Vigo Hill

 Date climbed  29th October 2013
 Elevation gain  244 feet
 Length  0.39 mile
 Duration  4.5 minutes

This hill is so steep that, even in a car, it is scary going down. In fact most drivers seem to take it quite slowly. I have only included figures here for Vigo Hill itself. Before you reach the beginning of the Vigo Hill bit, you have already climbed a comparatively easy 270 feet in 1.3 miles along Taylors Lane.

Vigo Hill

You can just see the bridge here and you can see that the gradient eases after the bridge because the white car is below the ‘horizon’

The sign at the bottom states 1:6, which is just under 17%, but the section just before you go under the bridge is at least 19% by all my calculations. If you believe the accuracy of the contour lines on the ordnance survey 1:25000 map, then it measures 25%! Whatever the true figure is, this hill ‘looks’ really steep, compared with, say, Lockyer’s Hill which doesn’t look that steep and yet is 25%. And I found riding up Vigo very very tough, much more so than Lockyer’s.

I climbed it on this ride, and I felt sick with the exertion, but that may have been due to other circumstances. I can’t wait to try it again to see how I do next time.

Vigo profile




Lockyers Hill

 Date climbed  26th August 2013
 Elevation gain  193 feet
 Length  0.3 mile
 Duration  3.4 minutes

I first heard about this hill whilst on a club run. It was described as one of the few ‘double-chevron’ hills in the area. Lockers Hill OSThe double chevron symbol on an ordnance survey map indicates a gradient steeper than 20%. In this case it’s 25%!

It’s one of those hills that has trees and woods on each side. As you struggle to climb it there are no visual clues as to the severity of the gradient. The absence of any man-made verticals, like gate posts or brick walls, combined with the lack of long-range view makes it almost impossible to get any sense of how steep the incline might be. Your legs will let you know though! Standing on the pedals in your lowest gear, putting loads of effort in and going virtually nowhere fast are all the signs you need to tell you that it’s ‘kin steep. Like all good hills, this one gets steeper and steeper. And, as if you don’t already have enough to concentrate on as you grind your way up, the surface isn’t very good either, so you have to spend effort dodging the potholes and staying off the gravel.

And now for the good news: it only lasts three and a half minutes or less!


I climbed this hill during this ride. Although Lockyers is steeper at 25%, it didn’t feel as tough as Cob Lane, a mere 20%, which still holds top spot for the toughest hill I have yet encountered.