Since the days when Linda was cycling with us, I have been trying to find a direct, safe, off-road route from Shoreham Beach along the coast to Littlehampton, avoiding all of the busy A259, railway crossings and lights. After exploring both sides of Ferring Rife, and taking long walks with Terri and our dog along the beach to Angmering and back through the Kingston private estates, the new Littlehampton Harbour is now just a 90 minute gentle ride away.
Catch the 10.00 train from Brighton to Shoreham-By-Sea arriving at 10.15h and aim to get on the road by 10.30h after the group photo. Cross the iconic Adur Ferry Bridge onto Shoreham Beach and head west on the NCR2 shared cycle path.
We soon pass the Widewater Lagoon, where Julian will be able to point out the cormorants hanging their wings out to dry; a growing, resident population of little egrets; a lightning flash of the iridescent blue from the back of a kingfisher; a hovering kestrel; our resident swan leading her flotilla of seven cygnets.
After passing Lancing Sailing Club and the Green we carefully cycle past the entrance to the newly-opened Perch Café on the beach. https://twitter.com/lancingbeach
We then follow the coastal cycle path to Worthing Pier and on to the end of the promenade, where we briefly turn inland onto trafficked road, passing Sea Lane Café and continue to the end of Marine Drive into Ferring, which we navigate through by following Channel Island routes to our outbound coffee stop at the Bluebird Café.
The path onwards along the beach in front of Kingston Gorse Estate is blocked by a wall with very narrow, pedestrian access and cycling on to Angmering and Rustington is forbidden, but we can turn into the paved Coastal Road after a hundred metres, before threading a route through quiet, private roads of the rich and famous, and are eventually disgorged into Sea Lane and the beach in Rustington. It is now only a short ride along the promenade to the newly-developed harbour in Littlehampton. If I don’t get lost, we will have cycled 12 miles.
The Harbour Lights Riverside Café is our lunch stop where we plan to arrive between 12.30am and 1pm. www.lookandsea.co.uk/harbour-lights-bistro-restaurant-cafe. They have an excellent selection of seafood, meat and vegetarian dishes, snacks, wines, beers and soft drinks; don’t forget to look at their specials board. I don’t plan to book, as there are plenty of tables outside overlooking the harbour if the weather is agreeable, and if it’s raining, I will eat inside where there will be enough spaces for a few other die-hards.
After lunch some of us could catch the Victoria train back to Brighton (changing at Hove), depending on wind and rain, otherwise we backtrack to Sea Lane Café for a tea stop before returning to Shoreham at around 4pm (a total of 24 miles). Any keener cyclists intent on building stamina could start their ride in Brighton and cycle from Shoreham back to Brighton adding a further 6 miles to each leg (36 miles).
Undulations: None. There are about 8 speed bumps to climb inside the private estates.
Obstructions: one bike lift onto the beach in front of Bluebird Café and one lift over a 1m gate.
Trains from Littlehampton to Hove leave at 15 minutes past the hour.