The important bit, you can download the complete route as a gpx file: Winchester Start.
The route for the Double is the ‘Riders Route’ which differs from the walkers route, which uses footpaths in a few places, so be careful not to get caught out with some signage. The route around Warnford is the subject of a lengthy dispute – there is a ‘new temporary route’ in place in that area and the signage will take you this way if you are not careful, however the ‘classic’ AKA ‘old temporary’ route as listed here is considerably faster and remains 100% legal. Even events organized by BHF and CX Sportive are using the classic route nowadays
Where do I start the Double?
Actually you can start anywhere you like, but most people start in Winchester. This means the last 1/4 is on the perceived easier section. i.e heading back into Winchester. Funnily enough there is just a much climbing on either half of the South Downs Way, but most will agree the Winchester/Amberly section is easier, certainly helped by some road sections. See above for elevation profile. So you can start in Winchester or Eastbourne or say halfway, as long as you traverse the South Downs Way twice, it’s all legal.
If you are going Alpine and starting half way, no cheating and taking supplies from your car. However it would be a good idea to have emergency supplies available and then you will be doing a supported ride if you use them.
Official Start in Winchester.
For the purpose of this discussion we will assume you are starting in Winchester. The King Alfred Statue marks the starting point for the Double. For your Sat Nav that’s postcode SO23 9BE. YOU CAN’T MISS IT!!
In 2017 the South Downs Way was given an official start point in Winchester at the National Trust’s City Mill, only a 100 yards or so away from the statue. For the Double we stick with the King Alfred Statue.
Official End/Midpoint at Eastbourne.
The official end/midpoint point in Eastbourne is ‘The Kiosk Cafe’ address: Foyle Way, BN20 7XL
Google Street view is available here.
There are few sections that are level – generally it’s always going up or down. All the climbs are rideable but some are pretty stiff. It’s worth remembering the rivers are always close to sea level, and the major roads go through handy gaps – so when you cross one, you’ll know you’ve got some climbing ahead!