Mar 222011
Broomfield Hill

Broomfield Hill 52M

Robin Hood approach

Length: 0.9KM

Height Gain: 40M

Maximum Gradient: 12%

The 0.9KM from The Robin Hood Roundabout starts easily enough. The smooth road winds its way through light forest and light vegetation. Deer are often grazing on the grassy verges and although the road points upwards it is, at first, an easy pedal. Due to Park bye-laws cars are not permitted to park on the road, ensuring plenty of space for cyclists.

At 400M the trees begin to thin out and the route to the summit can be seen ahead. A wide arc that heads to the right and then veers sharply upwards and to the left. One sharp and harsh switchback is enough for the road to make the summit. And sufficient for most cyclists to enter the red zone.

After 500m the road is a steady 4%. However, when you reach the road sign on the left (appropriately a warning sign) it is time to shift down the gears and prepare for the steeper, punishing gradients ahead. The road remains wide and at the lower sections of the climb there is plenty of room for cars to pass the cyclists grinding their way up the 12% section.

As the road enters the left, upwards curve a storm drain appears on the left side of the road. Those familiar with this climb know that the toughest section is between this and the following storm drain. Most riders will be out of the saddle and putting all their effort into the climb from now until the top.

Although the climb is not long it is hard. As you pass the second storm drain you will have gained 30M and, if you have the energy to look over your left shoulder, you would be able to see deep into London.

With the toughest section passed there are only a few metres and a bend to the right, into a wooded area, before you arrive at the summit. There is a car park on the left with a shack like cafe not often frequented by cyclists. They tend to congregate at the cafe located by the Roehampton gate four of five kilometres behind you.

The reward for making it to the summit is steady, flat section on the plateau, before you descend the Northern side of the hill which takes you down to the Kingston Roundabout.

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  9 Responses to “The Great Road Climbs of London: Richmond Park – Broomfield Hill”

  1. Its much more fun going down, 30mph with no effort. Don’t touch your breaks if you dare

  2. Next time I am in that area, I am going to give this a try.

  3. You’ve described this hill the ‘wrong’ way round, surely? I thought the received wisdom from most cyclists suggests riding anti-clockwise around the park, to make the roundabouts less of an issue? I’ve certainly always ridden this direction and from the number of quick riders over taking me, it seems to be the preferred route? Admittedly the hill is a bit easier from anti-clockwise direction…

  4. An interesting hill on a fixed gear! I get a buzz from Richmond park on my 48:17 gear but the downhills are not so good. I love hills and I reckon your Highgate Hill posting is a fixed gear challenge… not on the 48 though!
    I did London to Brighton twice in a week on a 44:18 single speed. Yes had to stop 6 times on Ditchling Beacon but got up Turners Hill and the complete head spin hill at Church Hill near Merstham.

  5. @Tom
    Hey Tom, I understand what you are saying about the dirtection, and you’re right, most people do go round the park anti-clockwise, how ever I always ride clockwise for 2 reasons, the longer shallower downhill from Richmond Gate (I think) to Roehampton gate and this hill. Its also short enough to have a few reps if I’m training for anything inparticular.
    Also means I get overtaken less by going to ‘wrong’ way round the park ;)

    • @Matt…completely agree with you on the reps side of things.

      When in training mode (like now) I find doing reps up both sides of Bloomfield can be really effective. Also the stretch in between allows decent recovery so you can “attack” the climb.

      However, it is a smoother and faster circuit to go anti-clockwise.

  6. Broomfield Hill is the most challenging climb of the park and I love it! All you anti-clockwise wussed out there, stop wussing-out and do it! Afterall, the challenge and the exercise is what it’s about. Stop making excuses about round-a-abouts and whatever else – you know it makes sense.. :-)

  7. It get’s your heart pumping and your thighs burning for sure, mainly because it’s so short that you don’t really need to drop down many gears, just give it a rip and push on through, it’ll soon be over and then you can crank up the pace for the down and straight back up 100 meters or so further on. Great fun!

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