The South Downs Beano, 4-7 June 2021
Discover the secret South Downs from our luxurious accommodation deep in the National Park.
Mention the South Downs National Park and most people think of the chalk cliffs and hills of East Sussex. But Britain’s youngest National Park has far more to offer than that, stretching as it does in a broad band across Southern England. We explore the ‘hidden’ South Downs in the rural heart of Hampshire.
From our venue on the southern slopes of the Hampshire downland, we’ll be seeking out some of our favourite cycling roads, almost in the back yard of Bicycle Beano HQ. Andy knows these lanes so well he could ride them blindfold (but he promises not to try).
The rides take in some lesser-known areas in the western half of the national park, from the chalk river valleys to the curving hills and hollows of the Downs themselves and from the plains of the Hampshire Basin to the Hangers, an area where narrow roads wind through forest-covered hillsides. Whichever direction we go, we find picturesque villages, historic sites, dramatic views and quiet lanes.
The Beano starts on Friday evening and finishes after the last ride on Monday afternoon, giving us three days of cycling. Rides are mostly on quiet roads, with a few well-surfaced cycle paths and the occasional short section of track where it lets us link two roads together. As usual there will be shortcuts and detours (some of them offroad) so you can choose how far and how fast you want to go.
As you’d expect in the South Downs National Park, there are a few downs and a few “ups” to go with the downs, but there are plenty of easier stretches in between.
And as always on a Bicycle Beano there’s no rush, so you can take your time climbing the hills and enjoy the sights along the way.
Our base is one of the most luxurious we’ve used for a Beano: a collection of lavishly-converted farm barns with views looking out across Hampshire to the Isle of Wight in the distance. All the bedrooms have ensuite facilities and there are several hot tubs and even an indoor swimming pool. The barns are constructed and managed to high environmental standards, earning the site a Green Tourism ‘Silver’ award.
Our cooks for the weekend are a local family-owned catering business whose meals feature fresh, locally-sourced produce wherever possible.
Friday 4 – Monday 7 June 2021
Arrive Friday evening. 3 night stay; 3 days of cycling; depart Monday afternoon.
Daily distances from 30 to 60+ miles (50-100km) at your own pace. Some hills. Mainly on quiet country lanes with some optional easy offroad sections.
Prices are per person and include dinner, breakfast, and tea and cakes after the ride. They don’t include bike hire (most Beanoers bring their own bikes) or the cost of lunch/coffee stops during the rides.
Prepared to share? If you’re travelling solo but prepared to share a room, let us know and we’ll try and match you up with someone charge you the lower rate. (Covid regulations allowing.)
Header image courtesy of Visit Britain