Brighton and Kingston Explorer
From £58.00 inc. VAT
Location: South Downs
Duration: 5-6 hours
Style: Cross-country (XC)
Electric mountain bike
31 mi | 50 km
3,450 ft | 1,050 m
Brighton and Kingston Explorer
From £58.00 inc. VAT
Our newest guided ride on the South Downs is a real Sussex treat. Brighton is our home and what better way to show you how beautiful the rolling hills that surround our city.
There will be sea views, Premiership stadiums and sweeping cityscapes as we explore nature reserves, ancient woodland and serene monuments. Our starting point is the charming village of Kingston near Lewes.
Whether as a custom private experience or as part of a Marmalade open group ride, this classic cross-country route combines the best of Brighton’s countryside with expert support and assistance from an experienced local guide.
If you need to hire a bike, check availability first using the bike hire options below.
New for 2024
What do you think of when you think of Brighton? Its rich bohemian culture and trendy shopping? Or its proximity to the beautiful South Downs National Park? Join us to show you the hills that surround the funky city by the sea.
Marmalade’s unrivalled knowledge of the local bridleway network has created this fun and challenging day out. We start and finish in the beautiful village of Kingston near Lewes, tucked in the foothills of the unmistakable South Downs escarpment. Our base for this ride is the Jugg’s Inn and our first main trail shares the same name. The Jugg’s track takes us high onto Swanborough Hill before we ride around the Castle Hill Nature Reserve.
After a fast descent on the famous South Downs Way, our journey takes us through the swooping bridleways of Balmer and Stanmer Down before hitting the heady heights and probably the finest view on the South Downs Way – at the Ditchling Beacon viewpoint. From here it’s all about fast rolling downland trails to find the Chattri – a moving memorial to the soldiers of India who died in the First World War. After a moment of reflection it’s time to head over to Stanmer Park and weave our way to the village of Falmer and the final leg of our grand tour of the area. A superb descent back down the Jugg’s track) and we’ll be back at The Jugg’s Inn, where the option of a refreshing pint awaits.
What to expect
You will need to be an active person with regular cycling fitness and a taste for big climbs to be able to enjoy this challenging but super-sociable South Downs ride designed for experience riders. However, if you have recently joined us on our other intermediate or advanced rides, then this ride will be the perfect next step for you.
In true South Downs style, the riding is good old-fashioned cross-country, with long but rewarding climbs and open epic views. The riding is a mixture of stunning doubletrack and singletrack bridleways, including parts of the classic South Downs Way. The terrain is not overly technical, but a couple of the descents do require confident bike-handling techniques. The Brighton and Kingston Explorer provides an exciting mixture with plenty of fun and a sense of challenge for regular and experienced mountain bikers.
If you are still not sure whether this ride is for you, then please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions.
The area and the trails
This part of the South Downs offers an amazing network of bridleway trails that link seamlessly together to explore this beautiful area. The majority of this ride handles the variety of weather very well – but in places it is exposed, so we would recommend packing an additional layer and your sunglasses, for when the sun is out and gleaming off the English Channel and the chalk trails.
Riding with Marmalade
We pride ourselves on creating the perfect vibe that makes everyone feel comfortable and confident. Combine a super fun and relaxed atmosphere with Marmalade’s expert knowledge and professionalism we will guarantee you the best day out discovering the trails of the South Downs.
How to get here
By train – The nearest station is Lewes which provides easy connections from Brighton and 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 – Use the A27 and/or the A23 for easy access to this area.
This route is a traditional mountain bike ride. There will be fun bumpy descents, rooty forest trails and wide-open double tracks. So a hardtail, gravel or short travel full suspension mountain bike would be perfect. Big travel bikes are welcome – just be prepared for some extra effort.
This ride can be enjoyed on a conventional, electric mountain bike or gravel bike. If this ride is right for your level of experience and fitness, then bring your choice of machine. Marmalade rides have a friendly welcoming atmosphere, and e-bike riders who find themselves first up the hill are always patient and understanding of those relying on human-power alone.
Ensure your bike of choice is maintained and ready to ride, and please pack a spare mech hanger with your usual trail pack spares.
- Duration: 5-6 hours
- Distance: 31 mi | 50 km
- Ascent: 3,450 ft | 1,050 m
- Level: Intermediate and above
(If you have any questions about your level, just contact us)
- Meet time: 8.30am │ 9.00am on bikes
- Meet point: The Jugg’s Inn, Kingston near Lewes
What do I need?
Equipment, kit and clothing
- Suitable mountain bike in good working order (bikes can be hired in advance)
- Helmet (in good condition, with no damage)
- Clothing and shoes appropriate for cycling and weather conditions on the day
- Personal choice of drink and ride snacks
- Glasses, sunglasses or eyeshields
- Spare inner tube
- Puncture repair kit and bicycle pump
- Padded cycling shorts for comfort
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
- Personal travel or accident Insurance
Is this for me?
- To take part, you’ll need to be an active person who has the personal fitness to ride for at least 4 hours at a social and comfortable pace, with breaks
- You will be confident in mountain bike handling skills and proficient with operating your bicycle in the correct manner
- The trails do include features such as roots and loose rocks, along with small rollable steps – all of which can be easily ridden or avoided
- This ride does contain undulating trails – and in places, climbs that may be challenging
- This ride requires a suitable mountain bike (Hybrid and budget bicycles are not suitable)
- See the ‘Bike Hire‘ section below if you need to hire a bike
- Riders should be aged 18 and over
- If this ride sounds a little beyond your current skill and fitness level, please contact us and we’ll help you look at other options
If you need to hire a bike, we can recommend these excellent providers. Based in Sussex and Surrey, you may have to co-ordinate carefully with them to agree when you pick up and return your bike before and after our full-day Isle of Wight experience. (in order of proximity to the start/finish location)
- Hassocks Community Cycle Hire (conventional hardtail mountain bikes)
- Cuckmer Cycle Co. (conventional and electric full suspension mountain bikes)
- Riverside South Downs (conventional and electric hardtail mountain bikes)
- Surrey Hills Bike Rentals (premium conventional and electric full suspension mountain bikes)
- Southern eBike Rentals (electric hardtail and full suspension mountain bikes)
Private experience (extra information)
Booking the Brighton and Kingston Explorer as a private ride
To enjoiy this ride with your friends or family, the base price is £240 for one to four people. Add more riders for a group of five to eight using the ‘Extras’ drop down menu.
If you want a completely bespoke guided ride, then please send Sean an email or call on +44 (0)7840 724611.
Need to hire a bike? Then after you have booked your private ride, scroll down or click click here to reserve your bike(s).
Meet point: Once you have booked, we can decide on the best location to start your ride. This will depend on where your accommodation is and whether or not you require bike hire. If required we can bring the bikes to you.
If you want to discuss this before you book then please send Sean an email or call him on +44 (0)7840 724611.
(All prices include VAT)
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