South Downs mountain biking trails are frankly quite limitless. There are literally over a hundred miles of bridleway to choose from and being an official Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it's a pretty good place to be riding around on your MTB. The most famous are the epic South Downs Way route.
Covering a distance as far as from Winchester all the way to Eastbourne on the coast there are lots on offer. Personally, I've heard the parts around Portsmouth to Chichester are great and that there are also great bits near Brighton too and even more good stuff all along the downs.
The best thing though is to hook up with a local, a club, or a guide or get onto one of the events here and make sure you take a GPS and or a decent map and compass with you.
At iBikeride you can get a list of all the trails and centres we have mapped in the South Downs and the surrounding area. This includes:
- Devil’s Dyke
- Friston Forest
- Houghton Forest, Whiteways
- Stanmer Park
- Steyning MTB
- Stoughton Downhill
- The Lion Trail
- Wild Park
- Queen Elizabeth Country Park
- Also be sure to check out our GPS MTB section full of GPS routes covering the South Downs for you to try.
- Also, the South Downs Way Mountain BikeTrail itself is an epic that runs from Winchester to Eastbourne. It is a 100 mile (160km) route with around 12,600 feet of ascent. As the prevailing wind is westwards, we'd recommend it's better to travel eastwards.Routes around Winchester are The Warnford Circuit, Gander Down Circuit and Winchester to Petersfield.
- It normally takes 2-3 days to cycle but can be done in a long summer's day if you are super fit and prepared. Typically over three days, it is split:
- Winchester to Cocking.
- Cocking to Ditchling Beacon.
- Ditchling Beacon to Eastbourne.
- Routes around Chichester and Petersfield are Westdean Woods and Cocking Down, Heyshott Down and Charlton Forest, Beacon Hill Circuit in Petersfield, Charlton Forest Circuit in Chichester and the Singleton Forest Circuit in Petersfield.
- Routes around Arundel and Worthing are Amberley and Houghton Forest, Chanctonbury Ring Circuit and Springhead Hill Circuit in Worthing, Graffham Down Circuit and the Amberley Mount Circuit in Lancing.
- Routes around Brighton and Lewes are Castle Hill Circuit, Lewes Circuit, Tuleigh Hill Circuit, Blackcap Circuit in Devil’s Dyke, Brighton to Eastbourne and the Ouse Valley Circuit.
- Routes around Eastbourne are Friston Forest Circuit, Firle Beacon Circuit in Seaford and the Cuckmere Valley and Firle Beacon Circuits in Eastbourne.
Clubs and Groups
- The South Downs Way is covered by OS 1:25,000 Explore series 132, 120, 121, 122, 123 and 1:50,000 Landranger series 185, 197, 198 & 199.
- If you complete the South Downs Way you can now claim an official certificate free of charge. Visit www.nationaltrail.co.uk/southdowns.
- You open a gate please make sure you shut it :)
- If you have ridden any of the South Downs Mountain Bike trails then why not share your experience and post on the listing a short review, a GPS route, a picture or video.