This route is a fairly long loop from Arundel that takes in some tough climbs and thrilling descents along its way, and will keep you entertained for a whole morning or afternoon (3-6 hours). Starting out from the centre of the village or from the train station – which is 90 minutes direct from London – turn off the A27 immediately after the railway bridge and warm up the legs along a quiet back road to Burpham. Turning off up either of the bridleways in Burpham we climb at a steady rate towards the north east. Nearing the South Downs Way, the rusted remains of an old WW2 Churchill tank used for target practice provide an interesting distraction, before pressing on to the first descent of the day.
The first descent doesn’t disappoint – a fairly steep bridleway that plummets down the contours towards Storrington, with a mixture of smooth, sweeping singletrack and rocky, rooty gulleys to keep you on your toes. This one gets a bit rough near the bottom and can be slippery after rain, but is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Continuing down to Storrington High Street and turning right, we loop back up Chantry Lane before a bit more singletrack spits us back out onto the South Downs Way.
Following the South Downs Way down into Amberley (there are some good refreshment stops here), we cross the river and grind our way up the toughest climb of the day, crossing the A29 and up a bit further – not much further, honest! After cresting the small climb from the A29 there is an option to drop into the singletrack running along the edge of Houghton Forest, which is definitely worth doing, before riding over the top of Bignor Hill and back down into the forest.
More singletrack awaits if you want it – some fast, flowing trails that lead into tight, twisty wooded sections – again most of the sections lead straight into each other without even thinking, but follow the GPX route if you’re not sure! The forest itself is stunning if you can take your eyes off the trail, looking incredibly green when we rode it in May.
Coming out of Houghton Forest and across the A29 again we descend into Houghton and ride along the bridleway next to the river Arun, a nice relaxing way to finish off the loop and without too much climbing (you’ll be pleased to know!). The Black Rabbit just outside Arundel provides the perfect end to a great ride, and is within riding (or walking, depending on how long you stay) distance of Arundel village.