South Downs Cycling
Guidebooks and Maps for the South Downs National Park
On this page we bring you our personal selection of Traditional and Digital Maps, Guides and Guide Books for both the South Downs and South Downs Way, covering cycling specific routes and tracks general purpose Maps and Navigation Data from a variety of Publishers & Sources.
These are what we as local cyclists have used and would recommend for anyone venturing into the South Downs or trying to complete the South Downs Way - you can also find on this page and our South Downs Way and Tracks and Trails pages, lots of links to other useful Websites with a more detailed and specific focus
For anyone attempting to complete the South Downs Way for the first time we definitely recommend a Guidebook and Map, Maps alone do not have enough detail and the route signage isnít great
South Downs and South Downs Way Maps and Guides
Recommended Guides for the South Downs, South East and the South Downs Way:
These Ordnance Survey Maps cover the South Downs National Park OS Explorer 120,122,123,132,133 OS Landranger 185,197,198,199
The following are Ordnance Survey Explorer (Active Range with protective coating) The Scale is 1:25 000 (4 cm to 1 km, 2Ĺ inches to 1 mile)
OS Explorer 120
OS Explorer 122
OS Explorer 123
OS Explorer 132
OS Explorer 133
The following are Ordnance Survey Landranger Maps. The Scale is 1:50 000 (2 cm to 1 km, 1ľ inches to 1 mile)
OS Landranger 185
OS Landranger 197
OS Landranger 198
OS Landranger 199
Digital Mapping Resources - Useful Online Sources - Official Leaflets and Guides
Various organisations produce Official Guides and Maps (in dowloadable PDF format) for the South Downs and South Downs Way - We have collected these together below - again some of these are cycling specific and some are more general visitor information.
The South Downs National Park Authority have a new(ish) dedicated visitors website section Have a Look
Official South Downs Way Mountain Bike Guide leaflet from English National Trails. Download it here (PDF) South Downs Way Biking Guide
The official South Downs and South Downs Way information leaflets on a variety of subjects can be downloaded here SDW free PDFs
Official South Downs Way Drinking Water Guide pdf download South Downs Way Drinking Water Guide
The Official South Downs Way Camping and Hostels Guide Leaflet - pdf download South Downs Way Camping and Hostels
Local Mountain Biking Tips and Advice
The South Downs are basically chalk hills. Wet chalk can be suprisingly slippy but its not as "heavy" to get through as clay mud or peat soil. There are sharp flint seams in the chalk that are a puncture hazard.
There are not a lot of Pubs / Cafes / Food places on the South Downs Way itself you may have to divert off the track to a village.
It can be windy on the South Downs ridge, try and go with the wind. The prevailing wind for the South Downs region is SW or South Westerly.
In the summer months the park is always busy at weekends with families, dogs and walkers etc. Cycle accordingly.
There is a lot of Livestock (farm animals) Horse Riders and stables in the National Park, be careful, shut gates and follow the Countryside Code - which is available to read and download from Natural England
P.S. Sheep are particularly dim (bless em) and just as likely to jump in front of you as out of the way when you honk swear shout ring your bell.
South Downs National Park Rights of Way Facts and Figures
Rights of Way : There is approximately 3,282 km of public rights of way within the South Downs: 1813 km of footpath; 1213km of bridleway; 53km of restricted byways; 77km of byways open to all traffic (BOATS); and 176km of road used as a public path in the South Downs National Park. (source: Environment Agency 2010)
South Downs National Park Map and Guide related News and Events
Aug 2012 - Avenue Verte - earlier this month signposting of a new cycle and walking route which will connect London with Paris, via Newhaven's ferry service, was completed The English side of the Avenue Verte Partnership is led by East Sussex County Council you can find more details and route information on their website www.escc.gov and also the Sustrans website www.sustrans.org
July 2012 - West Sussex County Council has Brand New shiny Cycle Journey Planner - it seems to work well and has good detailed route information. Have a look at cyclejourneyplanner.westsussex.gov.uk
June 2012 - Added the new South Downs part of the electric bike network - so far in hampshire only. Recently launched at Alice Holt Forest, this is a network of Hire Points in the SDNP where you can hire ebikes and ride along quiet lanes and off road trails via Charge Points strategically located at pubs, tea rooms and visitor attractions. This is a joint venture between the South Downs National Park, the Electric Bicycle Network and CPRE Hampshire. Details can be found at: south downs electric bike network
National Bike and Cycling Organisations
Cycling Proficiency for the 21st Century: bikeability.org.uk
The essential cycling resource: www.bikehub.co.uk
It's so much nicer than riding alone!: www.bikebuddy.com
Share knowledge of good bicycle routes: www.bikely.com
CTC - the UKs national cyclists organisation:www.ctc.org.uk
Create + view routes in O.S. + Google: www.bikehike.co.uk
CTC - maps and routes: www.ctc-maps.org.uk
Cycle Campaign Network: www.cyclenation.org.uk
Route and Accommodation guide: www.cycle-n-sleep.co.uk
Promoting cycling for Families: www.cyclingforfun.co.uk
Use others - Add you own: www.gps-routes.co.uk
The Voice of Road Safety: www.roadsafetygb.org
National Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Links
Assocation of National Park Authorities www.nationalparks.gov.uk |
England's official tourism website www.visitengland.com |
The Ramblers Association www.ramblers.org.uk | Youth Hostel Assciation YHA UK www.yha.org.uk |
Page Links Checked Oct 2015