Buy the OS Route Map and instructions for this route

North of Chichester, the South Downs jack up to form a formidable chain of hills – predominantly wooded, and littered with enough good trails to keep an energetic mtb’er happy for days. This little crusade links a few excellent and surprisingly narrow forest tracks with the South Downs Way, to form a short but sweet outing, suitable for all.
There are three big climbs in total; the first, onto Heyshot Down, is the most painful – especially on cold legs – but it’s eminently ride-able, on good surfaces all the way. The second – away from the A286 – although shorter, drains a little more energy, especially if it’s wet. The third’s a bit more of the first really but with the end in sight, it’s not too bad.
The return on your investment is high in grin factor, even if it’s not particularly technical. Watch out for stones and drainage gullies on the singletrack through Singleton Forest, they are more capable of tipping the unsuspecting rider over the bars. The forest sections all blend into one after that – reasonably easy going, but still with the odd root or boggy section to keep you awake.
The Royal Oak at Hooksway is a perfect lunch stop – and the soup’s as good as the riding. The South Downs Way cruises easily over Lich Ball and Cocking Down; and then it’s fast and furious, with the odd rough patch to watch out for, all the way back to the car park.
Fit or experienced riders could lengthen the route to the west or the east, even pushing as far as Beacon Hill, for a really good workout.