Day 1: 25-30 miles
Day 2: 15-20 miles

Ride Type




Day 1: 1,400ft
Day 2: 1,100ft

Intro to Bikepacking


Back for 2020 is our Bikepacking Intro Weekender on the South Downs. Discover the amazing thrill of adventure, as we share all our experience, to set you on your way for unlimited wild-camping adventures on two wheels.


The perfect bikepacking course

Join our very own local legend, coach and guide, Jim Barrow, who has slept in his bivvy bag all over the UK and North America, on this two-day introduction to the awesome fusion of mountain bikes and wild camping. Over the two days of this intro to bikepacking course, Jim will pass on his best advice and share his inspirational stories to ensure you are immersed and hooked into the adventurous and addictive world of bikepacking. All this, within an hour of London!

  • Total price: £175pp | £215 (kit hire option)
  • Deposit: £75pp (non-refundable)
    Book your place today (see above)
  • Group size: 6 (max.)

We comply with the Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018 by paying money received for package holidays into a trust administered by independent trustees, Serenity Travel Trusts. This means that in respect of all arrangements requiring protection, in the event of our insolvency, funds will be available to ensure that you will receive a refund of the money you have paid to us. If the holiday or weekend is not filled then we hold the right to cancel or postpone.

To read the full terms and conditions please visit them here. Thank you.

Marmalade MTB weekend trips terms and conditions serenity travel trust

What’s included

  • 2 guided rides on the South Downs
  • 1 night wild camping
  • Fully qualified MTB coach and guide
  • All of Jim’s extensive knowledge of bikepacking
  • Brunch at the picturesque riverside Black Rabbit pub
  • Fun and interactive prep session
  • Pub lunch back at the Black Rabbit

Day 1 – Itinerary

We will meet and welcome you at 10 am for a delicious brunch riverside at the simply amazing Black Rabbit pub, Arundel. They also have an undercover area if the weather is not playing ball, for the prepping our bikes. Over the next hour, Jim will share some of his bikepacking adventures and experiences. All this before talking you through the specifics of bikepacking such as the kit, the culture and the etiquette. After this interactive and fun chat you will load up the bikes and head out onto the South Downs which will include a cake or lunch stop.

The ride will be approximately 25-30 miles of classic downland bridleways and woodland trails. Jim’s local knowledge is second-to-none and he’ll use all this experience to provide you with a superb and sociable afternoon ride. In true bikepacking tradition, you will drop-off the route to find supplies for dinner and breakfast. Make sure not forget your hip flask for a cheeky wee-dram for story time at nightfall.

Day 2 – Itinerary

After a cosy and wonderful first night under the stars, it will be time to look forward to a brew and the excitement of breakfast with your fellow bikepackers. After a leisurely start, you will break camp, re-pack your gear, leave no trace and set-off for Sunday’s ride. This will include an introduction to riding singletrack with a laden bike with key tips and pointers from Jim on the local trails.

After another superb ride on the South Downs, it will be time to roll back to the start and close out the weekend with a well earned hearty lunch at a superb Sussex country pub. Whilst enjoying your pint of local ale, the excitement of your next wild camping and biking adventure with your new friends will be in full flow. Just like all our rides and adventures this bikepacking course will be chilled and sociable with little pressure on time. However, to help you plan your onward travel, we will aim to be back at the bunkhouse for around 2 pm before heading for the inclusive late lunch back at the Black Rabbit.

  • Ride format: 2 days
  • Wild camping: 1 night
  • Location: Houghton, South Downs National Park
  • Technical Grade: Advanced beginner
    (any questions, please contact us)
  • Group size: 6 (max.)
  • Total price: £175pp | £215 (kit hire option)
  • Deposit: £75pp (non-refundable)

What’s included

  • 2 guided rides on the South Downs
  • 1 night wild camping
  • Fully qualified MTB coach and guide
  • All of Jim’s extensive knowledge of bikepacking
  • Fun and interactive prep session
  • Brunch on the Saturday
  • Pub lunch in a stunning country pub on the Sunday

What’s not included

  • Bike hire (options available, so please ask)
  • Travel to and from the weekend
  • Accommodation before and after
  • Personal Travel and or accident insurance
  • Drinks at the pub
  • Mid and post ride cafe stops
  • Bike spares
  • Sleeping bag

Bikepacking weekend Intro wild camping guided rides south downs bothy biking bivvy biking

  • You will be at least an advanced beginner mountain biker
  • You will be confident in mountain bike handling skills on blue graded trails and profficient with operating your bicycle in the correct manner
  • The trails will include features such as roots, small to long rollable drop-offs and loose rocks. All of which are rollable
  • Certain trails will be steep in places which will require confident bike-handling skills
  • All the trails will have options to ride around features that you do not feel comfortable riding
  • You have your own suitable mountain bike (Hybrid and budget bicycles are not suitable for this ride)
  • The ride does contain many undulating and moderately steep long climbs
  • You have the personal fitness to ride for at least 6-8 hours per day at a social and comfortable pace
  • You are aged 18 and over unless accompanied by an adult also participating on this ride
  • If this sounds a little beyond your current skill and fitness level, please contact us for other options.
Equipment, kit and clothing
(*included in the hire option)

  • Handlebar bag*
  • Saddle bag*
  • Sleeping mat*
  • Bivvy-bag*
  • Tarpaulin system*
  • Stove & gas*
  • Compact cook-set*
  • Spork*
  • Titanium mug (600 ml. min. can be used for cooking) mug or other*
  • 3 season sleeping bag
  • Hip flask
  • Head torch
  • Usual bike spares kit
  • Mountain bike in good working order**
  • Helmet**
  • Gloves and glasses

** without these you will not be able to take part in the guided ride Our guides carry an extensive kit to assist with trail-side repairs

(IMPORTANT: your helmet must be within the warranty period from the date of manufacture to take part in any of our guided rides. See the warranties table tab. You will be asked to submit this information via our riders consent form).

Bikepacking weekend Intro wild camping guided rides south downs bothy biking bivvy biking

MTB Helmet Warranties


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