CYCLIST'S GUIDE TO THE SOUTH DOWNS WAY
After crossing the A24, the SDW follows the tarmac road bending to the left then turning to the right widening into a car park. Pass straight through, then the long (about 1 mile) slow climb up to Chanctonbury Ring (230m) begins. Chalk, flint, loose stone. I have cycled up, though on the BHF rides as legs tired by then, it was cycle/walk/ cycle/walk .
Towards the top there is steep stony section of some 30 yards, (see Westwards for PHOTO) then it levels off. After a left turn at a bridlepath junction, quite a good hard gravel/grass track (PHOTO below) towards Chanctonbury Ring passing over a cattle grid.
SDW passes just to the south of the trees. There is a worn path slightly lower down to the right, but I prefer the path nearer the trees. Once passed the clump of trees, a quite fast slight down gradient on grass. On my 2006 BHF ride in May of last year, the wind was so strong here that I was leaning over cycling across here, and it was difficult not to be blown over !
You can see the radio masts on Truleigh Hill from here (Youth Hostel there as well) (just visible in PHOTO below; from there to Devils Dyke is another 2 miles or so though !
Thumbnail of similar views
After passing Chanctonbury Ring, follow the track; after 2.25 miles, you will come to a tarmac lane.
Annotated PANORAMA from gate
There is a fenced off path to the left of the road. Follow this for nearly 1/2 mile. Then, turn left into field. There is then a quite fast descent on a grass field for nearly 1 mile; there is worn path, good surface.
Photo below shows path going across the field. A283 & river Adur are in the dip, with masts at Truleigh Hill visible. The top 2 blue lines are on the tarmac lane which leads up to the YHA.
Similar view, but after field. Steepens as descends into Botolphs; gate, then rough tarmac lane.
At the bottom, join lane bending to left, then at tarmac junction, turn right through village of Botolphs. Join fenced off path to left of road, then at lay by, (vehicle height restrictor across path) bear left towards river. (July 09: ride path resurfaced, improved) Cross River Adur. Water tap on right under bush just before joining A283.
A283 is very busy single carriageway, it can take 5 mins. before able to cross ! The SDW continues the otherside, about 50 yards to the left of where you came up.
NB: Photo below is of going westwards.
Than a steepish climb on narrow bumpy grass for 0.5 miles,
coming into a field, then on exiting filed, join tarmac lane for about 1 1/4 miles to Truleigh Hill. Lane deteriorates to flint stone etc.
April 09: Route update: Mike A. kindly emailed to say just to east of YHA filled with builders rubble, incl window frames and other 'tyre-shredding junk' ! July 09: I rode along here; seems to have compacted slightly, could not see any hazards but suggest still keep careful eye out !
The masts are visible from Chanctonbury Ring, and I remember on my first ride, I thought that they were at Devils Dyke; unfortunately, still had another 2.5 miles to go !! After them, it still undulates quite steeply, chalk, flint.
Then at last a good stretch of grass to the road at Devils Dyke ; finished ! , and so was I after my first BHF ride with on bike without suspension !