South Downs Cycling

Public Transport in the South Downs National Park

All UK National Parks encourage residents and visitors to use Public Transport whenever possible. This reduces Carbon Emissions, noise, air pollution and traffic congestion. It also improves the environment for everyone to enjoy the peace and fresh air that are such a fundamental part of the National Park experience. There are various Train and Bus companies / operators covering the South Downs area - more details below.

The official South Downs and South Downs Way information leaflets on a variety of subjects can be downloaded here SDW free PDFs

This page does not cover Bus and Coach Services in great detail because they offer no Bicycle carrying facilities.

Trains, Railways and Stations

Cyclists should be aware that the Train Companies below operate some restrictions on carrying bikes on certain Routes / Periods, Folding bikes are OK at all times. Generally non folding bikes are not allowed during the Morning and Evening rush hour, approx: 7-10am and 4 -7pm, but this varies according to the Route and Station Terminals. It's worth checking with each company for their specific arrangements.
The train companies for the South Downs Area are as follows:

Southern Railway Operate; Brighton Mainline between Brighton, Lewes and London Victoria, East Coastway between Ashford International, Eastbourne, Lewes, Brighton + London Victoria, West Coastway between Brighton, Chichester + Portsmouth.

South West Trains Operate services from Brighton to London and Portsmouth.

South Eastern Serves Kent, South East London and East Sussex.

There is much more detailed Rail / Bike Restriction information here at the A-B Bike Rail Website or double check with that particular Train Company / Route Operator.

! Engineering Work and Maintenance WATCH OUT !

It is worth noting that Train Services can be disrupted by Engineering Work on Weekends and Bank Holidays. This can create problems because the replacement bus services do not carry bikes, Don't get me started on the stupidity of this! It's always worth checking to see if anything has been scheduled here on the National Rail Website. Sometimes even this isn't 100% reliable, so again I would check the Train Companies websites to see if there is anything planned.

You can download an up-to-date (PDF) Rail Network Map showing UK Trainline Operators, Stations + Ports from National Rail: Network Rail Map

Traveline Website Traveline Provides journey planning information about all Public Transport Services - Buses, Coaches, Trains and Ferries.
Tel 0871 200 22 33 (+44 871 200 22 33 if dialling from outside the UK) (+44 871 200 22 33 if dialling from outside the UK)

National Rail Enquiries For UK wide train travel info or ring 08457 48 49 50

Eurostar is the principle UK / European train operator for all for trains from France, Belgium and beyond. It is possible to reach the South Downs National Park via connecting services from Ashford International or any the major London interchange stations.

Buses, Coaches, Ferrys and Planes for Bus Companies and timetables in the South East Region.

West Sussex Bus Services West Sussex County Council

East Sussex Bus Services East Sussex County Council

Hampshire Bus Services Hampshire County Council

Downlander A new combined Bus and Rail ticket, gives travel across the Southern Railway network and onwards on specific services provided by Brighton and Hove Buses, Eastbourne Buses, Cuckmere Community Bus and also Rider bus services

By Sea / Ferries: All the Ports in the South East have onward public transport connections to the South Downs region. The main ports being: Dover, Newhaven, Portsmouth and Southampton. For more information and ticket booking try the website

Gatwick Airport is the closest International Airport (only 30KM) and it has substantial Coach and Train transport links into the South Downs area. See above for Train details (Gatwick is on the Brighton to London line) National Express also run coaches from London to all major towns and cities in the South Downs National Park.

National Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Links

Assocation of National Park Authorities | England's official tourism website |
The Ramblers Association | Youth Hostel Assciation YHA UK |

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Page Links Checked Nov 2015