Image: Southern E-bike Rentals
The Great Sussex's Way Wine Route: yours to cycle or drive
Enjoy the stunning landscapes of the South Downs National Park on our self-guided wine trail incorporating four of our most welcoming vineyards.
Whether you prefer life in the slow lane or are looking for something more energetic, The Great Sussex Way's wine route can be enjoyed over a morning or afternoon, or extended to include an overnight stay or two. Spending longer, will allow for leisurely lunches or time to stock up on provisions at one of the welcoming farm shops along the way.
If you are a leisurely cyclist looking for relatively flat terrain, the Tinwood to Ashling Park section suits all abilities. For the more ambitious cyclist, challenge yourself to complete the trail in a day - remembering to stop for lunch!
Not a fan of the two wheels? Not to worry – you can still enjoy the remarkable landscape from your car. Why not extend your tour by visiting the stunning Blackdown Ridge Estate, where you'll be guaranteed a hospitable cellar door.
To avoid confusion, Upperton Vineyard and Roebuck Vineyard are located next door to each other and are accessed via the same track from the A272.
Routes created by Olly Evans, Southern eBike Rentals
Section 1: Tinwood Estate to Ashling Park Estate
A relatively short and flat ride between two of Sussex’s finest vineyards, this route skirts around Goodwood House and past the Goodwood motor circuit before passing through the pretty village of Lavant and over the river Lavant. After that the quiet lane to West Stoke offers great views of Stoke Clump and Kingley Vale. The final stretch through the woods can offer magnificent bluebells if doing the route in late spring.
Both estates offer overnight accommodation and below are some other recommendations to suit all budgets.
Distance 14 km. Download route here.
This ride over the Downs to Upperton is a challenging classic combining road and off-road sections, staying almost completely away from busy roads and taking you deep into some of the most beautiful parts of West Sussex.
The route begins with a very gradual climb through a medley of charming Downland villages – Funtington, Walderton, Stoughton and East Marden – before dropping down to Hooksway tucked away in the depths of the National Park. Here tarmac gives way to firetrail (for roughly 4 miles) and the track up to the South Downs Way is a long and rutted climb that will need at least a hybrid or gravel bike but preferably a mountain bike.
Arriving on the ridge of the South Downs Way brings views both north and south as a reward as you head East and down towards the Cocking road. After dropping into Cocking, the route turns off into the quiet, scenic lanes north of the Downs, eventually crossing the Rother before joining the A272 for the last couple of miles before a well-earned break at Upperton.
At nearly 35km, this is the longest section of the route. Download route here.
Though fairly short at under 15 miles, the steep climb up the Downs and 3 miles off-road mean this route should not be underestimated. Departing to the East, the route soon turns off the A272 into farmland before passing the picturesque Burton Mill Pond and heading through chocolate-box pretty Sutton and Bignor.
The north side of the Downs is much steeper than the south side and the climb up Bignor Hills is tough, hitting more than 20% gradient, albeit briefly. Tarmac gives way to gravel and great views of the Solent await as you head East along a relatively smooth gravel fire road and into serene Eartham Woods. Rejoining the road takes you through Eartham, another gem of a village before freewheeling down the hill to Tinwood.
Distance: 23.6km. Download and view route here.