The Next Ride 23rd January, 2022

11 January 2022

Preston Park to Hove Park via Hurstpierpoint

We ride from Preston Park to the Beacon
(with an optional section through Stanmer Woods), but then turn left at the bottom of the hill and
proceed to Clayton, where we take New Way Lane to Hurstpierpoint. Here, after a brief look at the
”Children of the Fair” statues, we will have lunch at the Horse Inn. Then to Newtimber via the old
London road and an off-road path that may be a bit muddy.
After that, I am afraid that the law that “what comes down must go up” comes into play as we climb
back up to the top of the Downs. Anyone wanting to avoid that can instead take the NCN20 route to
Brighton, which is flat, but also noisy, smelly and boring, as it runs alongside the A23. The rest of us
will take a slightly different route from last time, turning right at Saddlescombe into the road shown
on the map as Summer Down. It still goes as high as the main road, but is much quieter. We can then
say hello to the ostrich and then whizz down the Dyke Railway trail to Hove.
Distance: 21 miles
Terrain: mostly hard surfaces, some off-road. Please note that the route has two hill climbs of approx 700ft and 550ft.

Start: 9.30 am in Preston Park, south end at junction of Preston Rd and Stanford Avenue.
The Horse has a heated marquee, which should be pretty Covid-secure, and we can book a table in
it, so I would like to know who is, or is thinking of, coming. (This does not commit you to coming – it
is just to get a general idea of numbers).

Led by Jim

The Next Ride 2nd January 2022

27 December 2021

Our Annual New Year Carats Cafe ride (meet Brighton Palace Pier, 10.30)

The Next Ride: Sunday 28th November

22 November 2021

Brighton to Wivelsfield: Sunday 28 November, Preston Park (south end), 10am

This little ride arose out of a trip to Plumpton Green that I made in the summer. It taught me that you can actually ride over Ditchling Beacon and live, as long as you have good brakes and don’t do anything silly.
The ride is mainly on quiet roads and cycle paths, with an optional bit of woodland. If we want a pub lunch we can call in at the Cock at Wivelsfield Green, which has featured on many previous rides. I haven’t booked anything as I don’t anticipate a big turnout; and in any case we might want to sit outside.
The ride ends at World’s End (aka Wivelsfield) where we can use the handy step-free access to the station to get a train back.
Meet at 10am in Preston Park, south end, near the junction of Stanford Avenue and Preston Road. Those wanting second breakfasts might want to arrive there earlier and throw themselves on the mercy of the Rotunda Café, which opens at 9.30.
The ride is about 15 miles long.

Led by JIm

The Next Ride Sunday 31st October

16 October 2021

Sunday 31 October 2021: Three Bridges Circular via Weir Wood Reservoir

Worth – East Grinstead – Weir Wood Reservoir – Kingscote – Turners Hill

This is a repeat of a ride we did in October 2015 and again in March 2019. We’ll ride along the Worth Way to East Grinstead, and make our way to our lunch stop at the Old Dunnings Mill, the lovely Harveys pub and former watermill where we ate last time. I have not made a booking for lunch, and in any case, since we will probably want to sit outside, those tables aren’t bookable anyway, but I’m assured that, as we’ll arrive early, there should be no problem. Veggie and vegan menus available.

We then proceed southwards to the reservoir, and spend a little time in or around the bird hide there. The reservoir was created in 1952 by damming the river Medway, which flows through this valley.

After leaving the reservoir we take a bridleway past Stone Farm Rocks, a striking series of sandstone crags which belong to the British Mountaineering Council, and which, in 2015, were covered in ladybirds – a spectacle we were told only occurs once a year, so we may see it again this time if we are lucky. Later we cross the juvenile Medway, pass the Kingscote Estate Vineyard, and go under the Bluebell Line. We’ll then use a Permissive Bridleway to avoid a hill, passing some wonderful views and emerging into Vowels Lane near the top. After Turners Hill (which is not much of a hill) we will experience the downhill variety.

Tulleys Farm Tea Rooms, which is on our return route, has reinvented itself as a multi-faceted, rather tacky tourist attraction, with escape rooms, a “drive-in” cinema (I wonder if they accept bikes?) and its annual “Shocktoberfest” which is apparently “world famous”. It’s too late for us, but Nick is hoping to soak up some of the Halloween atmosphere over a cup of tea.

After Tulley’s, we rejoin the Worth Way and return to Three Bridges Station.

Anyone wanting to avoid the ups and downs (and Tulley’s) can retrace the outward journey from the pub, and this also makes the ride about 3 miles shorter.

Terrain: Much of this ride is on quiet lanes through lovely woodlands, and the off-road sections are on good surfaces, though they may be bumpy in places. There is a short section of the B2028.

Length: 21 miles or less (see above)

Duration: about 6.5 hours.

Undulations: some. Valleys have sides, unfortunately.

Start at: Three Bridges Station at 10:00

Getting there: Bedford train from Brighton at 9:18, arriving Three Bridges at 9:49.

Getting home: Trains to Brighton/Hove at 16:26, 16:51, 17:26.


The Next Ride Sunday 26th September

9 September 2021

Peace Statue to East Worthing via Shoreham Fort Pollinator Cafe

Postponed from 12th September

Meet at the Peace Statue at 10.30 am.

We ride westwards along the seafront, turning left onto Basin Road South, cross the harbour at the locks and follow the usual route from Southwick to Shoreham. We then cross the river via the new bridge to Shoreham Beach, and turn back eastwards to the fort and the Pollinator Café.

After visiting the Pollinator Café, we will ride westwards through Shoreham Beach, skirt the airport and cross the A27 into Coombes Road. This road takes us up towards Steyning and passes two churches – at Coombes and Botolphs. I’d recommend visiting at least Botolphs church, if not Coombes as well – the last time I was there we noticed a bird’s nest in the bolt hole! I wonder if it’s still there.

We climb Bostal Road (most of us will have to walk this bit) and go round the rim of the striking geological feature that is Steyning Bowl. After admiring the views from the top of the Downs, we whizz down Titch Hill to a third church – St Mary’s at Sompting, famous for its “Rhenish Helm” tower. It may not actually be open but at least we can have a look.

From Sompting it’s a short ride to East Worthing station for the train back (trains are running). Anyone wishing to avoid trains can ride back along the seafront.

Distances Peace Statue to Pollinator 6 Miles from the Pollinator to East Worthing is 14 miles.

Leaders Nick and Jim

The Next Ride Sunday 8th August

24 July 2021

Dave Churchill’s Portslade ride

This will start at Portslade station at 10.30 and head up past Sainsbury’s in the Benfield valley,
then up to north Hangleton to the Dyke Railway Path past Egbert the emu, (could be Edwina!)
then down through the Dyke on a bridleway.
There are options at this stage:
Repeat the famous Chattri Ride by joining Ride 1 route at the Wild Flour Café at Saddlescombe or
Poynings Crossroads thence to Pyecombe etc.
Do the Ride 1 route in reverse to Preston Park
Do Ride 1 route in reverse to Sweethill and then up Mill Road on off road cycle path to Dyke Road
and drop down to various locations.
These options can be decided on the day so route will vary but the longest route, being past the
Chattri, will be no more than about 15 miles

Lockdown blues

9 February 2021

Regular rides currently suspended … but watch this space.

The Next Ride Sunday 8 March 2020

27 February 2020

The Back of Beyond” (Lewes to Berwick)

Ringmer – Palehouse Common – East Hoathly –

Whitesmith – Vert Wood – Ripe

It’s nearly three years since we did this ride; if it was left to me we would do it at least once a year, as it features some wonderful cycle-friendly lanes. The “nickname” comes from an exclamation by a Clarionista (confusingly, NOT Nick) on a previous version of the ride.

If you’ve never seen Charles I’s death warrant, now might be a good time to join us for lunch at the King’s Head in East Hoathly, where, on our last visit, a photo taken after lunch appeared to show Tessa stealing Chris’s right arm, but apparently it was just a trick of the light.

Hopefully there will be many stops to admire the Sussex countryside. Readings from T S Eliot are optional (even in Hollow Lane).

Vert Wood is, as before, an option if not too muddy.


Start at Lewes Station (car park) at 09:40.

Trains: Get the 09:17 Seaford 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 55 minutes past the hour. The Berwick Inn does a very nice apple crumble and ice cream. Sun sets at 5.53 pm.

Terrain: Flat, with some gentle undulations. 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. Get a return ticket to Berwick.


The Next Ride: Sunday 23rd February

14 February 2020

Wivelsfield to Shoreham, via Stan’s Bike
Shack (or the Partridge pub in Partridge Green)
The ride on Sunday February 23rd will start at Wivelsfield station. We will have a
choice of lunch stops (Stan’s Bike Shack or the Partridge pub in Partridge Green).
I’ll be heading to Stan’s Bike Shack to sample their coffee for the first time, but
others may wish to have a break in the Partridge pub instead.
We’ll all meet up after lunch to cycle along the Downs Link to Shoreham train
station. Those with more energy may also want to cycle from Shoreham to
Train from Brighton to Wivelsfield is 10.08.
Ride concept by Nick. Fine-tuning by Jim.

The Next Two Rides

30 January 2020

Berwick Circular  Sunday 2 February

Berwick to Berwick

A perfect winter’s ride – level a lot of the way and a wonderful pub stop for lunch –The Roebuck.

We meander through some beautiful Sussex countryside, including the pretty village of Ripe and its beautiful manor house, Eckington Manor and visit Laughton Tower with its own miniature moat, gloating over the surrounding landscape.

Please let me know if you are coming so I can book numbers for the pub. My phone 07814 457 680 or

Depart Brighton station at 10.05 for Berwick, arrive 10.32

There are no coffee stops en route but the Berwick Inn is open from early for coffee and breakfast; I suggest we bring a thermos and have a hot drink while admiring the tower.

Lunch at The Roebuck and return

Trains once an hour at 55 minutes past; if we are early the Berwick Inn provides tea

Angela and Nick


Sunday February 9th: Gatwick Circular Ride via Outwood

Gatwick – Horley – Burstow – Outwood – South Nutfield –

Redhill Aerodrome – Horley – Gatwick

Amazingly, this ride doesn’t seem to have been done for over 9 years, although we did cover part of the route in a Redhill ride in 2016 (which is also due for a repeat, but we can’t do that until water levels subside a bit on Nutfield Marsh!)

The ride goes through some rarely-visited territory to the east of Horley which may be a little soft underwheel, but there are alternatives if it gets too bad. Assuming it doesn’t, we will pass the site of Thunderfield Castle, “one of a very small number of complex moated sites in the South East” according to Historic England.

Lunch will again be at the Bell at Outwood, at 1pm. Last time I described it as “not an ideal Clarion pub – a bit too snooty for me” but Tessa’s ride report from 2016 seemed to give it the thumbs up, and the prices today look pretty much what we would expect.

On the way back to Gatwick we will have a tea stop at the café at Redhill Aerodrome. In 2010 I mused about “why on earth a group of eco-warriors like us should want to sit and watch planes taking off and landing” – but these are small planes, and the air ambulance is based here. When (in the hopefully not-too-distant future) Gatwick Airport is a museum, Redhill will still be going strong, rescuing people and training future rescue pilots, and the private planes based here will be used mainly for ferrying the pigs around …..

The return leg features a long stretch of NCN21, including a wooded cycle path and a quiet concrete road.

There are no obvious “fast loops” for this ride, and in any case there doesn’t seem to have been much demand for them recently. However, directions will be supplied for anyone wishing to avoid dithering and spend more time in the pub.


Length: 20 miles.

Start time: 11:00, Gatwick Airport station. Meet outside the exit ticket barrier on the bridge if not going by train from Brighton.

Hills: One serious hill we can walk up; a few undulations.

Traffic: Mainly quiet lanes and bridleways/tracks.

Surfaces: The bridleways and tracks have hard surfaces, so if it is wet the worst problem will be water rather than mud; however we can take detours along roads if we have to.

Duration: about 5½ hours.

Getting there: Catch the 10:27 train from Brighton. Anyone desperate to lop off a couple of miles can change at Gatwick for a train to Horley (hopefully from the adjacent platform), where we can rendezvous, as the route goes past Horley station.

Return trains from Gatwick at 10, 28, 40, 58 minutes past the hour.