to be decent resemblence to the Marmotte and something people use to train for it.

    Long relentless climbs and I can imagine there being a bit of wind blowing round this part of the world!

    High moors sportive

    http://www.highterrainevents.co.uk/9.html
  • goonz
    goonz Posts: 3,106
    Tc1993 wrote:
    The Isle of Man

    You knows it!

    :wink:

    Not sure if it's what the OP is looking or though, although it depends on his definition of a long climb I guess.

    I'd say for short, steep, tough climbs you're spoilt for choice here, there is nothing a decent rider can't get up in 30min though. The biggest climb we have is only about 450m, but there are hills absolutely everywhere. To the point where it is actually difficult to do a 30km ride with less than 1,000m climbing (Unless you just do laps of the north).

    How the feck did Cav become just a good sprinter then???? He should be a really good climber!
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  • goonz
    goonz Posts: 3,106
    ednino wrote:
    ianbar wrote:
    could you get to wales? were on holls in herefordshire this week and its very up and down here but i recon the black mountaains and brecon beacons would be good.

    I live in Hereford, but travel out to mid Wales for proper rides.

    Rhayader Elan Valley mountain road to Aberystwyth or any roads in North Wales, Dolgellau area. Epic stuff 8)

    My little 18mile loop in Elan Valley has 3,000ft of climbing lol

    Would like to try something like this someday...
    Scott Speedster S20 Roadie for Speed
    Specialized Hardrock MTB for Lumps
    Specialized Langster SS for Ease
    Cinelli Mash Bolt Fixed for Pain
    n+1 is well and truly on track
    Strava http://app.strava.com/athletes/1608875
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,490
    Without intending to be biased I would agree with Wales and the Peak District for longer climbs. Obviously nothing really alpine but you can get a few climbs around 3 miles at 8% into a ride with ease in South Wales / Mid Wales and I think the Peaks are similar (possibly also Yorkshire). IoM is very good too and I am sure parts of Scotland would be too but logistics are likely to play a part there
  • gloomyandy
    gloomyandy Posts: 520
    Laps on Cragg Vale (5.5 miles 968 feet)? A number of other long climbs in the same area as well.
  • giant_man
    giant_man Posts: 6,878
    goonz wrote:
    Tc1993 wrote:
    The Isle of Man

    You knows it!

    :wink:

    Not sure if it's what the OP is looking or though, although it depends on his definition of a long climb I guess.

    I'd say for short, steep, tough climbs you're spoilt for choice here, there is nothing a decent rider can't get up in 30min though. The biggest climb we have is only about 450m, but there are hills absolutely everywhere. To the point where it is actually difficult to do a 30km ride with less than 1,000m climbing (Unless you just do laps of the north).

    How the feck did Cav become just a good sprinter then???? He should be a really good climber!
    But he's not, he's $hit at climbing lol
  • lakesluddite
    lakesluddite Posts: 1,337
    Lake District? Yorkshire Dales? Forrest of Bowland?

    Where I live, Kendal in South Cumbria, there is the choice of all three, depending on whether I decide to go North, South or East, and all do-able from my house, so what I suppose I'm trying to say is come to Kendal and sample them all!*

    Just get out your '100 Greatest cycling climbs' and tick a few off while you're at it.

    *I'm not offering to put you up by the way!
  • Dezza
    Dezza Posts: 155
    Lake District? Yorkshire Dales? Forrest of Bowland?

    Where I live, Kendal in South Cumbria, there is the choice of all three, depending on whether I decide to go North, South or East, and all do-able from my house, so what I suppose I'm trying to say is come to Kendal and sample them all!*

    Just get out your '100 Greatest cycling climbs' and tick a few off while you're at it.

    *I'm not offering to put you up by the way!

    Underbarrow rd just west of Kendal nearly made my missus cry :)
  • Tom Dean
    Tom Dean Posts: 1,723
    You can do the training on the turbo...

    No UK climbs will compare to the Alps - if you're prepared to go as far as Scotland, why not just go to France?
  • Cookie91
    Cookie91 Posts: 97
    West Country! There is not a shortage of cafe's and farmshops either!

    Well around here just outside of Bristol, we have beautiful climbs such as cheddar gorge, burrington combe and wookey hole.
    These are the longest climbs i would say, while the steepest easily replicate some of the ramps you may see in the alps. (our sunday club run rarely features less than 3000ft of climbing, acheiving more is pretty easy too!)
  • sbbefc
    sbbefc Posts: 189
    North east wales has a lot of decent climbs all within close proximity of each other. Nothing to compare with alpine climbs though.

    You can cross the Clwydians a few times with some decent climbs. The shelf is around 5km, the new bwlch 3.6km, old bwlch 2.6km @ 10%, Moel Arthur and climbs up to the Denbigh moors. Horseshoe pass is close too.

    http://app.strava.com/segments/1126287
    http://app.strava.com/segments/887072
    http://app.strava.com/segments/1511731
    http://app.strava.com/segments/1113651
    http://app.strava.com/segments/1194056
    http://app.strava.com/segments/1037927
  • ed_j
    ed_j Posts: 335
    giant man wrote:
    But he's not, he's $hit at climbing lol

    To be fair, he could probably smash most of the members of this forum without even trying. It's just comparatively he looks bad.
  • Around Hathersage in the peaks is an ideal place to string some decent climbs together.
  • markhewitt1978
    markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    Genuine question, not a competition.

    I'm riding the Marmotte in 8 weeks and would quite like to take a few days off in the next couple of weeks for a trip into the hills.

    Is there anywhere in the UK that is worth a short visit, with long and tough climbs?

    Coming from Surrey there's plenty of good climbs here, but all short. I'm assuming places like Scotland will have son's good climbs, but is it sufficiently tougher/longer that it's worth a specific trip?

    You don't need to go all the way to Scotland. Coming from Surrey then Snowdonia would perhaps be a good choice