Three Bridges to Haywards Heath
Led by Jim Grozier accompanied by Doris, Angela D and Sikka
This was a perfect day for a cycle ride, sunny with a light breeze. From Three Bridges Station we paused at the plaque in Haslett Road acknowledging Caroline Haslett, the first Director of the Electrical Association for Women in 1924.
We then took the NCN20 Tilgate Drive cycle track through Tilgate Forest, cycling along woodland tracks with blue sky and puffy white clouds showing above the light Spring canopy over a surface that alternated between gravel and, mostly hard, sand.
It was only when we emerged onto tarmac that we came across the sought after sea of bluebells and yet later on, carpets of late wood anenomes.
We crossed over the motorway (M23) onto quiet, undulating roads with colourful views across valley and hill as the trees thinned. Green velvet-hatted oaks lined roads and from every ridge appeared open landscapes of verdant green and gold.
From Peas Pottage we were rewarded with a long freewheel ride down Grouse Road then past Hammer Pond where the dam was created in service of the local iron works, thus its name!
We paused to photograph bluebells and were treated to the sight of bright green leafy chandeliers seemingly hanging in the air among the pillared trunks of beech.
Stopping at Staplefield for lunch at the Jolly Tanners we passed a cricket match on the village green. After a substantial repast we cycled a few miles to Cuckfield Golf Centre for coffee and a seat on the terrace with a splendid view and a sight of the Balcombe viaduct.
Time to return home through Blunts Wood and Paige’s Meadow nature reserve to Haywards Heath station and thence by train to Brighton.
Thank you Jim for a delightful ride.