Cheesefoot Head & Meon Valley MTB Ride

From £48.00 inc. VAT

(4 customer reviews)

Ride info

Location: South Downs
Duration: 4-5 hours
Style: Cross-country (XC)
Level: 5

MTB Ride level 5

Bike type

Mountain bike
Electric mountain bike
Gravel bike


26 mi | 42 km


2,365 ft | 720 m

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 – one of the best Hampshire guided mountain bike rides – guided by an 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-fashioned 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, but a couple of the descents do require confident bike handling techniques. It’s an exciting mixture to inject plenty of fun and a sense of challenge for all levels, especially ambitious novice 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 perfectly combines lush ancient woodland with the Roman roads of yesteryear, which we will explore via the network of trails that festoon this stunning part of the national park. The majority of this classic ride handles the variety of weather very well but in places our route is exposed, so we would recommend packing an additional layer and your sunglasses, for when the sun is out and gleaming off the Solent and the chalk trail.

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.

Bike choice

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, e-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.

Ride details
  • Duration: 4-5 hours
  • Distance: 26 mi | 42 km
  • Ascent: 2,365 ft | 720 m
  • Level: Advanced Beginner
    (If you have any questions about your level, just contact us)
  • Meet time: 9.30am │ 10.00am on bikes
  • Meet point: The Hampshire Bowman, Dundridge, Hampshire
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


  • Gloves
  • Glasses, sunglasses or eyeshields
  • Backpack
  • 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?
  • This ride is aimed at almost all levels who like cross-country style mountain biking
  • We would recommend that you are a minimum of an advanced novice off-road rider, or regular cyclist looking for a rewarding and sociable guided mountain bike ride
  • To take part, you’ll need to be an active person who has the personal fitness to ride for at least 3 hours at a social and comfortable pace
  • You should be confident riding a bike on roads or smooth terrain and able to operate it safely
  • The route may include features such as roots and loose rocks, along with small rollable steps – all of which can be easily ridden or avoided
  • The ride does contain a limited number of undulating and – in places – challenging climbs
  • 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
Bike hire

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.

  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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Private experience (extra information)

Booking Meon Valley & Cheesefoot Head as a private ride

Base price of £240 is 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 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 Sean an email or call him on +44 (0)7840 724611.

Need to hire a bike? Then after you have booked your private ride, scroll down or 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 whetehr you are staying locally 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 on +44 (0)7840 724611.

(All prices include VAT)

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