Shore to South Downs

Activity Retreat

If you like mountain biking, there’s a good chance you enjoy other good, fun outdoorsy stuff too. Paddleboarding. Swimming. Stuff like that. And when the action’s done, if you’re anything like us, you’ll enjoy some fine food and relaxation as well…

This is the big idea behind our new ‘Shore to South Downs’ weekenders. Together with The Beach in Littlehampton, and The Beachcroft Hotel with their lovely beach huts, we cooked up an experience that combined a mix of ways to enjoy the countryside of coastal Sussex.

To test it out, we asked some travel bloggers, including Zoe Holland of Juggling on Rollerskates, to experience ‘Shore to South Downs’ and tell us what they thought. Based on our feedback from Zoe, here’s an overview of this weekend of action and relaxation…

Shore to South Downs

Here’s the shape of the weekend:

Day 1

Check in from 3pm.

Settle in, explore, take a walk or maybe a sea swim. The beach huts are right on the beach! Enjoy a gourmet dinner in the Tamarisk Restaurant from 6pm.

Day 2

Guided mountain biking in the South Downs with – yes, you’ve guessed it – Marmalade MTB!

After breakfast at the Beachcroft, we take you to our friends at Riverside South Downs. We fit you with a quality mountain bike hire (e-bikes available for a small additional charge), then we take you for a few hours riding around the scenic landscape of the South Downs. Then it’s back to Beachcroft, for a stone-baked pizza dinner at Blakes.

Day 3

Stand-up paddleboarding (and paddleboard Pilates) at The Beach, Littlehampton.

After breakfast at the Beachcroft we take you to The Beach in Littlehampton, for 2 hours of guided paddleboarding, then 45 mins of guided breathwork and Pilates. Hot showers and changing facilities are available afterwatds. Then it’s back to the Beachcroft for 3pm checkout.

There is also the option for staying an additional night if you’d like to make the most of your time in the beach hut and truly relax after your active stay.

Welcome to the Beachcroft Beach Huts

The Beachcroft Beach Huts are something special. The Beachcroft Hotel itself is a lovely place – but the beach huts provide a luxury option separate from the main building. These ‘huts’ are more like luxury villas: underfloor heating, daily room service, smart TV and a Smeg fridge. You may even find some of Beachcroft’s favourite local tipples in the fridge. The huts have been designed to comfortably accommodate up to 4 with a bunk bed downstairs and a double bed on a mezzanine that’s accessed from the living area. Want to bring your dog? They’ll be welcome too.

Location, location, location: the beach huts are right on the beach. It’s an amazing view to wake up to. Even pop in for a swim before breakfast!

Mountain biking

Obviously, you know that mountain biking with Marmalade is going to be a load of fun. And Shore to South Downs weekends are no exception.

We work with our friends at Riverside South Downs in Amberley, who provide bikes. We get kitted out, cover the basics and the safety points, then we set off.

Initially, there is a bit of uphill to take on: that’s the nature of the South Downs! But there’s no rush, and there are plenty of gears, so we gradually gain height until we emerge atop the Downs among beautiful views towards Arundel and beyond.

Then it’s along the South Downs Way for a while, rolling up and down, enjoying the landscape. We give you more technique pointers along the way, to ensure you have the technique you need for the ups and downs. After a few miles, and real taste of the Downs, we return to the Riverside…

Fun afloat

We love working with The Beach at Littlehampton. It’s a modern, funky beach club, with a cafe, bar, watersports facility, showers and changing rooms – just metres from the sea. The Beach was set up in 2021 by three friends (Dave, Jamie and James) and it’s fast become one of our favourite seaside hangouts, with a team that we love working with.

The Beach has a load of activities to try – including stand-up paddleboarding, a real favourite for anyone looking for a quick way to get afloat.  All the essential kit you need is there – including wetsuits and booties. And then there’s the staff! A friendly bunch who are there to share their love for their sport(s) in a way that’s super-welcoming to newcomers and experiences funseekers alike. (Think the attitude of the Marmalade team, but dressed in neoprene!)

Alongside paddleboarding itself, there’s a twist: yoga, Pilates and breathwork afloat on paddleboards. Once you get used to it, it’s a very relaxing experience!  Then maybe a quick swim before getting changed and heading back to the Beachcroft?

A perfect mix

We really had fun putting this together with our friends at The Beachcroft and The Beach. Mix luxury beach huts with the best friendly tuition in biking and watersports, then top it off with some amazing food. Perfect.

The accommodation is as good as you can get in one of the most stunning locations on the south coast. The activities are approachable and accessibly for many different levels of experience – and the staff and instruction are top notch (but we would say that, obviously…)

So, we love meeting our weekend guests. Zoe and the other test bloggers loved trying it all out. All we’re waiting for now is you!

Activity retreats in the south shore to south downs near to london cycling aActivity retreats in the south shore to south downs near to london cycling and paddleboardingnd paddleboarding

The package

  • Stay three nights at the Beachcroft Hotel
  • Off-street private parking
  • Luxury minibus transfers each day
  • Fully guided and instructed by local and passionate professionals
  • Bike and equipment hire included
  • Rest and relaxation with sea views from your luxury beach hut
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