I’m going to be keeping this pretty short and pretty sweet. I know I’ve already said this a lot already but I would once again like to say a big thank you to everyone that took part in the ride across the South Downs Way. A big shout to Ross who missed the train and chased us only to over shoot his landing zone and get lost for 2 days. It made a wicked story when we finally found you. To everyone asking if we’ll be doing another camping trip this year, the answer is we don’t know yet. The main reason being there is a lot of planning involved and I don’t know if we have the time but we will do our best. Now, onto the subject of the Downs.
Both campsites we stayed in were amazing! On the first night we stayed at the Gumber Bothy and it has been one of the best places I have stayed for a night. Fully equipped kitchen, showers and even a drying room. It is slap bang in the middle of nowhere and for me it is a tiny slice of heaven, so get there and huddle around the campfire. Second night we rolled into Hale Farm, super eco and super friendly. The owner Beki brought all the riders boiled water and tea when we arrived which we welcomed with open mouths. Hale Farm is a little closer to civilization so we arrived, pitched our tents and headed to the pub for the evening. The pub just at the bottom road had the worst service of any pub I have ever been in, I forget the name but it is right next to M&S. After we left the pub we grabbed some beers at the 24-hour M&S went back to the campsite and got merry while sitting round the campfire. It was a lot of fun.
With riding the downs you are in for a lot of fun and even though it can be testing at times, it is very rewarding. By the end if the ride you will have covered 12,600ft of climbing - that’s 43% up Mount Everest or 315 Tyrannosaurus Rex’s standing on top of each other. It is almost 100 miles of pure gravel. I would recommend it for anyone who is interested in having an epic time. If you follow our route, I can only apologise for that first day. It is long and I agree with you. But it makes that first campsite all the more sweet and just remember to carry your lunch, dinner and breakfast because there is nowhere to stop to pick up supplies on that first day. The next 2 days are a lot easier at almost half the distance. There isn’t much to say about the ride other than I haven’t seen anything like it in the South of England. I would just say take it easy and be careful. Wear a helmet and be as tubeless as you can be. If you wanna know about our kit give us a shout and we can explain all that jazz. Scroll through the gallery below because all the riders’ bikes are in there J.
Drop us an email if you would us to send you the GPX files of the route :) Also below is the link to the National Trails South Downs Way PDF.
Wicked photos by Digory MacFarlane and we thank him that. Have a scroll for some epic kit photos.