• Charlotte

Hunting for bluebells: 24.5km MTB loop to Stanmer Woods

Updated: May 13, 2020

There’s no surer sign that summer’s on it’s way than a woodland carpet of bluebells, lit up by shafts of light making their way through the trees.

Not wanting to let bluebell season pass us by, we decided to make our way to Stanmer. In normal times we’d drive up there, saving energy to lap the trails. But, not wanting to risk of a visit to A&E (and parking issues), we travelled under our own steam and stuck to the main bridleways.

The route

Distance: c. 23km

Mode: Mountain Bike

A ride along Hove Park and up through Three Corner Copse is a lovely way to get out of suburbia and feel like you’re in the countryside, just minutes from town. From the Green Ridge you get a view all the way to your destination. Taking the bridges over the A27 and the A23 you’re quickly able to head away from the road noise.

One option would be to take the bridleway up past the Chattri Indian War Memorial, before turning down to Lower Standean. This time, we took the easier, more direct option - following the lane that takes you all the way down to the farm. Winding through lovely valleys filled with new lambs, you’ll find yourselves North West corner of Stanmer Woods.

Head left at the post into the woods and you’ll see a beautiful carpet of bluebells. There's a great mountain bike trail straight through the middle - take care as there's lots of walkers around and now's not the time to hurt yourself!

Usually we’d do a full lap of the woods surrounding Stanmer - and would highly recommend it. On this occasion we took the stony track to the village and up the road to Upper Lodges car park. From here, we followed the bridleway alongside the A27 - the most direct off road route back to Hove.

On a whim, we crossed an unknown footbridge that took us to the top of Patcham. Then up over the hill through Coney Wood to the Green Ridge and home. Strictly speaking we shouldn't have gone this way by bike as there are no marked bridleways. But - I'm glad we did as I'd never have discovered this secret pocket of woodland behind Patcham. Perhaps we'll go by foot next time (it's a little steep by bike for me!).

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