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South Downs Way
The South Downs Way is essentially a bridleway that runs between Winchester and Eastbourne. The Trail runs along the path of the South Downs which stretches across the South East coast line. The South Downs Way is 100miles long and consists of 4000m of ascent and descent. The ground features of mainly flint and Chalk which can become very very slippery in the wet so plan your ride with the weather. The major attraction to mountain bikers of this route is that for the majority it is off road, there are small road sections that link bridleways up but these last no longer than a half mile at a time and are very infrequent. It also offers some excellent rutted fast descents and some hard long climbs.

Full history of the SDW can be found Here

The trail can be ridden in either direction however the most popular direction to go is from west to east so that you have the prevailing south westerly winds pushing you along.

The trail can be ridden easily within 3 days with enough time to take in all the views and enjoy the stops. To make it a challenge alot choose to ride it within 2 days, you still get time to enjoy the views but you need to keep a move on. The really serious have been able to do it within a day or even there and back within a day.

When we rode the SDW last summer we rode from Winchester to Eastbourne. We covered 65miles on the first day and 37 on the 2nd. Many choose to spread the distance like this over the 2 days because there is alot more climbing to be had on the last 3rd of the trail, so get most of the easier mileage out of the way on the first day.

Accommodation in the local areas is well equipped for the MTB, most have secure lock up facilities available. On the first night before the departure on the SDW we stayed in a B&B on Crompton road in Winchester, this was so that we could get and early start. On the second night we stayed in the Castle Inn pub at Steyning Here. Both are highly recommended.

Yes there is alot of fireroad and bridleway style riding but the uphills and downhills soon take your mind off that. I've spoken to many people and they all say it was alot harder than they thought it was going to be!

All the pics can be found Here

This was actually our second attempt at the SDW, our first attempt was abandoned due to heavy snowfall 72 miles into the ride.  Full Pics of attempt 1 are Here. We stayed in the Truleigh hill youth hostel on that attempt and got no sleep due to a school Rugby team staying the same night, the beds were awful. It was worth paying the extra for the B&B.

Any questions just ask.

I wanna do it again! Anyone who loves endurance rides should definitely do this at least once in their lives, i loved it, even the failed first attempt in april when it snowed.
I'm sitting here with a stupid grin after reading that ;D   It hurt.  But it hurt good. Wink  If you own a 'mountain' bike you MUST get the South Down Way under your belt. 8)
Oh, and you can earn one of these
resim Tongue
Absolutely loved it, and loved the write-up Russ.  So many good memories!
top write up there mate.
i done the bit from brighton to eastbourne and then bk to hastings. i was in my element even with some of the climbs you encounter. i do want to do the hole lenght and will probably try it next yr.
"kaboom" Wrote:top write up there mate.
i done the bit from brighton to eastbourne and then bk to hastings. i was in my element even with some of the climbs you encounter. i do want to do the hole lenght and will probably try it next yr.
Welcome to SketchyMTB Kaboom ;D

Just had look back at our 1st failed attempt :'(  Brought it all flooding back.  I have never been so unprepared for anything in all my life.  TBH, I was almost pleased when the snow got so heavy :B  I'm so happy we went back and ticked-the-box though.  Would love to do it again or something similar.
Old topic alert. I was over there a couple of weeks back and noticed that the large SDW ending board at Paradise Drive had gone and further up the hill the bridleway was routed differently. This explains it

So now it all finishes in one place instead of the ending being seperate for walkers/bridleway as shown on the OS map

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