Sunday 10 June 2018: ‘Five go down (and a little bit up) the Downslink’
Five of us gathered at Christ’s Hospital station. Angela D, Graham, Tessa and new to Clarion, Wendy T on her electric bike had caught the 9.27 train from Brighton.
Prudence caught the later train and was relieved to find us in the car park, thinking she may have missed us.
A delightfully rural station only a stone’s throw from the Downslink, we set off on a narrow grass-fringed track that soon widened . The route alternated between being tree-lined in dappled sunlight and rolling meadows and fields.
We had a loo stop at Southwater Country Park but were not tempted by the café, preferring to wait for Stan’s Bike Shack further along the route.. Families were out in force, many canoeing on the small lake.
Cycling past a sign saying Copsale, probably once a station but now there was no sign of it, Wendy T and I had a telepathic thought: ‘ We were the Famous Five on an adventure’ Only Timmy the dog was missing but there were plenty of those around, mainly of the Cockapoodle, Labradoodle varieties.
We hit West Grinsted Station which had a train carriage and a platform so it became our first photo-opportunity.
Arriving past a badly parked train carriage
Graham and Tessa
We joined a road through the village of Partridge Green and suddenly there was Stan’s Bike Shed!
A delightful coffee stop not only for its food offerings but also for its bike friendly ambience. Free locks available to borrow, bike literature and a video screen to watch, and loads of lycra clad cyclists. Angela D said that every Clarion ride should have a coffee stop like Stan’s!
Wendy T, Angela D, Tessa and Prudence enjoying drinks and Cake !
We arrived at Henfield which was having a garden Open Day. On the way to the Plough, our lunch stop, we heard music coming from a garden close to a church. Prudence and Wendy stopped to explore and on joining us at the Plough reported that it was a lovely garden with craft stalls as well.
Everyone’s lunch was delicious and beautifully presented. Angela D told the waitress on the way out that is was the best Clarion lunch of all time!
We retraced our steps to the Downslink pausing to check out the garden. The music was over, the crafts mediocre but the garden was beautiful.
On to Shoreham, stopping to look at St Botolph’s Church. Arriving in Shoreham Wendy stopped for tea and cake, the rest of us dashed for a train which we missed. Rather than wait 30 minutes, we decided to cycle home, it was a lovely evening with no strong headwind.
We dispersed at Hove Lagoon after thanking Graham for planning a delightful day in the saddle.