• Charlotte

Beautiful circular MTB route from Brighton

Updated: May 13, 2020

The quickest way to get to the countryside from Hove is north. But, a few weeks into lockdown, northern options on our mountain bikes were starting to feel a little stale. So, we decided to get down to the seafront - turn left and explore beyond Kemp Town.

The route

Distance: c. 35km circular loop

Mode: Mountain bike

A fast and flat 7km along the seafront takes you almost to Brighton Marina. Wind your way up a few streets to the bottom of Black Rock Valley, just off Rodean Road. This is your gateway to the many footpaths and bridleways that criss-cross beyond Woodingdean out toward Lewes. Plenty to explore!

Our route took us over East Brighton Golf Course, through the pretty village of Ovingdean and up to Beacon Hill Nature Reserve. Skirting Rottingdean, the bridleway goes up a long but gentle hill, opening up beautiful 360 views.

View to sea from Balsdean Farm
View to sea from Balsdean Farm

The iconic Sussex chalk hills and valleys could trick you into to thinking you're miles from anywhere. But in fact, you're just a few kilometers from Woodingdean.

Arriving at the busy Falmer road, you'll discover a bridleway runs alongside. This let us cut across Falmer Hill, dodging some cows and their calves, to find ourselves at the back of Bevendean.

Here, you have the option of sticking to the streets to the beach and home along the seafront.

Wanting to stay offroad as much as possible, we ventured via Wild Park. The brutal push up the hill is soon forgotten when you make it to the pond at the top. You're rewarded with a cracking view across Brighton and out to sea. This would be a lovely picnic spot when those types of things are back on the cards.

The last stretch of this beautiful ride took us across Hollingbury Park Golf Course and down through Withdean Park (not sure if we were on a bridleway here...).

Keep enough in the tank to get over the hill at Withdean, distracting yourself by gawping at the multi-million pound properties you'll pass.

And relax - all downhill to get home.

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