Challenging - the south downs ridge - good trails but many hills
|Length||96.1 miles (154.7 km) with 8900 ft (2750 meters) of ascent|
|Toughness||10 / 10 - challenging - mountain bike needed|
|Off Road||100% - resonable path and tracks - some cycling on grass - lots of hills|
The South Downs Way (SDW) starts in Winchester (train station) and follows the ridge of the South Downs to the sea at Eastbourne (train station).
The entire route is a byeway, so cycling is legal. It is completely traffic free, along hard surface tracks, or hard flat grass. Most of the route is along fairly flat ridges, but there are steep descents and ascents where the ridge is crossed by river valleys.
Towards the end of the route in Alfriston, where the SDW spits with 2 routes to the sea at Eastbourne. The northern route is the official route for cyclists, but you could take a quiet lane on the east side of the Cuckmere river south to the sea, and cycle along the grassy Seven Sisters cliffs (the southern route - more dramatic, but much more strenuous). Once at the end, don't cycle along the sea front promenade to Eastbourne - they fine people who do this.
Its a bit long for most people in one day. Winchester to Petersfield is about 25 miles, + 5 to the station (buy a return to Southampton where the out and back routes join, or a single from Petersfield to Woking )
Petersfield to Amberley is another 25 miles or so (+ 5 to the station). This time you need a return to Havant, which is where the routes join
Amberley to Hassocks is the next section - buy a return to Ford
Hassock to Eastbourne is the final section - they are on the same line
After the walk, we would love to get your feedback
Out (not a train station)
Back (not a train station)
National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline SE (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234
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