Hampshire may be famous for big skies, rolling downs, chalk byways and, of course, the South Downs Way. But that’s only part of the story.

If you know where to look the area is filled with ancient woodland and some choice singletrack. It really is a natural playground of swooping trails surrounded by jaw-droppingly gorgeous scenery.

We’ve put together a series of rides that showcase the variety of riding that Hampshire has to offer. We’ve chosen rides in the high downs, in the Hangers and in those ancient woods. It really is a great way to see (and ride) the wide variety that the South Downs has to offer.

South Downs Villages

Nestled away far to the south of the high downs you could be forgiven for dismissing the small hills north of Bishop’s Waltham. That would be a mistake.

Snuggled away on the sides of these hills are some snippets of terrific riding. They may not be long, but they are great and they come thick and fast.

At the top of these hills are some lovely little villages. All of these villages have rightly popular pubs in them. This ride takes in trails and refreshment in equal measure. To cap it all we finish at the Hampshire Bowman which brews its own beer on site. Sipping quality beer in their garden really is a brilliant way to finish a lovely ride.

Factfile: Hampshire Bowman
£20

Date: Saturday 16th September

Start time: 10:00

Start: Hampshire Bowman, Dundridge

Distance: 25km/16 miles

Duration: 2-3 hours

Difficulty: moderate

Included: guiding, support and first aid

Not included: mountain bike, refreshments

This ride has absolutely everything you could ask for from a South Downs classic.

We’ve got big skies, we’ve got open downland, we’ve got pretty villages and we’ve got chalk streams. We also have top-class singletrack for you to enjoy all woven around the scarp edge of the South Downs. With a little luck, there may even be the chance to squeeze in a descent or two down the scarp itself.

The riding is brilliant but, on this ride, it often plays second fiddle to the surroundings: this ride is jam packed with ancient monuments. We will ride past hill forts, a Stone Age settlement, Bronze Age field systems and, not one but two, Bronze Age barrow cemeteries. Any of these on their own would be worth the trip but we will cram all into a single ride.

Factfile: Cocking
£20

Date: Saturday 30th September

Start time: 10:00

Start: South Downs Way Cocking car park

Distance: about 30km/18 miles

Duration: 3-4 hours

Difficulty: moderate-hard (depending on the group)

Included: guiding, support and first aid

Not included: mountain bike, refreshments

Selbourne was home to Gilbert White, a man with a claim to being Britain’s first real naturalist. This ride follows in his footsteps.

White spent years studying the fauna and flora of the area and it is, without doubt, lovely.

But that’s only half the reason all we’re here. The Hangers are a line of steep, wooded scarp faces. These woods are home to some phenomenal trails: steep, rooty, twisty and, sometimes, all three. They really are everything you could want from a day’s riding.

Those same hangers are home to an amazing variety of plants and wildlife. We’ve seen owls, woodpeckers, kites and even a newt or two while we’ve been out in the woods! We can’t guarantee you will see all of them but the chances of seeing something cool are pretty high.

Factfile: Selbourne Hangers
£20

Date: Saturday 14th October

Start time: 10:00

Start: Gilbert White's House car park, Selbourne

Distance: about 30km/18 miles

Duration: 3-4 hours

Difficulty: moderate-hard

Included: guiding, support and first aid

Not included: mountain bike, refreshments

Winchester is our backyard, so join us as we take you on a tour of all our favourite local haunts.

We will be jumping on and off the South Downs Way and weaving in and out of the woods as we go in search of the finest singletrack. You can look forward to a day sampling all best bits of riding around Winchester: all those bits of trail that only locals know about.

To cap it all we will finish with a gentle roll along the stunning river Itchen in order to take in a beer or maybe tea and cake as we re-enter the city.

Factfile: Winchester
£20

Date: Saturday 28th October

Start time: 10:00

Start: Queen Inn front garden

Distance:15km/9miles

Duration: 2 hours

Difficulty: moderate

Included: guiding, support and first aid

Not included: mountain bike, refreshments

Butser Hill is the second highest point in both Hampshire and the South Downs. This means grand vistas in every direction from the top, stretching out across most of Hampshire on a good day.

But don’t stare at them too long because you will want to concentrate on the way down.

This ride centres on the ridge of hills around Butser and the paths that radiate from it. It is an energetic day of ups and downs that is as technical as you would like to make it.

At the end of it all, if we have the legs, there is the opportunity to go and play on the built trails at Queen Elizabeth Country Park which are always great fun.

Factfile: Butser Hill
£20

Date: Saturday 11th November

Start time: 10:00

Start: Queen Elizabeth Country Park Visitor Centre cafe

Distance: about 25-30km/15-18 miles

Duration: 3-4 hours

Difficulty: moderate-hard (depending on the group)

Included: guiding, support and first aid

Not included: mountain bike, refreshments

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