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South Down Way Cycle Route

England > Hampshire > Winchester
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Cycle Route Details
Route NameSouth Down Way
Distance : miles (km)98.45  (158.44)
Posted ByCharlie
Calories Burned kcal
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Cycle Route Location
Start LocationWinchester Railway Station
End LocationEastbourne
Cycle Steps
Off road national trail , The South Down Way. This is 100 miles plotted as close to the route as possible, however some variations should be expected. Route does not take into account distance added due to hill climbs or descents.
Landmarks/Pubs for lunch/Sites to see?
Buster Hill. Linch Down. Kithurst Hill. Ditchling Beacon. Firle Beacon. Beachy Head

Your comments?
posted by:pasabeogradRating : difficult :
Great to have the route posted. Wanted to just share my experience. I cycle regularly, but not far. Usually 10 - 25 miles on the weekend, mostly on the road. I decided over the Easter hols to cycle the South Downs way in two parts from my home in Burgess Hill. The first half - Burgess Hill to Ditchling Beacon and then to Eastborne was really enjoyable. A good ride which didn't feel too taxing (I got the train back).

The second half was much tougher. The route from Clayton windmills to Devil's Dyke and beyond includes some really tough off road hills with loose gravel. I ended up knackered and pulled off the way at Washington for a road ride back home.

I'll try again another time - but just wanted to warn other road riders that off road is, in my opinion, about twice as hard as on road.

posted by:GiantRiderMattRating : difficult :
The South Downs Way is a must for anyone who loves riding! It has every element to contend with and every view you can possibly imagine. Do this route before you get too old or regret it forever!

posted by:simonRating : difficult :
its great to have a website like this .. well over due
I've tried it a few times
once my crank fell out my boardman
2nd got three punctures

I love the southdown way
i seem to make it from winchester to queen elizabeth country park
then something goes wrong
but this yaer i will do the whole lot
stay over half way

this ride is the best .. its got every thing
i love it

posted by:jamespascallRating : difficult :
One of the top off road routes in my opinion - and depending on the time taken this can either be an relatively energetic or absolute killer ride. The first time I did the route was over two days - very tiring but manageable. Last year I decided to attempt to complete in 1 day, which I did but it is a tough ride. Never under estimate the energy required to climb an accumulated 11,000ft - it never stops going up or down. Note that the route posted here follows the traditional route over Beach Head which technically is a walkers route only - cyclists and horse riders should take a more northerly route. I'd recommend it too - the last hour grinding up and down steep slopes of the cliffs is demoralising. Breathtaking scenery though. This is a never to be forgotten experience and a must for any reasonable mountian biker. And if you get into problems it's never far to get off the trail for help.

posted by:DarrellRating : difficult :
Great ride, a national treasure. Catch it on a sunny day and it's quintessential England. We posted our full 4 day trip report at http://multicolouredplanet.com/Grundlefly/South_Downs_Way including photos and video

posted by:SteveARating : difficult :
Just completed the whole 100m cycle route in 16 hours. Wanted to do it in a day before i'm too old!(55 at mo).
Fantastic views. Loads of hills.
Loose stones and ruts are the main hazard.
Used slick balloon tyres (Schwalbe Big Apples) These are great but are for dry weather only.
Bike Merida TFS300 29er with Manitou Tower forks.

Note that the Eastbourne bike route recently changed so its start/finish point is same as the walkers.

posted by:billy kidRating : difficult :
realy good fun, didnt find all that hard, compleated in 14.5 hrs,excelent views,mind loose stones n ruts, dont forget puncture kit n pump

posted by:mtbRating : difficult :
Wonderful experience on this ride. I did it as a day trip from London catching the first train to Winchester and one of the last trains back from Eastbourne. A long day but ultimately very satisfying. Be sure to leave something in the tank for the last third which is tough when you're already low on energy. I swore I'd never go near it again but I'm already thinking about returning with some company this time! Trip report for anyone interested at www.mamilontour.wordpress.com
on the South Downs Way page.

posted by:MikeyRating : difficult :
I have just finished the sdw and for a first time mountain biker this was a real challenge! I decided that I would do it in 2 days, stopping off in cocking for the first night (about 36 miles in). The second day was a real killer but well worth the pain as the journey from Devils dyke to Eastbourne is the best part of the journey. Anyone who says it is easy is quiet simply lying, I was recommended this ride by an ex ironman champion. Respect the 100 miles as the conditions count for a lot and it doesn't give much of a rest bit for those who have not ridden before!

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