Surry Hills & South Downs overnighter on May 15-16 anyone?

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nagasaki45
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Surry Hills & South Downs overnighter on May 15-16 anyone?

Post by nagasaki45 » Fri Apr 30, 2021 9:52 am

Thinking about doing the Downs overnighter from bikepacking.com on May 15-16. Will probably get on the trail on Friday evening, near Farnham. Then Surry Hills and a bit of the South Downs Way towards Brighton on Saturday, and back north through the Downs Link to Guildford on Sunday.
Does anyone wanna join?

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Charliecres
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Re: Surry Hills & South Downs overnighter on May 15-16 anyone?

Post by Charliecres » Sun May 02, 2021 11:34 pm

I’m based in Dorking and might be able to join for some of that. I’ll post up here nearer the time if it’s looking likely.

BobCatMax
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Re: Surry Hills & South Downs overnighter on May 15-16 anyone?

Post by BobCatMax » Tue May 04, 2021 9:59 pm

There's a portion of the Downslink closed at the mo, but for the life of me I can't remember where. I'm fairly sure it's navigable around but not signposted so ;)
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nagasaki45
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Re: Surry Hills & South Downs overnighter on May 15-16 anyone?

Post by nagasaki45 » Tue May 04, 2021 10:40 pm

Charliecres wrote:
Sun May 02, 2021 11:34 pm
I’m based in Dorking and might be able to join for some of that. I’ll post up here nearer the time if it’s looking likely.
Excellent! Would love to have some company.
BobCatMax wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 9:59 pm
There's a portion of the Downslink closed at the mo, but for the life of me I can't remember where. I'm fairly sure it's navigable around but not signposted so ;)
Thanks for the heads up. Looks like the closure is only for a few hundred meters.

BobCatMax
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Re: Surry Hills & South Downs overnighter on May 15-16 anyone?

Post by BobCatMax » Wed May 05, 2021 2:00 pm

No probs
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nagasaki45
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Re: Surry Hills & South Downs overnighter on May 15-16 anyone?

Post by nagasaki45 » Tue May 11, 2021 1:47 pm

The weather this weekend doesn't look that promising. Heading down there today till Thursday instead. One of the benefits of being a PhD student I guess... I assume no one is up for joining, but if you do better to drop me a private message.

BobCatMax
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Re: Surry Hills & South Downs overnighter on May 15-16 anyone?

Post by BobCatMax » Tue May 11, 2021 2:31 pm

Enjoy yourself. Rackham Hill is my goto spot on the SDW, I normally go from there to chantry but you're headed in the other direction.

Chanctonbury ring is another favourite spot too
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BobCatMax
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Re: Surry Hills & South Downs overnighter on May 15-16 anyone?

Post by BobCatMax » Tue May 18, 2021 5:57 am

nagasaki45 wrote:
Tue May 11, 2021 1:47 pm
The weather this weekend doesn't look that promising. Heading down there today till Thursday instead. One of the benefits of being a PhD student I guess... I assume no one is up for joining, but if you do better to drop me a private message.

How did you get on?
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nagasaki45
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Re: Surry Hills & South Downs overnighter on May 15-16 anyone?

Post by nagasaki45 » Tue May 18, 2021 9:34 am

BobCatMax wrote:
Tue May 18, 2021 5:57 am
How did you get on?
That was a short but much needed getaway!

Headed down to Guildford by train in the afternoon to cycle the North Downs Way towards Farnham. Saw 2 deer along the way, and loads of bluebells. That's the last section of the NDW that I haven't done yet, and actually, didn't expect much, but it was really beautiful.

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The first (half) day route is here.

Pitched my tent near the GoApe south of Farnham. That's the first time I'm using this Luxe MiniPeak II tent, based on recommendations here. Quite like it so far, but will keep my opinion about the tent for the original thread after a few more nights in it.

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In the 2nd day the plan was to get down towards Petersfield, and cycle the South Downs Way till Amberley or so. The weather was excellent, and I really enjoyed the ride. I'm not used to cycle alone as I usually cycle either with my partner or with friends. It gave room for way more thoughts to come up, and as the one that always organises the group, I felt much more relaxed this time. I also rode for much longer than I'm used to. Usually I ride about 3-5 hours on a day out. This time it was 7:30, and with all the ups and downs it was really exhausting, but in a good way :-)

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The route of the 2nd day is here.

The forecast for the following day looked bad, with lots of rain, so early on on day 2 I've decided to push harder to get as closest to Brighton as I could to shorten day 3. I've done the way back to Guildford on the Downs Link Way before, and it's by far the easiest part of the ride. Later in the day I've decided to just skip that part, and finish the trip in Lancing at the end of the 2nd day instead of rushing against the weather back to Guildford on the 3rd day.

Overall I think the route is excellent and would highly recommend. A bit tough for my level as an overnighter, but definitely fine for 2.5 days out (if the weather is good). Beautiful scenery and as remote as you can get that close to London IMHO.
Last edited by nagasaki45 on Tue May 18, 2021 11:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

ssnowman
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Re: Surry Hills & South Downs overnighter on May 15-16 anyone?

Post by ssnowman » Tue May 18, 2021 10:46 am

Looks a great trip, thanks for posting. I've done a lot of these trails but not this full loop. Definitely one to add to my list.
May satan walk with you.

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Charliecres
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Re: Surry Hills & South Downs overnighter on May 15-16 anyone?

Post by Charliecres » Wed May 26, 2021 9:13 pm

Yes, looks like you had fun. :-bd I’ve also done a lot of that but not all of it.

I’m planning to head west on an overnighter tomorrow evening and I may reverse some of your day one on the way back. I usually stick further south, so it’ll be new to me.

nagasaki45
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Re: Surry Hills & South Downs overnighter on May 15-16 anyone?

Post by nagasaki45 » Wed May 26, 2021 10:24 pm

My day 1 above was excellent. Highly recommended. Actually, and after cycling another section of the North Downs Way a few days ago, I think its stretch from Farnham to Dorking (and a bit beyond) is just great! Not too hard, quite fast rolling, and lots of bluebells this time of the year.

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Charliecres
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Re: Surry Hills & South Downs overnighter on May 15-16 anyone?

Post by Charliecres » Wed May 26, 2021 10:46 pm

Yes, I know Dorking to just beyond Guildford stretch really well. It’s home turf for me. Bluebells are spectacular this year.

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