Cotswold Climbs 3 – Larkstoke Hill

Larkstoke Hill

View from Larkstoke Hill

Larkstoke Hill is found just about in Warwickshire near to the village of Ilmington. There are quite a few different routes up this hill but the climb of interest takes us to the highest point in Warwickshire. It’s a popular one to tack onto sportives to destroy legs near the finish.

Larkstoke has one of those lies of the land that completely disheartens first-timers to the hill. After crawling up one slope, you’re then presented with another longer, steeper slope that’s hidden from you until you’re right on it.

Larkstoke Hill

The start of the climb, doesn’t look much here

Start of the Larkstoke climb

A fairly nondescript junction is the start point and you can see the climb wind its way up past a very hopeful bench and out of sight. This first slope is steep but is just about manageable, ranging between 10-15% and can be a struggle if you go into it too quickly and use up your energy too fast.

Once over the rise, your eyes play tricks to make the second rise look far higher and steeper than it really is, you get a short downhill part to build up speed (don’t coast!) and really attack the bottom of this section.

You can see the road kink to the left and it’s here where it eases off into a tired slog to the real top of the hill marked by the microwave dishes.

There’s no real point where you to experience the views, but a cheeky look over the right shoulder on the steep part after the bench shows how far you’ve come already and a quick glimpse on the left hand kink to see your handiwork will suffice.

Larkstoke Hill

View down Larkstoke Hill from second rise

My PB: 9minutes 7seconds (67th out of 843 on Strava)

Larkstoke Hill

View from the top looking West

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Cotswold Climbs 3 – Larkstoke Hill was originally published on Me vs. Pro Cycling