The Next Ride: Sunday 23 July 2017 – Lewes to Berwick

11 July 2017

Ringmer – Palehouse Common – East Hoathly – Whitesmith – Vert Wood – Ripe

We did this ride only just over a year ago, but it was quite popular, so I have suggested revisiting it to fill a gap in our schedule. It features some of my favourite cycling territory, namely the lanes to the north-east of Ringmer – Norlington Lane, Green Lane, Harveys Lane, Bradford’s Lane – and the lanes around Ripe: Mill Lane, Mark Cross Lane, Langtye Lane. Nice and flat, narrow and quiet, give or take the odd horse.

We start from Lewes Station. As last time, my brief history of Lewes Station is available if anyone wants it. If not too muddy, we can also go via the Lewes Railway Land Nature Reserve at the start of the ride.

Once again we will sample the delights of Palehouse Common and Hollow Lane, and the latter may once again inspire a reading of T S Eliot. Our lunch stop, the King’s Head in the delightful little Sussex village of East Hoathly is just over half way through and we should arrive there at about 1pm.

Once more, a semi-traverse of Vert Wood if not too muddy, then into that lovely flat, open countryside to the north of the Downs (Laughton Levels?) and so to Berwick Station.


Start at Lewes Station at 09:40.

Trains: Get the 09:17 train from Brighton to Lewes.

Length: 25 miles.

Duration: 6 hours including lunch and cat herding.

Getting back: Trains leave Berwick hourly for Brighton at 40 minutes past the hour.

Terrain: Flat – we never go above the 75m contour, and any “climbs” we might encounter are gentle ones. There is a very short section of the B2192, but otherwise quiet lanes and a reasonably hard track through Vert Wood.

This is a linear ride; anyone arriving by car can park at Lewes Station and get the train back there from Berwick; or park at Berwick and get the train to Lewes.


The Next Ride: Sunday 9 July 2017 – Sussex Wildlife Trust, Henfield

3 July 2017

As we will be only twelve days from the summer solstice, and daylight is at its peak, I am offering a twenty-five mile ride with a picnic at a nature reserve.

We meet at the west side carpark (platform 1 side) of Hassocks railway station at 10.25am. 

We will proceed westward to Hurstpierpoint and Woods Mill (Sussex Wildlife Trust, Henfield) to enjoy the facilities and have our (bring your own) picnic.

After being suitably refreshed we continue through Small-Dole and Upper-Beeding to join the Downslink cycleway to Shoreham where we can stop at Carats Cafe for tea before reaching the Hove Lawns where the ride finishes.

Terrain:  This area is the weald of Mid-Sussex and has gentle undulations throughout.

If you require a slightly longer ride, (approximately ten miles) you can cycle from Brighton on the NCN 2 cycleway up to Muddleswood BN6 9BP Map ref: 50.9192903  -0.1956641 to join the group en-route, or Hassocks if you don’t mind backtracking for three miles. Please let me know in advance if you will be riding from Brighton so we can arrange a rendezvous/timing.

If you are driving to the start, be prepared to return to Hassocks by train or other means to collect your vehicle.

Trains from Brighton – 10.14 am arriving at Hassocks at 10.23am.

As Southern trains are still pushing for removing guards from trains, it is possible that some disruptions may be possible, please check before setting out.

My cell phone:  07484803638


The Next Ride: Sunday 25th June 2017

14 June 2017

A Crime Ride: Angmering to Littlehampton.

Intrigued? Read on…

We catch the 10.00 (10.03 from Hove) train to Angmering from Brighton, arriving 10.36.

From the station we head north over a roundabout through Angmering village. At the end of the village we turn left shortly crossing over the A27. Continuing, we turn right along a small road then left at Seldon Road which turns into a good (earth surfaced) bridleway heading uphill through woods to join the Monarch’s Way. We turn left where it is then a gentle downhill ride to a bridleway crossroads behind which is marked the site of the gallows where the last hanging in the area took place.

We leave the Monarch’s Way by continuing straight on through gates. At the next junction we take the right fork. We turn first right then left towards Arundel Station. We turn right at the station on to the A27 for a few yards to the roundabout where we take the Arundel turning, crossing the bridge where we have our lunch stop,the Moathouse cafe. Quick service with a cheap and fairly basic menu.

After lunch we weave our way under the A27 and join a straight road to Ford passing the Open Prison. We continue into Littlehampton crossing the river by the Old Swing/New Retracting bridge where there is an optional tea stop by the river before returning home from Littlehampton Station.

Terrain: gradual uphill climb on wide mainly firm good surface bridleways followed by long gentle downhills on bridleway and small country roads. After lunch, riding on flat but potentially busy roads. Approx 18 miles.

Train to Angmering from Brighton 10.00 (10.03 from Hove)

Trains from Littlehampton 15.54 (change at Ford) 16.15 (change at Hove)

For those who want to continue back to Angmering 16.12 and 16.46 (both direct).

Sikka and Tessa



The Next Ride: Sunday 11 June 2017

1 June 2017

Horley Circular via Redhill 

Earlswood Common – Redhill Common – Redhill – Nutfield Marsh – Merstham – South Nutfield – Whitebushes

This is another variant on my Gatwick ride, but although originally intended to start from there, I decided that, as it’s a longish ride, the change at Three Bridges might be seen as a lesser evil than the extra 3 miles.

We start out in a north-westerly direction along the wonderful 3½ miles of Meath Green lane/Lonesome Lane, running parallel to the river Mole, but sadly out of sight of it; on the way we pass over two of its tributaries, the Salfords Stream and the Earlswood Brook.

About 7 miles of this ride is off-road, though on good surfaces. We’ll traverse Earlswood Common to reach the lunch stop, the Plough, at about 12.30. After lunch, passing (or possibly stopping briefly at) the huge St John’s Church next door (not very old, but quite striking) we’ll have a quick look at Redhill Common before emerging into more familar territory – the Moors nature reserve at Redhill. We then strike out northwards, so as to traverse Nutfield Marsh in the opposite direction to previously (from Spynes Mere nature reserve to Cormonger’s Lane).

Then comes the hill. I’m sorry, but there really is no other word for it; the southern end of Cormonger’s Lane is a whopper; we’ll have to walk it (it’s about half a mile from bottom to top). But it’s NOT MY FAULT! Incredibly, the countours on the OS map just stop in mid-air in that area, so it appears that the lane is dead flat. I’ve never seen such a thing before. (And then, once across the A25, we go all the way back down again. You’d think they’d have built a tunnel!)

Quite why this should be, we may discuss over a cup of tea at Redhill Aerodrome – or just watch the helicopters practising take-off. Then we return to Horley courtesy of the wonderful NCN21 cycle route.


Start: Horley station car park, 11:05.   Length: 20 miles.

Duration: about 6 hours, including lunch and tea stops.

Terrain: Quiet lanes and cycle paths. Only one hill (see above).

Getting there: Get the 10:14 train from Brighton to Three Bridges, and change there for Horley (about a 15 minute wait). Hovians will have to change twice (at Brighton or Burgess Hill).

Getting back: trains to Brighton from Horley at 23 and 41 minutes past the hour, journey time 45 minutes, again with a change at Three Bridges.


The Next Ride: Sunday 28 May 2017 – Cuckoo Trail and Pevensey Levels

22 May 2017

Only c 16/17 miles and mainly pretty flat. NB With Picnic!

This is quite like one of Julian’s rides back in April – but going the other way round. But it’s even more like the one I led back in March 2014. As Nick reported at the time, we were incredibly lucky with the weather and there was a record turnout. Let’s hope our luck holds

From Polegate we’ll take the Cuckoo Trail through Hailsham leaving it at Hellingly near where the Cuckoo’s Rest used to be. From there we’ll head eastward to Magham Down and the outskirts of Herstmonceux for about two and a half miles. Half of this will be on the fairly busy A271 and gently uphill – but that’s the lot for traffic and (apart from the Trail bridge over the by-pass) the nearest thing to a hill on the route.

In 2014 we had lunch at the Catkins Tea Rooms adjacent to a “high quality” cattery , but the café – unlike the cattery – is no longer in being. I did think about going on into Herstmonceux perhaps to the Woolpack (though the report from Julian’s ride was not encouraging) or a bit further to the excellent Lime Cross Nursery café but either would entail more main road (and a bit more uphill to boot). At this point I thought ‘If you can’t have a picnic at the end of May, when can you?’ But should the weather forecast be horrible I will cancel the ride and we’ll do it another time when things look better. So make sure to check your emails after 5pm the day before the ride.

So, we’ll get away from the traffic ASAP and turn by the famous “Truggery” shop and go down Cricketing Lane and across the Levels to Rickney – stopping on the way for a picnic at whatever likely spot we encounter; perhaps like Julian’s ride having a stop at New Bridge. Then from Rickney it’s along the usually quiet Glynleigh Road eventually rejoining the Cuckoo Trail just north of the Old Loom where we can make the usual tea-stop before returning to Polegate. Anyone who has forgotten sandwiches will be able to avoid starvation by stoking up there.

One of the things I particularly like about this route – apart from lack of traffic and hills – is its scenic variety and ‘feel.’ The contrast between the ‘closed in’ Cuckoo Trail and the open vistas on the Levels with Constable-style skies is striking and then the road from Rickney at the bottom of the Levels is different again. You can’t always enjoy such variety in so few miles

Catch the 10.12 from Brighton Station (there is another at 10.17 but it involves a change at Lewes- phone me if you end up on that one and we’ll wait for you)

Meet: at 10.40 at Polegate station

Trains back at 34 minutes past the hour (non-stop). There are others involving a change

Remember the picnic!

My mobile number is 07770743287


The Next Ride: Sunday 14 May 2017 – Hove Lost Dog Cycle Search Team and Clarion Cycle Ride

3 May 2017

The ride will start at Adur Recreation Ground car park beside the A259 just over the river via the new Norfolk Bridge and Shoreham High Street. The unused Adur Outdoor Activity Centre is the landmark opposite the Recreation Ground Car Park and toilets.

For those that might be arriving by car the car parking is free (at least it was when I parked there earlier to plan a walk over the Downs!). The proposed route is via the airport perimeter road to the old toll bridge and then along the Downs Link Bridleway/ Cycle Route via Bramber and Henfield to Partridge Green and Stan’s Bike Shack where tea, coffee, cakes and burgers etc can be obtained. (22 round trip miles)

Should everyone be fighting fit and feel the desire then the ride could be extended to the old West Grinstead Station platform where the small museum in a railway carriage might be open as well as the chance to use the Orchard Tea Room. (27 round trip miles)

If desired we could press on to Southwater Country Park for refreshments by the lake! (32 round trip miles)

There are several options but the leisurely one would be to Partridge Green and then back to the Art Deco Shoreham Airport Building to admire the scene of so many films from Tenko to Poirot and to have a coffee whilst there!

If required there are cafes and pubs in Shoreham as well and M’s Cycles can be very obliging for any cycle bits and advice There are some minor hills north of Bramber and in Henfield but being the old railway it is flat and easy going for any bike.

Train times
Depart Lewes 09.22
Arrive Shoreham 10.15
Depart Hassocks 09.35
Arrive Shoreham 10.15
Depart Brighton 10.00
Arrive Shoreham 10.15

It is only about 5 minutes from the station to the start point but please note my mobile number in case you are delayed: 07940 796934.
I don’t use trains so some of you seasoned travellers will know the ins and outs of your journey, I have just used the national timetable for the above in case it helps!


The next ride: Sunday 30 April 2017 – The Level to Brighton Pier via Falmer, Woodingdean and Rottingdean

26 April 2017

Distance: 13 miles 
Duration: about 4 hours, including lunch in Rottingdean.
Start: 10.30 at the Velo Cafe on The Level
Finish: Brighton Pier
We meet at the (former?) Velo Cafe on The Level by 10.30 and then ride on the cycle lane along the Lewes Road to the University of Sussex. We go up the slip road and past the roundabout for a brief stop at the Falmer pond by St. Laurence church.  Then onto the cycle path that runs south parallel to the Falmer Road. This path involves an uphill gradient/undulation to the top of the Downs where there are views east towards Lewes and the other way across Brighton to the sea.
We turn left into Bexhill Road to go down on the eastern side of Woodingdean through housing estates so as to avoid the main road (ie Falmer Road, B2123), until we join it just north of Rottingdean. 
Lunch can be taken in Rottingdean either at The Queen Victoria Pub, 54 The High Street, on the left just before the A259 T-junction (recommended by Angela D), or at The Coach House on the other side of the A259.
After lunch we cycle westwards along the undercliff path back to the Brighton Pier.
Julian and Angela