Friston Forest Mountain Bike Trails

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3.6 (16)
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Location

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Friston Forest, Exceat, East Sussex, BN25 4AD
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Friston Forest mountain bike trails are in Exceat, East Sussex on the South Coast of South East England.

They are just on the edge of the South Downs.

There are a number of XC routes (but just one official red waymarked route) and some old style downhill tracks.

The starting point is at Cuckmere Cycles. 

Cross Country (XC)

  • The 13 km red graded XC route revolves around natural forest trails. Fun single track, sweet little descents, an acceptable level of fire road connecting the bits together and some steep climbs alongside some fun, fast bits thrown in. In the wet, it is meant to be very muddy. There are said to be a lot of informal XC trails around here that are rooty and fun.

Downhill Trails

  • Jumps and drops in an old school downhill fashion. 

Cycling Clubs and Groups

  • Local Facebook group can be found here 

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  • If you have ridden the XC or downhill trails here at Friston Forest then why not share your experiences and write a review below and/or post some photos or vids on the listing.

Map

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User reviews

16 reviews

 
(2)
 
(10)
 
(1)
 
(1)
 
(2)
Overall rating 
 
3.6
Grin Factor 
 
4.1  (15)
Trail Variety 
 
3.7  (15)
Skills Development 
 
3.5  (16)
Trail Quality  
 
3.7  (15)
Facilities 
 
2.8  (14)
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Ratings
Grin Factor
Level of fun had, or to be had
Trail Variety
Variety of specific trail or overall trail centre. Mix of obstacles, berms, jumps, drops, shore etc.
Skills Development
Did it develop or push your skills and leave you with more to come back and learn
Trail Quality
Are the trails well built /maintained using sustainable techniques?
Facilities
From cafe post ride grub to bike wash. Did it meet your expectations?
User Review
Comments
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great natural riding, proper fun. sticky when wet
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Grin Factor 
 
5.0
Trail Variety 
 
4.0
Skills Development 
 
4.0
Trail Quality  
 
4.5
Facilities 
 
4.0
Please respect other trail users. It's a public area for walkers / dogs/ horses. Let's live in peace together. Say Hi. Have a chat, enjoy the day out.

User Review

Good Points
Great single track in a beautiful setting. No uplifts of course, no massive berms or drops, just great natural riding with some sensitively built additions. It's "self assisted" to the top each time, so it's a workout. Downhills are short but fun and can be testing - it's speed dependent. Friston is brilliant both up and down, flying between (and sometimes into) the trees, testing nerves on the bomb-holes. Plenty of flow and some very nice berms.
The Saltmarsh café by the carpark is good, delicious coffee and salads / cakes. Take a lock, though, as bikes are not allowed in the yard. It gets very busy on a nice weekend too.
Best to park on the official carpark. The Forestry Commission Discovery pass is good value for frequent visitors - it allows all year parking for one fee and saves messing with the machines every visit (otherwise take at least 4 pound coins for the picky machines). Pay by phone is easier but reception is poor to nonexistent in the carpark.
Useful map here, I prefer the "realistic" one: http://www.sxmtbstmaps.co.uk/rmap.html
Bad Points
Natural surface trails so its clay South Downs mud and very claggy when its been wet. Dealing with the wet roots takes some learning.
Most tracks are not marked but the "red" is and it leads to many other trails.
Those new to the area could miss much of it - so explore, enjoy. After 18 months exploration I am still discovering trails.
Would you recommend?
Yes
NB
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Friston Forest
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Grin Factor 
 
5.0
Trail Variety 
 
5.0
Skills Development 
 
5.0
Trail Quality  
 
4.5
Facilities 
 
3.0
I ride Friston every weekend and its the perfect place to tune in your natural skills to becoming a good mountain biker.

User Review

Good Points
As this is totally all natural trails the Forest changes with the weather and the Seasons so one weekend is never the same so you will not find any better place to experience pure Mountain Biking fun.
Bad Points
None !!!
Would you recommend?
Yes
JH
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Brilliant forest fun
Overall rating 
 
3.8
Grin Factor 
 
4.5
Trail Variety 
 
4.0
Skills Development 
 
4.0
Trail Quality  
 
4.0
Facilities 
 
1.0
I love this place

User Review

Good Points
Great single track in a beautiful setting. No uplifts, no jcb crafted berms, just nature at its best. It's a workout. It's not a heroic downhill trip, but it's brilliant up and down, tree swerving, bombhole blasting peice of heaven.
Bad Points
No facilities. Most tracks not marked. Us locals have a blast but visitors could miss much of it or just get lost. Find some locals to guide you.
Would you recommend?
Yes
GM
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Great trails but can get sticky when wet
Overall rating 
 
3.5
Grin Factor 
 
4.0
Trail Variety 
 
3.0
Skills Development 
 
3.0
Trail Quality  
 
4.0
Facilities 
 
4.0
Love it.

User Review

Good Points
Nice flowing trails with varying degrees of speed attainable. Nothing steep and long but some fun short "DH" runs off the Southern bank. Takes some time to explore and find the trails. The marked red route is a good way to recce the area if a little easy going. Youll pass a lot of singletrack entrances to the woods from that trail. Try them out. Good maps available on t'internet! Google Firston mtb trails. There's a friendly Facebook group too.
Parking is easy at the visitor centre carpark just North of the coast road, ticket machines can be a pain and mobile signal poor to pay by phone. Take £4.00 in coins and maybe a spare or two in case they get rejected.
Good cafe, The Salrmarsh, great coffee and I love their salads post ride - it gets incredibly busy on sunny wekends (cant take bikes into garden so carry a lock or leave in car).
Bad Points
Currently (early 2017) the area to the North of the valley access track is pretty cut up by forestry work. The tree clearance will eventually mena better trails and a healthier forest but bear that in mind. Some trails are virtually obliterated in parts.
It can get very muddy.
Carpark pay machines can swallow your cash and fail to issue a ticket, or refuse coins. If younlose your cash, try find the ranger, he'll issue a hand written ticket for that day (only) to compensate. Theres no number to call about problems.
Parking on passing point at the side of the road towards the village is not great for locals. So, really its paid parking, some of the fee goes towards maintenance so it's not all bad.
Would you recommend?
Yes
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Friston forest
Skills Development 
 
1.0
Boring very monotonous if you want to go somewhere boring this is ideal facilities are rubbish

User Review

Good Points
Bomb craters
Bad Points
Boring no real good points rude riders who use this and rubbish facilities rather ride the south downs way
Would you recommend?
No
M
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Warning for dh riders
Overall rating 
 
1.2
Grin Factor 
 
0.5
Trail Variety 
 
1.0
Skills Development 
 
1.5
Trail Quality  
 
1.5
Facilities 
 
2.0
Don't go to Friston....ever!

User Review

Good Points
There are some trails if you like XC riding. Cute girls in cafe next to car park.
Bad Points
Very few trails are maintained and even fewer are worth riding. If you like anything other than XC don't bother going. Downhill trails are poor with no real jumps or drops to speak of. Only suited to beginner level riding otherwise you'll find yourself bored with alot of pushing up to do. Unless you live in Friston there's no point ever going there!
Would you recommend?
No
RS
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Don't come here
It rubbish don't come here unless it's to not enjoy yourself but to get fit.

User Review

Good Points
Nothing
Could be improved trail riding if the area was used more efficiently so downhill trails.
Only good for fitness.
Bad Points
Too much up hill with little downhill.
No good trails to ride fast.
No old school downhill unless you call a fire road downhill.
Hard to find.
If you want good riding go to paradise park.
Would you recommend?
No
BB
Report this review Comments (1) | Was this review helpful to you? 3 2
Overall rating 
 
1.7
Grin Factor 
 
2.0
Trail Variety 
 
2.0
Skills Development 
 
2.0
Trail Quality  
 
1.0
Facilities 
 
1.0
Needs some proper management and tidy up to make it a great place again

User Review

Good Points
Once the trails were very good and sort of marked out but we're varied.
Bad Points
Over time and lack of up keep they have in some places become overgrown in part due to lack of use or in some cases where soil erosion has taken place and left tree routes. Which isn't good for the trees at all. Even though mtb routes were marked but never clear enough it has become and issue with walkers using the routes and therefore out of curiosity having to slow down and still being told we shouldn't be here. But worse of all is the constant attack by dogs that aren't on leads when clearly they should be. I have been bit by two many dogs, and not little bits either. I always slow down for walkers etc. But the place has become a bit of a nightmare. Only last week another dog came out of the blue and started chasing me, could not see owners at all!
Just be careful, that's all I say.
It could be a fantastic place with some help and I have been to a few great places that are managed well.
Would you recommend?
Yes
P
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Lots of flow, natural feeling trails.
Overall rating 
 
4.2
Grin Factor 
 
4.5
Trail Variety 
 
4.0
Skills Development 
 
4.0
Trail Quality  
 
4.5
I often come away from Friston feeling as if I've been reminded why I love riding offroad.

User Review

Good Points
Wonderful, flowing, natural singletrack in stunning woodland. What more do you want ?
Bad Points
Doesn't ride that well when wet, many of the better trails are off the waymarked red route & hard to find without guidance.
Would you recommend?
Yes
JS
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DH on X files is great
Overall rating 
 
3.4
Grin Factor 
 
4.0
Trail Variety 
 
4.0
Skills Development 
 
3.5
Trail Quality  
 
3.5
Facilities 
 
1.0
Amazing trails. Worth driving 50 miles to for a ride!!!!

User Review

Good Points
Mostly natural trails and features. All fast fun trails
Bad Points
Limited parking unless you pay. Trails not marked out
Would you recommend?
Yes
J
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