Cycling in the South Downs
YHA South Downs is great for mountain bikers and road cyclists alike. The hostel benefits from a cycle rack and repair equipment to keep your bike in excellent condition while you're cycling the beautiful pathways which start on our doorstep.
Uniquely for a UK National Trail, the entire 100 mile length of the South Downs Way is open to cyclists and, what’s more, it’s accessible from the hostel front door! Running from Winchester, the ancient capital of England, to the white cliffs of Eastbourne it has a total ascent of 3,800 metres; plenty of slopes and undulations mean it isn’t the easiest trail to tackle, but the scenery is simply sublime.
If you’re fit enough and game enough, it’s possible to complete the whole bridleway in a day but most take 2-4 days to ride it. And with 4 other hostels along the route – Littlehampton, Brighton, Telescombe and Eastbourne – YHA can accommodate you all the way. For those preferring a more relaxed, shorter excursion, simply cycle a section in either direction and take the train back to Southease station - just 200m away from the hostel.
If a shorter route is what you’re after then why not try part of the South Downs way and jump on a train back. Below are some examples of shorter routes:
Southease – Ditchling Beacon with the option to call in at Houseedean Farm
Southease – Eastbourne with the option of getting the train back
More leisurely still is the going in Seven Sisters Country Park, 10 miles to the east. Though there are no bridleways as such, cycling is permitted on the valley floor and a paved track provides easy access to the beach. A pleasant hour’s bike ride north from the hostel brings you to the cafes, independent traders, art galleries and historic buildings of Lewes. Visit Anne of Cleves’ 15th century house to enjoy the Tudor garden, authentic interior and Lewes Folk Museum."
Other things to do nearby
Soak up the history and culture of this vibrant city by pedalling between Brighton's iconic landmarks. We now sell tours at reception for groups of two or more people. Suitable for ages 13 and up.
Packed full of video games, thrill rides and shops - if you're looking for the very best of English seaside entertainment, you'll find it here!
A true shopper's paradise jam packed with independent shops and boutiques, this maze of twisting alleyways, twittens and catcreeps has everything you need for unique gifts and fashion.
This extraordinary building was designed for George IV and has an unforgettable style of architecture!
Set at the heart of Brighton's cultural quarter (in the garden of the Royal Pavilion!) this museum and gallery is home to a huge collection of amazing objects.
Once a slum area, now Brighton's hippest bohemian and cultural quarter - don't miss out on over 400 indie shops, cafes and vibrant entertainment venues!
Revisit your childhood at one of the finest toy museums in the world! Families and the young at heart will gaze in wonder at over 10,000 toys and models.
The world's oldest operating aquarium is right on the sea-front! With amazing exhibits, you can see how fish and marine creatures live beneath the waves, plus there are plenty of opportunities t
Want a REALLY good time? Head to one of the best comedy, cabaret and music venues in the south!
Join Julian for his unique take on the "Brighton Story" with a guided tour around the historic town.
The South Downs National Park is on the doorstep of Brighton, so why not leave the city behind and get back to nature in the beautiful countryside?
Wild Park is situated just to the north east of Brighton city centre and is home to a selection of short, well crafted trails for both downhill riders and freeriders.
Cycling is the best way to see the city of Brighton as it has been selected as one of the UK's Cycling Towns.
Powerboat rides, dinghy sailing, yacht sailing and powerboat training are all available at the Brighton Marina Watersports Sea Sailing School, located just east of Brighton city centre.
1066 Country is the kind of place where you don't just learn about history, you live it. Visit the 1066 Country website
Visit Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters with their dramatic white cliffs and gently undulating downs.