From Hassocks station we turn right onto the B2116 and through Hurstpierpoint to Albourne. At the T-junction there we turn right into the B2118 for a few yards then immediately left onto the Henfield Road (B2116).
After cycling about a mile take the second road on the left signed Blackstone Lane. Continue through the village of Blackstone to the T junction with the A281 (on old maps this is the B2117!). Turn right into this road, directed to Small Dole, then immediately left into Bramland Lane, the road continuing as Horn Lane.
At the T-junction just past Woods Mill nature reserve – where we had a picnic in the summer with Joyce and Leon – we turn left onto the A2037. Continue along this main road for about a mile to stop for lunch at The Fox.
After lunch we retrace our route through the village as far as New Hall Lane, turning left into this small and quiet cul-de-sac then right onto a potholed track as the lane comes to an end. After a short distance at another T-junction, turn left onto a narrow, well-surfaced lane and at the fork in the road, we turn right towards Stretham Farm. At the entrance to the farm a few yards along we go through a footpath style gate on the left (on Sundays the entrance to the farm is locked). Cross the cattle field towards the farm, and once through the gate turn left onto a pebbled track for 100 yards or so, to join the Downslink Cycle route. Turn left here and continue along this route to Shoreham.
Terrain: mostly flat with short undulations. The morning on tarmac, some roads with fast-moving traffic, some quiet lanes. The afternoon mostly off-road – one field – and the Downslink. Possibility of one muddy patch if weather has been wet.
Distance: Approx. 18 miles, (8 am, 10 pm.) Waterproof shoes advisable if it is wet.
(Alternative routes in wet weather or for those wishing to avoid the potentially muddy field, and the bumpy bits of the Downslink north of Bramber: – after lunch turn right onto the main road (A2037), and cycle as far as the roundabout (about 1-1/2 miles). Take the right turning there into Upper Beeding through Bramber to rejoin the Downslink at the roundabout below Bramber Castle, on the A283)
(There may be a possibility of the two groups, if we do divide, meeting up again at this roundabout – there is a benchseat!)
Trains from Brighton: 10.14 arriving Hassocks at 10.22. (Thameslink)
Return trains from Shoreham-by-Sea: 16.03, 16.33, both direct or the 16.48 with a change at Hove. (Southern)
We will have to book a table for lunch so please ring Sikka 01273 697412 if you wish to have a meal at The Fox.
Tessa and Sikka