South Downs Way E-W

Distance: 100 miles    icon1 Difficulty: Tricky

Eastbourne to Winchester. Stunning scenery and three Snowdon Ascents over 100 miles. This route was not rushed in one day but taken over 2 nights away. Go on you know you want to!!

We have always fancied trying this one out, and thanks to Dan who has sent in this route.  Dan did this route over 3 days, with day 1 and day 3 including train travel from London.  This is a popular charity cycle ride, but in the other direction.  We actually like how Dan has done it.  This way you can actually take the stunning Sussex/Hampshire scenery in, and also get to sample the delights of the local food and beer.  Over to Dan for his journey.

South Downs Way

We travelled from London to Eastbourne, arriving just after lunch.  We had a quick sandwich on the train as we wanted to get onto the trail as soon as we could.  As most people can actually do this in a day we wanted to enjoy this cycle route at a slower pace, and throw in a couple of nights away at the same time.  Day 1 was going to be a short little jaunt with a nice reward at the end of it.  However, Day 2 was always going to be a challenge!! 

 

Beachy Head

From the station we navigated to the SDW and started climbing instantly.  After 6 miles we decided to stop and admire the beauty of the Long Man of Wilmington.  We were blessed with great weather so stopping was not a hardship.  After a drink we moved on and cracked on until we got near to Lewes at around 21 miles done.  This is where we cross the A27, and it is worth being careful around here and follow the signs for the SDW.  From here you have a rather tasty 2.5 mile climb back up onto the ridgeway and onto the famous Ditchling Beacon area of the downs.  We just granny geared up this and admired the stunning views all around us.  Once at the beacon, we headed off the ‘way’ and headed north and down a lovely hill to the village of Ditchling and our first stop of the trip.  The Bull at Ditchling.

The start of Day 2 was a slow start, we gently made our way back up Ditchling to join the SDW again, and then headed West.  Today was a day for getting some miles in as tonights stop was at a village called Singleton very close to Goodwood racecourse.  There are 7 valleys to get across and today was some serious climbing, but rewarded with the stunning weather, great bike routes and amazing jaw dropping views.  After 35 miles we made it to the junction of the A286 and headed South for a couple of miles to Singleton.  Here we decided to camp for the night and had food at one end and beers at the other end of the village.  

Day 3, started with another climb back to the SDW.  There seems to be a pattern here.  We headed West again to our final stop at Winchester. Initially we went through the the Queen Elizabeth Country Park, we could have done some mountain bike trails if we had more time.  Then over past The Meons, past Exton and onto the last village before Winchester, Chilcomb.  We were rewarded with a nice long descent for that one.  Once over the M3 we were on the outskirts of Winchester and soon at the railway station.  100 miles done, 10000ft of climbing completed and nearly the same in descents.

We were blessed with the weather and blessed with the great food and well earnt beers.  So many people whizz along this route in a day, but I think we did it properly and not onjly had great food and tasted local beers, but we supported those businesses along the way.

So what next, well back the other way of course!!

Thank you to Dan L. for his contribution and recommendations. 

Fast Descents

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