Level: 5



26 miles

Ride Type




2,365 ft

Cheesefoot Head & Meon Valley MTB Ride

From £48.00 inc. VAT

(4 customer reviews)

We call this the best cross-country mountain bike ride in Hampshire! Join us as we explore the beautiful Meon Valley and rolling downland east of Winchester. One of the best kept secrets of the South Downs National Park.

Our knowledge of the South Downs National Park brings us another gem of a cross-country mountain biking route. We start in the heart of Hampshire’s Meon Valley before looping westward across the rolling downland east and south of Winchester. This ride has long been a personal favourite of ours with its diverse mix of byways, bridleways and woodland trails. It’s nothing short of a stunning and thrilling journey. This really is one of the best Hampshire guided mountain bike rides – available from our expert team of passionate local leaders.

This ride has it all: a stunning National Trust estate, vineyards, and fun descents. As a South Downs ride, there are are long steady climbs, panoramic views of the Solent and quaint ancient villages, right from the very start. We take in the Allan King Way, the amazing bridleways that criss-cross the hamlets of Upham, Dean and Corhampton, and a sublime finishing descent on the Monarch’s Way, before our pub finish.

What to expect

You will need to have a good level of fitness to be able to enjoy this day out. In true South Downs style the riding is good old-fashion cross-country, with long but rewarding climbs and open epic views. The riding is a mixture of stunning doubletrack and singletrack bridleways combined with super fun and flat out woodland trails. The terrain is not overly technical, however, a couple of the descents to require confident bike handling techniques 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, so we can help you decide.

Expected conditions

The majority of this classic ride handles the variety of weather very well but in places is exposed. Therefore we would recommend packing an additional layer and your sunglasses, ready for when the sun is out and gleaming off the Solent and the chalk.

Riding with Marmalade

We pride ourselves on creating the perfect vibe that makes everyone feel comfortable and confident to maximise your enjoyment during our guided South Downs rides. 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. Marmalade rides and trips are known for their friendly, sociable and welcoming buzz. We ride and we laugh.

A route for regular mountain bikes or e-bikes

This route is a traditional cross-country mountain bike ride. There will be fun bumpy descents, rooty forest trails and wide-open pastures. So a hardtail 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 mountain bike or an e-bike. If this ride is right for your level of experience and fitness, then bring your choice of bike! 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 e-bike is maintained and ready to ride, and please pack a spare mech hanger with your usual trail pack spares. Consider bringing a spare battery if you feel your power consumption may call for one.

Mountain bike hire

Your bike not quite right? 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 day hires through our local partners, Riverside South Downs or Hassocks Community Cycle Hire.

  • Duration: We have all day, if we need it, but we usually take around 4 hours.
  • Distance: 26 miles / 42km (approx.)
  • Elevation gain: 2,365 ft / 720m (approx.)
  • Technical Grade: Advanced Novice
    (any questions, please contact us)
  • Meet time: 9.30 am | 10.00 am on bikes
  • Meet point: The Hampshire Bowman, Dundridge Lane, SO32 1GD
  • Group size: 5-8 (max.)

What’s included

  • Fully guided by a professional MTB leader
  • This ride is aimed at almost all levels of rider who like cross-country style mountain biking. We would recommend that you are a minimum of an advanced novice off-road rider and or a regular cyclist looking for a challenging, rewarding and sociable guided mountain bike ride.
  • You’ll need to be an active person who has the personal fitness to ride for at least 3-5 hours at a social and comfortable pace.
  • You need to have confident basic bike-handling skills and be proficient with operating your mountain bike in the correct manner.
  • The trails will include features such as roots and small loose rocks, along with small rollable slopes – all of which are rollable or can be ridden around.
  • Your bike – whether your own or hired – but be a suitable mountain bike. Road, hybrid or budget bike are not suitable for this ride). Gravel bikes are only suitable if you have enough experience and handling skills.
  • The ride does contain a number of undulating and – in places challenging – climbs.
  • The ride is for bikers aged 18 and over – unless accompanied by an adult also participating.
  • If this sounds a little beyond your current skill and fitness level, please contact us so we can help you decide.

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
  • Travel/activity Insurance

MTB Helmet Warranties

4 reviews for Cheesefoot Head & Meon Valley MTB Ride

  1. Sue Ferguson:)

    Once again another superb guided ride with Sean and friends from the Marmalade family. Cheesefoot Head and Meon Valley were unknown to us so a surprise round every corner with wonderful views and trails alike. As always a drink at the end to chat and catch up. Thank you Father Shred

  2. David Collin

    Great ride today on the outskirts of Winchester, marvellous views along with great bunch of regular Marmalade riders.
    Father Shred (Sean) was a fantastic guide showing us some of the best bits of hidden Hampshire and the South Downs. Will look forward to doing this one again.

  3. ian.turk1

    Excellent ride with a superb guide!

  4. gymbrown07

    Had a cracking ride on the south downs with Sean exploring new trails , top guide and had great time will definitely be back for shredding, Jim

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