Level: 5

MTB Ride level 5


21 miles

Ride Type




1,620 ft

Birling Gap & Seven Sisters Country Park

This loop delivers a superb mixture of cross-country cycling with a delicious cake stop at the stunning Birling Gap cafe. The gateway to the world-famous Seven Sisters Country Park.

This ride is only available as a custom experience. If you are staying at the Saltmarsh Farmhouse or just want to book this as a bespoke ride along with bike hire, then click the button below.

Our portfolio 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

You will need to have a good level of fitness to be able to enjoy this day out, although electrically assisted mountain bikes are available to hire if you want that helping hand. The riding is mainly on cross-country double track and open downland. The terrain is not overly technical. but it provides an exciting mixture to inject plenty of fun and a sense of challenge for all levels, especially novice mountain bikers.

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

Our ride location and route is set within Friston Forest and the ancient downland on the edge of the Seven Sisters Country Park that encompasses the famous Cuckmere Haven, where the River Cuckmere meets the sea.

How to get here

By train – The nearest station is Seaford which provides easy connections from London and across the south east. It’s then only a short 15 minute pedal to our meet location – though there is a hill to get you warmed up!

By road – The coastal A259 runs right past Cuckmere Cycle Company and to the north the A27, via Alfriston, provides further easy links to this rural setting.

Riding with Marmalade

We pride ourselves on creating the perfect vibe that makes everyone feel comfortable and confident to maximise your enjoyment during your ride with us. 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.

  • Duration: 3 to 4 hours
  • Distance: 21 miles / 46 km (approx.)
  • Elevation gain: 1,620 ft / 495 m (approx.)
  • Technical Grade: +Advanced novice
    (any questions, please contact us)
  • Meet time: Flexible
  • Meet point: Cuckmere Cycle Company
  • Group size: 1-8 (max)

What’s included

  • Fully guided by a qualified and local MTB leader
  • This ride is aimed at the novice off-road cyclist and the regular beginner mountain biker looking for a sociable and informative guided ride
  • You are an active person who has the personal fitness to ride for at least 3-4 hours at a social and comfortable pace
  • You will be confident in basic bike handling skills and proficient with operating your bicycle in the correct manner
  • The trails will include features such as roots and loose rocks, along with small rollable drop-offs – all of which are rollable or can be ridden around
  • You will need a suitable mountain or gravel bike whether your own or hired –  conventionally powered or an e-bike (Hybrid and budget bicycles are not suitable for this ride)
    • See the ‘Bike Hire‘ section if you need a suitable bike
  • The ride does contain a limited number of undulating and in places challenging climbs
  • 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* (available to hire)
  • Helmet* (available to hire)
  • 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

** these items are recommended, however are not essential. If you have any doubt please do contact us

What’s not included

  • Bike hire – this can be booked via the ‘Bike Hire‘ section
  • Personal clothing & equipment
  • Overnight accommodation
  • Pre, during or post activity refreshments
  • Transfers to & from location
  • Personal Travel and Accident Insurance

Booking this ride as a custom experience

The base price is for one to four people. Add more riders (+4) using the ‘Extras’ drop down menu.
If you want a completely bespoke guided ride, then choose the ‘Custom Half or Full Day’ option from the ‘Experiences’ drop down menu.
Still not sure what experience is for you or have a question? Then please send Mark and Sean an email here.

Need to hire a bike? Then after you have booked your guided ride, scroll down or click here to reserve your bike with our friends at Cuckmere Cycle Co.

(All prices include VAT)

Bike hire selection

  1. From the system below choose your preferred date and time
  2. We recommend the 4 hour duration as a minimum or the full day to match your chosen guided ride option
  3. Select normal mountain bike or electric mountain bike
  4. Choose the size of bike, based on your height
  5. Go to checkout and complete the bike hire reservation

Please Note:
The bike hire system below can sometimes have a delay before it has fully loaded. If it fails to show, then visit Cuckmere Cycle Company direct to reserve your bike. Then return to this page to confirm your place on our guided ride.

(** Marmalade MTB is not responsible for the provision of these bikes. By using the system below you are booking direct with Cuckmere Cycle Company)


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