South Downs Way – what is it like?

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  • South Downs Way – what is it like?
  • packer
    Member

    What sort of riding is it? Is it singletrack or more like a bridleway? Challenging at all or just like riding through a field?

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    all of those.

    challenge is more in the relentless hillage than anythign terribly technical.

    At this time of year the green chalk and sticky mud present addional ‘issues’.

    Premier Icon pedalhead
    Subscriber

    up down up down down up down…repeat for about 100 miles 😀

    I like it, planning on doing a double sometime (over 2 days). Mostly open bridleway type stuff, similar to Ridgeway but on steroids.

    glenp
    Member

    Big views, big climbs, mostly wide chalky tracks. Slippery when wet, sticky too.

    malc hales
    Member

    Slippy on green chalk, great views, the hills can be big and so can the long drags up, its different if you go east-west or visa versa. Also wind can make or break the ride. It can be challenging but not to technical.
    I ride it pretty much every weekend and night rides around the Worthing/Brighton area and there is some ST to be found if you know where to look. Good night time riding to be had as well.
    plenty of local clubs can show you the “hidden gems” look for Brighton mtb, muddyarse, Sussex mtb. most local lbs have the inside knowledge.

    packer
    Member

    Thanks for the info

    Premier Icon splashdown
    Subscriber

    Plenty of sharp flints to shred your tyres (or elbows down to the bone 😥 )

    shedfull
    Member

    It’s excellent. Starting in Winchester the hills are more undulating, views OK and most of it is on wide farm tracks or well used bridleways. The further East you go, the hills get flatter on top but the valleys get deeper so the climbs are long and flinty and probably pretty slippery in the wet. Along the tops of the downs, you’re riding through sheep fields, so it’s very broad, grassy and covered in sheep poo, which is very sticky! There’s a gate to go through every few hundred yards, which can get a bit wearing, but the views are worth it.

    Although the sign posting is excellent, there are a few places to get a bit lost so it’s worth having OS maps or a good guide book with you. And check for route changes (there is a big re-route around Exton) here and here.

    Premier Icon wormhole
    Subscriber

    worth doing just to say you have done it, if you just want to ride head for the surrey hills.

    Premier Icon senor j
    Subscriber

    ^^^^^ as above

    Plus,it will be harder than you expect it to be.
    Definitely worth doing.

    hh45
    Member

    unless you take to the numerous paths off to the sides, many of which are steep, rarely used, very decent singletrack the SDW is a bt of a motorway and best seen as an epic, fitness / roadie type ride.

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