Glorious Gravel

South Downs Gravel Epic

1st July 2023 | Plumpton

Long Route

101km | 2250m

Medium Route

72km | 1450m

Short Route

48km | 900m

Ride Overview

Escape the city and head to the South Coast for this summer gravel epic taking in parts of the South Downs Way & quiet lanes around Lewes & Brighton.  

With a choice from 52km to 111km, there is a route suitable for all riders on this challenging terrain with plenty of punchy climbs and stunning long flowing sections on the Downs. A perfect summer off road epic!


  • Ride parts of the legendary South Downs Way.
  • Seven big climbs on the long route (with glorious views from the tops) including Plumpton Bostall & Itford Hill.
  • Brilliant fast flowing sections on the South Downs.

Included in Entry

Fully Signed Route

Our team work tirelessly to create the best gravel routes in the UK. All courses are fully signed so you can just enjoy the ride.

Checkpoints with Proper Food

An epic ride deserves proper support. We have tea, coffee and cake at the first feed and sandwiches & crisps at the main feed. Checkpoints are approx every 30 - 35km

Accurate GPX Files

A few days before the ride, we will send GPX files for all of the route options so you can follow the course on your GPS as well as the signs.

Mechanics Available

At the rider village & at selected feed stops we have mechanics available to help with any bike issues. We also have spare inner tubes, CO2 & more .

Rider Support Vans

We are here to make sure you have a great day on the gravel. If you have any major mechanicals or need collecting, support vehicles are a phone call away.

Beer at Finish Line

You will be greeted at the finish line with a beer & food available from our food truck. Perfect to chat about your day with fellow riders.

Event Program

29th June: GPX files and pre ride briefing video sent by email to each rider.


1st July – 7.45am: Ride village at Plumpton Racecourse. Collecting your ride number takes approx 10 mins.


1st July – 8am to 9.30am: Ride start. We will give you a short ride briefing and set you off in small groups.


1st July – 7pm: Rider village closes


1st July – 7pm: Link to ride times & rider photos sent to each participant by email.

Long Route

The South Downs way has long been a storied ride for the off road trip. 

Starting from Plumpton Racecourse we hit the first (tarmac) climb after 4km and then hit the South Downs Way and follow it over three gravel climbs to the coast in Eastbourne.

The coast is the half way point of the ride and the way back takes in a different three gravel climbs including Bopeep Bostal before a welcome descent back to Plumpton.

Percentage of Route Off Road: 65% 







Medium Route

The medium route cuts out 35km at the bottom of the route from Alfriston to Eastbourne. 

There are two climbs (one road, one gravel) on the way out and three on the way back. A challenging 76km option but very rewarding with most of the route miles away from the crowds and some stunning views.

Percentage of Route Off Road: 65%







Short Route

The short route goes out to Southease & back with one road climb on the way out and two gravel climbs on the way back. Within 50km you will get well off the beaten track, test yourself on some big climbs and ride some thrilling descents.  

Percentage of Route Off Road: 50%







Bike Selection & Packing List

Bike Choice: The route is about 65% on gravel and 35% on back roads. Most of the off road sections on the South Downs Way are chalky or grass. We recommend a gravel bike though a mountain bike will be fine. E-bikes are allowed on all of our rides.


Tyre Choice: We will send an update on conditions closer to the ride. Early summer should see ideal conditions so a slightly wider (40 to 50mm) all rounder gravel tyre will be ideal.


Packing List: Bring equipment to be self sufficient on the route as we go into remote areas without phone signal (inner tubes, sealant, multi-tool, pump or CO2 etc). We recommend a bell to warn walkers / runners of your presence.


Clothing: Early July on the south coast should see nice temperatures but keep an eye on the forecast. With plenty of long descents and some exposed sections on the tops, a lightweight wind jacket will be useful. Helmets are mandatory, you will not be able to ride without one.


The ride starts and finishes Plumpton Racecourse. There is free parking onsite as well as toilets & refreshments. We will send the ride village address by email. 

Yes, e-bikes are allowed on all Glorious Gravel ride. These must comply with UK law.

We have first aiders & mechanics at the feed stops. There will be a phone number on the back of your ride number – call this if you need collecting.

Yes, we start between 8am and 9.30am and set people off in small groups so the off road sections are not too busy. Please come to the start line with anyone you want to ride with, we will give a short ride briefing and set you off.