The Next Ride: Sunday 29 April 2018

17 April 2018

Emsworth to Fishbourne

Westbourne – Woodmancote – Southbourne – Hambrook – Funtington – West Ashling – Bosham

This ride, which we last did in 2016, zigzags along between the inlet channels and the foothills of the Downs, taking in the above 7 villages en route. We first travel alongside the river Ems to the delightful old village of Westbourne (definitely not twinned with Eastbourne!), crossing back and forth over and under the A27, and, after passing several large pig farms and a Qinetiq site that resembles a concentration camp, we eventually arrive at Funtington. Then we follow the Bosham Stream down Watery Lane to West Ashling, whose pond is home to many waterfowl.

Lunch will be at the Anchor Bleu pub in Bosham, overlooking Bosham Channel, where we hope to see lots of interesting birds. The waters here lap against the very walls (and cover the road) at high tide. After lunch we’ll follow the harbour road round to Bosham Hoe, then back up to Fishbourne. Visits to the Roman Palace – “the largest Roman home in Britain” – will be possible, as long as we arrive well before the closing time of 5pm. All that’s left of it is the mosaic floors, but they are very interesting and beautiful. There is also a nice cafe there, which you can patronise without buying a ticket.

We can travel home from Fishbourne station, or ride the 2 miles to Chichester for a more frequent service.

The pub is very busy and would like to know approximate numbers in advance, so please let Jim know if you are planning to come.

Distance: 17 miles (19 to Chichester)

Duration: about 4½ hours to Roman Palace, including lunch. Another ½ hour to Chichester.

Terrain: Mainly quiet lanes, a quiet B road, and a short section of A259 in the cycle lane. Mostly flat.

Start at: Emsworth Station, westbound exit, at 10:45

Getting there: Catch the 09:30 Portsmouth train from Brighton (9.34 Hove, 9.45 Shoreham). Get a return ticket to Emsworth.

Getting home: Trains from Fishbourne are hourly at 50 mins past the hour. There are three trains per hour from Chichester towards Brighton.

Jim and Wendy*

*Wendy will be participating in a virtual sense.


The Next Ride: Sunday 15 April 2018 – Hove to Shoreham via Devils Dyke

3 April 2018

Meet at Tessa’s house – 38 Lorna Road, Hove. (5 minutes ride from Hove station and 10-15 minutes cycle from Brighton station). Free parking in Lorna Road and surrounding streets – those in the ‘O’ zone (no pun intended?) on Sundays.

Tessa is providing hot drinks for anyone prepared to arrive for 10am! And then we will start out at 10.30 making our way to Route 82 which takes us along the cycle track on the Old Shoreham Road. The 82 then takes us legitimately through Hove Recreation Grounds and Hove Park linking the two via Hove Park Road. After the parks there is a short sharp hill to the main road and briefly along this past Blatchington School. Bypassing the windmill, we join the old railway track to Devil’s Dyke. So a long slow haul up to the Dyke.

We plan to stop for a coffee at the Dyke Road Inn to break up the morning ride. Then there’s a long downhill run past Saddlescombe Farm, turning left to go through Poynings and Fulking, following a softly undulating road at the foot of the Downs. On through Upper Beeding to Bramber to lunch at the Kings Head at 2pm.

Back along the Downs Link to Shoreham, (or deserting the Link and detouring along Coombe Lane past St Botolphs if the ground is soggy). Possibility of tea at the airport if desired. Option of cycling back to Brighton or taking the train from Shoreham.

Distance: About 20 miles, or if cycling back to Brighton 27. All distances approximate as my cycle computer does not work properly.

If you wish to have lunch please let Sikka know so she can reserve you a seat in the pub. Sikka 07787402229 and 01273 697412.

Thank you.

There are frequent trains back from Shoreham to Brighton.

Sikka and Tessa

The Next Ride: Sunday 1 April 2018 “Brighton Pier to Worthing Pier”

21 March 2018

The weather has been so unreliable of late that I have proposed a short, easy ride along part of the NCR2 that follows the south coastal route from Dover to Exeter. We will constrain our ride to the local section from Brighton to Worthing between the two piers, a distance of only 12 miles each way.

The advantage is that there are options of at least six havens along the route where we could stop for coffee and snacks if it starts to rain or a short rest is suggested. The route is completely flat with no undulations and for the greater part follows cycle pathways or quiet back streets. The hardest section will be cycling on a busy Easter Sunday between Widewater Lagoon and the Perch on Lancing Beach, where the NCR2 becomes a shared pathway and will necessitate weaving safely between walkers, dogs, children and oncoming cyclists, with priority to pedestrians.

We can either take lunch at the Southern Pavilion Café on Worthing Pier or the more adventurous gastronomists could explore the many temptations along Montague Street.

We should have time for a coffee stop on both the outward and inward journeys if the queues are not too long.

Southern and Network Rail permitting, there should be regular trains from Worthing Station back into Hove and Brighton about every twenty minutes for anyone wishing to stay and further explore the many attractions of Worthing.

Meet at Brighton Pier at 10am for a 10.15am departure.


The Next Ride: Sunday 18th March 2018 – Ford to Littlehampton

7 March 2018

Train from Brighton 10.00, Hove 10.04
We get off at Ford at 10.42

Return is from Littlehampton at
16.15 (to Hove) 16.40 (to Brighton via Ford) 17.15, 17.40

This ride is a lovely meander through Binsted and Tortington woods and then down through the plain of the river Arun taking in one of the few areas of unbuilt land by the sea.

However, much of this beautiful area is threatened by a proposed by-pass through Binsted and Tortington Woods. There are 2 proposals, both equally destructive.

Emma Tristram from SCATE (South Coast Alliance for Transport and the Environment)

will be able to tell us a little more when she meets us at Binsted village at about 11.15

for more information about road building:

This ride takes in some off road areas but only for short sections and is well worth persevering – we go through the woods, currently covered in blackthorn blossom with primroses and some snowdrops and we go pass the Madonna pond. At the beginning of the ride we go past, and may have time to enter, the medieval church of St Mary Magdalen, right in the middle of a farmyard
Binsted church is also dates back to the 11th century.

There is also some off road on an otherwise wide track that takes us down to the sea.

We are having lunch at the Black Horse Pub which does a Sunday lunch menu but vegetarian by request.

Wendy ( is going to contact the pub with vegan/vegetarian option numbers on Friday. Could you please contact Wendy to let her know? Even if you are not vegan/veggie, if you are not a fan of roast dinners then I suggest this option.

Best Angela

The Next Ride: Sunday 4th March 2018 – Polegate Circular via Herstmonceux

20 February 2018

[Please note: in the event of a strong North wind, the ride may be reversed, riding first up the sheltered Cuckoo Trail and back across the exposed Pevensey Levels]

Terrain: This ride is flat for most of the route with a few manageable hills just before and after lunch. Length of ride – we guess it is about 16 miles or so.

Route: From Polegate station we cycle through the carpark, and out for a short ride along the cycle track on the pavement of the B2247 to the pedestrian crossing after Levetts Lane. Up this lane to the bridge over the bypass and along quiet roads to Rickney. Then north across the Pevensey Levels to the village of Herstmonceux where we will join the footpath by the main road for a few yards to cross over to Lime Cross Nursery. There we will have an early lunch.

After lunch we return to the footpath briefly then join the busy A271 for a short distance through Herstmonceux village, and turn right signposted Cowbeech. Passing Stunts Green we reach the top of Cowbeech Hill at Beech Cross (a long but gradual climb). We turn left at this point onto a slightly busier but wide road, which we follow down to a T-junction, taking in a couple of minor upward slopes on the way. Here we turn off to the right along a quiet road for a mile or two, slip over the verge on the left into a disused road and over another busy road into Station Road. Another 100 yards or so and just before a bridge we diverge off the tarmac down a track to turn left onto the Cuckoo Trail. This will take us south to the delights of tea at the Loom tea rooms.

After tea, just a mile to the end of the Cuckoo Trail and into Polegate to catch a train home.

Train from Brighton leaving at 10.12, arriving Polegate at 10.40. Return trains from Polegate to Brighton at 34 minutes past the hour (or 7 mins past the hour and a change in Lewes with 4 mins to change platforms)

Please let us know if you are coming and want to have lunch so we can book appropriate numbers. The cafe has asked that we give them good warning if we are booking for a group. You can email me, Sikka, at or text Tessa on: 07787402229.

Tessa & Sikka

The Next Ride: Sunday 18 February 2018 – Hassocks to Lewes

6 February 2018

We will catch the 10.44 train to Hassocks (buy return tickets to Hassocks) arriving just before 11am.

We head off through Ditchling to Keymer then turn left on Spatham Lane.

After a few yards we turn right onto an offroad track (weather permitting) to Streat. A good easy surface for most of the way, there is a short section that some may choose to walk.

Arriving at Streat we turn left and head towards Wivelsfield on a small road that gently undulates.

We then take the Lewes road and head for Cooksbridge where we take a small road to Hamsey then Offham. Arriving there, we cycle the pavement of the busy A275 (the law having clarified that where it is dangerous to use the road, its ok to cycle on the pavement) before turning left into Lewes for a late lunch, probably at the Harveys pub by the river.

Trains to Brighton from Lewes: 22, 44 & 52 past the hour.

It would be good to have some idea of numbers so we can alert the pub. Please text Tessa on 07887 489900 or phone her on 01273 777574 to say if you plan to join the ride.

Tessa and Sikka

The Next Ride: Sunday 4 February 2018

29 January 2018

Haywards Heath to Wivelsfield (or Haywards Heath)

Haywards Heath – Cuckfield – Slough Green –

Goddards Green – Burgess Hill – World’s End – Haywards Heath

The last time we did this ride, in April 2016, I bunked off after only a mile and let Julian take over. This time, I promise to stay to the end. But where will the end be? I am tempted to say Wivelsfield station, with its nice step-free access to the southbound platform; but if anyone desperately wants to go back to Haywards Heath I promise to accompany them.

From the suburbs of Haywards Heath we will go through Blunts Wood & Paiges Meadow Nature Reserve, which has a good cycle path. We reach Cuckfield, and then encounter three very nice Clarionesque lanes: Buncton Lane, Stairbridge Lane and Jobs Lane.

As last time, we will have lunch at the Sportsman at Goddards Green, where we should arrive at about 12.30.

After lunch we continue eastwards towards Burgess Hill. Here there is another nature reserve, Bedelands Farm, which is nice, but not ideal cycling country so we probably won’t venture in. This area is known as World’s End, and is not particularly near Wivelsfield, but it is home to Wivelsfield Station. Returning to Haywards Heath involves a slightly undulating route, along Valebridge Road, passing over the East Adur at Vale Bridge.


Start at Haywards Heath Station at 10:35. Meet at the Boltro Road exit (which is the exit from Platforms 3 and 4, where the train will arrive). Make for the lift towards the south end of the station (i.e. looking back towards the tunnel and Brighton) and turn left onto the footbridge (i.e. not towards the new multi-storey car park).

Length: 13 miles if returning from Wivelsfield, or 17 miles to Haywards Heath.

Duration: About 4 hours, or 5 if going back to Haywards Heath.

Terrain: Mainly quiet tarmacked lanes, some B roads. The nature reserve has a good cyclable surface. Mainly flat with a few “undulations”.

How to Get There: Catch the 10:14 Bedford train from Brighton, or any earlier train.

Return Trains: From Haywards Heath: 22, 28, 56 minutes past the hour. From Wivelsfield: 26 minutes past the hour, or 36 minutes past and change at Haywards Heath.

Note: I have not done a repeat recce as this was a last-minute addition. However I have checked that the pub still exists, and have booked it.