Please be clear that while all are welcome to join us we each take part in rides at our own risk.
If we start at 10.30 at Palace Pier we should be able to get to Seaford for lunch.
We had hoped to try the proper cliff-top, but hilly, section to Rottingdean, but a car ploughing into me on the NCN 81 in Hove last Monday put out our plans. [NO, I am not all right, yet!] Now that the Undercliff Walk is allowable for cyclists we’ll go that way carefully. Even the newish cycle track on Madiera Drive needs a lot of care, but, hopefully, we’ll all enjoy the ride to Saltdean. We do have a hill to ride or walk now, but a good track off the road. At the entrance to Peacehaven the NCN2 crosses the coast road & there’s an incline up to the summit of the Downs! Or there is a path along the cliff edge over grass & stony track. This can be pushed if necessary & like the upper route affords views. At the east end of Peacehaven the NCN 2 goes up a stony track on the sea side of the coast road. I’ve cycled it, if that’s any guide to its incline. Nearly at the top lives an alpaca with his friend, a goat, & if you call them, they will come and say hello [sometimes!]. Last time we did the ride, a couple of weeks ago, we followed a young couple with panniered bikes, all along the cliff edge path to Newhaven & this was wild, peaceful, exciting & bushy. Some bits, we all pushed. This path comes out into Newhaven Country Park & a good road down to the harbour where we rejoin the NCN 2. Actual NCN 2, with goats & alpaca if you’re lucky, after stony lane goes through caravan park then down a long hill through a council estate.
It’s a very pleasant Riverside cycle path by Newhaven Harbour & there are food stops here, but we don’t want to go there, as soon we are on the Tidemills Nature Reserve which has picnic tables & pleasant paths & is a haven for birds. After that it’s quick hop to Seaford seafront with the track along the beach. We can picnic here & swim. There is small beach café, but the pubs in town are not much good. Leaving Seaford via quiet roads along by the golf course, we deviate from the NCN 2 as that leads us onto a busy, narrow road. We go past a farm, down a grassy hill overlooking Cuckmere Haven & onto a footpath that leads along ditches, benches, bushes among the lovely Seven Sisters Country Park. There’s a tiny bit of busy road, then we turn left at Friston Forest along a little road which may be busier on Sundays than when we’ve been in the week.
Soon we are at Litlington Tea Gardens, which date from 150 years ago, among mature trees. Clarion’s been there before but I missed that & consider the place a real treat & well worth a stop, with healthy food: Les Routiers recommended, possibly because the route is part of La Route de la Manche, linking France through Newhaven & Dover, Dieppe & Calais.
We head towards Alfriston, but don’t enter, turning right for Berwick instead & a good track, especially the latter part, which is off road & leads almost to the railway to Brighton etc. Trains at 15.48, 16.48, 17.48 etc. Seaford to Brighton trains 15.57, 16.27, 16.57, which are also listed as going to London Victoria. Newhaven to London 16.02, 16.32, 17.02, 17.32, which also go to Brighton. All trains to Brighton take about half an hour.
Mick’s mobile – 07803 730401.