The Long Man of Wilmington

From £48.00 inc. VAT

Ride info

Location: South Downs
Duration: 3-4 hours
Style: Cross-country (XC)
Level: 4

MTB Ride Level 4

Bike type

Mountain bike
Electric mountain bike
Gravel bike


18 mi | 29 km


1,800 ft | 550 m

The Long Man of Wilmington

From £48.00 inc. VAT

New for 2024

Let us introduce you to one of East Sussex’s oldest residents: the Long Man of Wilmington: 72 metres high, keeping guard over the South Downs. An off-road bike ride is the best way to take in this rolling landscape, and to get up-close-and-personal with this local legend.

If you need to hire a bike, check availability first using the bike hire selector below.


Starting at the beautiful Seven Sisters Country Park, join us as we ride through beautiful beech woodland and along fantastic South Downs bridleways. We pass ancient villages, a ruined priory and we meet the iconic Long Man of Wilmington. The wonderful flowing trails will eventually lead us back through the Cuckmere valley via some fantastic fast rolling descents to the Seven Sisters.

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 with any questions.

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 – encompassing the famous Cuckmere Haven, where the River Cuckmere meets the sea.

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.


Bike choice

E-bikes, manual mountain bikes or gravel bikes are all welcome, whether you bring your own or hire from our friends at Cuckmere Cycle Co..

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.

Ride details
  • Duration: 3-4 hours
  • Distance: 18 mi | 29 km
  • Ascent: 1,800 ft | 550 m
  • Level: + Advanced Beginner
    (If you have any questions about your level, just contact us)
  • Meet time: 9.30am │ 10.00 am on bikes
  • Meet point:Seven Sisters visitor centre, top car park

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 noticeable hill to get you warmed up! Be sure to check for rail engineering work, as replacement buses won’t take bikes.

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.

By bus – If you’re hiring a bike from Cuckmere Cycle Company, and not bringing your own, arriving by bus may be another option. Check times for Brighton & Hove’s 12, 12A and 12X ‘Coaster’ routes.

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 the novice off-road cyclist and the regular beginner mountain biker looking for a sociable and informative group 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 will be confident in basic bike handling skills and proficient with operating your bicycle in the correct manner
  • The trails may include features such as roots and loose rocks, along with small rollable steps – all of which can be easily ridden or avoided
  • This ride contains 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

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Private experience (extra information)

Booking the Long Man of Wilmington as a private ride

To enjoy this ride privately with friends or family, the base price of £180 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 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)

Bike hire (extra information)

How to book your bike:

  1. From the system below select the dates to match the ride you have booked with us
  2. Select the full day 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 for each rider

These fantastic bikes, and this booking system, are provided by our friends at Cuckmere Cycle Co. If you have any questions or problems around booking your bike, just contact the Cuckmere team and they’ll help.

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