MTB Ride Level 6


21 miles

Ride Type




1,620 ft

Birling Gap Bash

£40.00 inc. VAT

(3 customer reviews)

The Birling Gap Bash is no longer available.
However, our other awesome cross-country mountain bike rides on the South DownsSurrey Hills and the Isle of Purbeck, are very popular and there are new dates across 2022 for you to join!

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Our 2021 series of guided rides on the South Downs would not be complete without our classic and original mountain bike ride that consists of rolling and undulating trails towards panoramic cliff top sea views before endless descents. Starting at the far eastern end of the national park this cracking ride is all about showing-off what the South Downs does best!

This is one of our favourite guided rides on the South Downs and has the perfect recipe for a superb day out. This loop delivers a superb mixture of cross-country cycling with a delicious cake stop at the stunning Birling Gap cafe, all before finishing with the all important post ride pint in the Plough and Harrow in the quintessential village of Litlington.

What to expect!

In true South Downs style there will be the fair share of long and testing climbs which on the whole are all ride-able, with the right gear and a settled pace. So it goes without saying that you will need a fair level of personal fitness to enjoy this day out on the rolling grass, chalk and flint Downland of East Sussex. On the whole the long and exhilarating descents with amazing back drops, are on double track bridleways and not overly technical or loose.

PLEASE NOTE: This ride is not suitable for complete novice riders. If you are still not sure whether this ride is for you, then please do not hesitate to contact us by clicking here.

The area and the trails

The far eastern end of the South Downs combines perfectly the ancient lush woodland with cliff top sea views, which we will explore via the network of trails that festoon this stunning part of the National Park. The majority of our classic ride is exposed and therefore we would recommend packing an additional layer and your shades when the sun is out and gleaming off the English Channel.

Shredding with Marmalade

We pride ourselves on creating the perfect vibe that makes everyone feel comfortable and confident to maximise your enjoyment. Combine this super fun and relaxed atmosphere with our expert knowledge and professionalism we will guarantee you the best day out on your bike to discover the trails of the South Downs National Park.

MTB bike hire

Visiting family and friends without your bike? Or simply you want to give this ride a go, but do not own a mountain bike? Then we can arrange a day hires through our local partners Chalk Pit Trails and or Hassocks Community Cycle Hire.

  • Duration: 3-5 hours
  • Distance: 21 miles (approx.)
  • Elevation gain: 1,620 ft (approx.)
  • Technical Grade: Advanced Novice
    (any questions, please contact us)
  • Meet time: 8.30 am | 9.00 am on bikes
  • Meet point: Friston Forest car park, East Sussex
  • Group size: 8 (max.)
  • You will be at least an Advanced Novice mountain biker
  • You will be confident in mountain bike handling skills on blue graded trails and proficient 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 3-5 hours 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

  • Suitable mountain bike in good working order*
  • Helmet*
  • Gloves and glasses
  • Backpack
  • Spare inner tube
  • Puncture repair kit and bicycle pump
  • Clothing & shoes appropriate for cycling and weather conditions on the day
  • Padded cycling shorts for comfort
  • Personal choice of drink and ride snacks

* 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).

What’s not included

  • Bike hire
  • Personal clothing & equipment
  • Overnight accommodation
  • Pre, during or post activity refreshments
  • Transfers to & from location
  • Personal travel or accident Insurance

MTB Helmet Warranties

3 reviews for Birling Gap Bash

  1. nigelpigden

    A well organised company with Sean at its helm and helpful sorting any issues promptly. I had a wonderful couple of hours cycling Birling Gap with a great bunch of similar minded men & women in my group.
    Unfortunately due to bike malfunction my day was cut short, but with Jim’s expert help and another kind member of our group my bike was given a temporary fix enabling me to hobble back to my car.
    Our guide Jim was experienced, knowledgeable and relaxed always giving options looking after everyone’s needs.
    I’m looking forward to beginning of August with Marmslade to Goodwood Kingley Vale & Purbeck !

  2. dougclemmans

    Really enjoyed the Birling Gap Bash. We had perfect weather with wall to wall sunshine. Friston Forest and the South Downs didn’t disappoint with beautiful flowing single track and views to die for. Rode with a really nice sociable group giving each other encouragement along the way. Jim our guide was great and didn’t push anybody to do anything they didn’t want to do. Will book again.

  3. nick

    Quality day with Jim being on the Birling Gap ride. Completely new to this area of the country, and it was great to get a 30km loop in with a contrast of trail. Fast, long twisty single track and some great cliff top descents. Jim is a top guy and clearly knows how to make the most of a ride out for this group… can’t fault Marmalade at all – already looking at my next trip to book on with them on!

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