Start/finish: Fitzalan Pool car park, Arundel (grid ref TQ 021/069, postcode BN18 9NZ).
Location details: Arundel is in the South Downs National Park, just north of Bognor Regis on England’s South Coast. The picturesque market town is surrounded by rolling downland that’s perfect for some big, epic XC rides, as well as a number of woodlands and forests which have plenty of fun singletrack for those who wish to explore off piste.
Getting there: Arudel is on the A27, which runs along the southern coastline from Portsmouth to Eastbourne. There are a few car parks in town – along with a railway station, if you prefer to use public transport – as well as one at Whiteways roundabout by Houghton Forest on the route.
Accommodation/facilities: Accommodation options include The Fox Goes Free B&B in Charlton (www.thefoxgoesfree.com, 01243 811461), YHA Littlehampton (www.yha.org.uk, 0845 3719670) and Gumber Bothy and Camping Field (www.nationaltrust.org.uk/slindon-estate, 01243 814484 – no road access). For more, contact Visit Arundel (www.arundel.org.uk, 01903 882268). South Downs Bikes in Storrington is good (www.southdownsbikes.com, 01903 745534/743208). There lots of choice of refreshments in Arundel, a pub on the route in Houghton and a snack hut in the Houghton Forest car park.
Maps and useful books: OS Landranger 197: Chichester & the South Downs.
Turn left along the high street. Turn right at the roundabout after the bridge and follow this road (Mill Road) north for over 2km, past Swanbourne Lake, to a T-junction in Offham. Turn left and then immediately right onto a bridleway beside a house, heading downhill. Keep ahead across a field, with a wood on your left.
Go through a gate and turn left on a track to South Stoke Farm. Follow the bridleway around the field edge and then down to and alongside the river. After nearly 3km turn left, up South Lane. Go left along the main road (B2139).
Turn right on a bridleway past the pub, uphill. Keep ahead at a drive, into the woods. Go across a field and through a gate to a road. Keep ahead on the bridleway into Houghton Forest. If you want to visit the cafe, go left. Otherwise, go right on the bridleway to a junction with the South Downs Way.
Go ahead/left on the SDW (or explore the trails in the forest to the left here). After passing a rough car park, take the track on the left. At the next track crossing, go right on the Monarch’s Way. Keep left at the fork to stay on the edge of the trees, with a field on your left. Keep ahead down a long (3.5km) downhill to a grassy track crossing by some trees.
Bear left and continue downhill, into the trees. Go left on the road, then first right. Cross the A29 and join the bridleway opposite. Follow this forest track for 1km, then go left on a bridleway. Follow this uphill for 1km to a T-junction. Turn right on a forest track. At the next crossing, turn left on a forest track, uphill.
Keep turning right to start heading south along the edge of the wood, keeping straight ahead, downhill, until you reach the A27. Turn left to the roundabout and take the second exit (Maltravers Street). Head back into Arundel and the car park is over the bridge to the right.
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Routes produced in association with Rough Ride Guide
Basic Equipment for Mountain Biking
- Cycling helmet
- Cycling gloves
- Sturdy, comfortable and preferably waterproof footwear
- Layered, moisture wicking clothing
- Rucksack (with rain cover)
- Protection against sun, rain and wind (hat, sunscreen, water- and windproof jacket)
- Ample supply of drinking water and snacks
- Cell phone
- Navigation equipment / map and compass
Technical Equipment for Mountain Biking
- Air pump or CO2 pump including cartridges
- Puncture repair kit
- Replacement inner tube
- Tire levers
- Chain tool
- Hex keys
- Phone / device holder as required
- Bike lock as required
- Where applicable, the bike must meet requirements for road use by having a bell, front and rear lamps and spoke reflectors
- The 'basic' and 'technical' equipment lists are generated based on the selected activity. They are not exhaustive and only serve as suggestions for what you should consider packing.
- For your safety, you should carefully read all instructions on how to properly use and maintain your equipment.
- Please ensure that the equipment you bring complies with local laws and does not include restricted items.