The Next Ride: Sunday 1 October 2017: The Level to Brighton Pier via Falmer, Woodingdean and Rottingdean

20 September 2017

Distance: 13 miles  Duration: about 4 hours, including lunch in Rottingdean.
We meet at the Italian 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 (i.e. Falmer Road, B2123), until we join it just north of Rottingdean. 
Lunch can be taken in Rottingdean 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.


The Next Ride: Sunday 17 September 2017 – Haywards Heath to Crabtree circular

11 September 2017

About 20 miles

It has to be admitted that this ride has a few “undulations” and a couple of stretches of busy road, but this is more than compensated for by cycling some of the finest sunken lanes in Sussex, more or less traffic-free and some magnificent views.

We leave from Haywards Heath Station (where there is a lift to and from the platform if required). We make our way via Harlands Road and a path through some woods to Cuckfield High Street from there via the A272 to the wonderful Pickwell Lane, from there we go along Broxmead Lane and London Road to Jeremy’s Lane with its vista to the South Downs, then down Colwood Lane and Cross Colwood Lane until we join Spronkett’s Lane, take a left along Bull Lane and carry on along Picts Lane.

All of these lanes with their expressive names are a delight to cycle on. Then we hit the A281 and ride less than a mile to The Crabtree for lunch. After lunch we ride down Mill Lane, after the first half mile this becomes an unpaved private road, not ideal for a road bike with 23mm tyres but a decent surface. From there we go up Longhouse Lane to Warninglid and a straightforward route back to Haywards Heath.

There are frequent trains to Haywards Heath and for the return. We propose to catch the 10.14 which takes just 18 minutes.

Some idea of numbers for lunch would be useful. My mobile is 07803730401.


The Next Ride

27 August 2017

Sunday 3 September 2017: Polegate circular via Herstmonceux


Morning: The ride starts at 10.50 am on the north side of Polegate station; there is a public lavatory a few yards north on the road we then take.  We cross over the B2247 onto the start of the Cuckoo Trail and soon turn right to ride through a narrow wood for half a mile, until we turn left to go over the A27 into Shepham Lane which goes north-east, across the B2104, and soon a turn right into Glynleigh Road.  After a left turn the road goes downhill and after a sharp left corner we turn immediately left to pass Rickney Farm.  Shortly afterwards a right turn takes us north over the Pevensey Levels, via New Bridge and on up to the Magham/Pevensey T junction.  Here we turn right going along Lower Road until a sharp left into Church Road that takes us through Flowers Green and Chapel Row to the Lime Cross Nursery, on the other side of the A271, for lunch in the café.

Afternoon: After lunch we go west for half a mile along the A271 into Herstmonceux and right onto the minor road uphill through Stunts Green to the Cowbeech Hill junction.  Then we go left and south-west down a long minor road and turn right (by the A271) onto New Road going west, which is soon disused and gated off, but can be cycled along, until we cross over a busy road and come into Station Road and turn left onto the Cuckoo Trail just before Hellingly.  Once on the Cuckoo Trail, apart for some time on the level through Hailsham, it is gently downhill all the way back to Polegate station.  Tea can be taken at the Old Loom Mill Craft Centre and Tearooms, passed a mile before the station.

Terrain:  mainly flat or minor uphill gradients before lunch.  The road from Herstmonceux to Cowbeech Hill is uphill, but not severe.

It is about 9 miles both before and after lunch at Lime Cross.

(O/S Explorer Map 123 Eastbourne & Beachy Head 1:25,000 scale)

Take the train from Brighton leaving at 10.12 and arriving Polegate at 10.40. Return trains from Polegate to Brighton are hourly at 34 minutes past the hour, taking 31 minutes, or with a change at Lewes, hourly at 6 minutes past the hour, taking 32 minutes.



The Next Ride: Sunday 20 August 2017: Chichester circular

7 August 2017

Sunday 20 August 2017: Chichester – Centurion Way – West Stoke – Fishbourne – Dell Quay (for lunch) – Salterns Marina – Chichester Ship Canal Basin (for tea).

This is a ‘circular’ route as cycled on five previous occasions.

We meet at the south side of Chichester railway station at 11.15 am and then go round over the railway level crossing to the north side to start riding on the cycle track from the car park. After a mile we begin a northward ride on the Centurion Way track and in about three miles we take the West Stoke Road which has a gentle rise until the middle of the village.  We turn south into Lye Lane and on down until we go round the north and east of Fishbourne and pass under the A27.  We take the Salterns Way bridlepath past Apuldram and, as a short diversion, soon reach the Crown and Anchor Public House at Dell Quay – probably before 1.30.

After lunch we continue on the Salterns Way track south and cross over the Chichester Salterns Marina lock gates to reach the Chichester Old Ship Canal. At the northern end of the Marina Entrance road at Cutfield Bridge we cross over the A286 to take the minor road east to the B2145 T-junction then north through Hunston to the Poyntz Bridge, a footbridge over to the west side of the canal and onto a wider well-surfaced track.  From this bridge there is a distant view of Chichester Cathedral apparently surrounded by green fields and trees and no sign of any urbanisation.  The ride ends at the Canal Basin where there is a fine Canal Trust tearoom.

Trains to Chichester:

Brighton 10.00 and Hove 10.04 arriving at 10.56.

London Victoria 9.17 arriving at 11.00

Meet on the south side of Chichester railway station at 11.15.

Terrain: a gentle gradient up to West Stoke, then downhill to the north of Fishbourne, and thereafter mainly flat.  17 miles – see O/S Explorer Map 120 “Chichester” (1:25000)

Roads: a mixture of cycle tracks and mostly quiet country roads.

There are three busy roads to cross: B2178 SE of East Ashling, A259 in Fishbourne, and A286 at Cutfield Bridge.  However, we do not have to cycle along them.

Lunch:  at the Crown and Anchor, Dell Quay, which we will have to book online before the day.  So please email Julian by Friday 18 August at latest, if you will have lunch there.

Tea: by the Chichester Ship Canal Basin, just south of the railway station.

Return trains times to:

Hove           16.15H              16.27SN    16.53SN    17.15H

Brighton     16.15C              16.27SN    16.53SN    17.15C

Victoria      16.15V (arr.17.56)                   17.15V (arr. 18.56)

H:  three stops before Hove. SN: stops at all stations before Brighton. C: change at Hove, with three stops before Hove. V: no changes: with five stops before London Victoria, incl. Clapham Junction

My mobile number is: 07896 353 563 


The next ride: Sunday 6 August: Oldland Mill

27 July 2017

Hassocks to Wivelsfield Green and return. riding on quiet country lanes and viewing a working windmill. Meet at Hassocks railway station for a 10.30 start.

Easy riding ,fairly flat terrain ride via Westmeston, Streat, Plumpton then on to the Cock Inn at Wivelsfield Green for lunch. Booked for 1pm.

Return via Hundred Acre Lane and stopping at Oldland Mill for tea .This is approached by an off road track which you may need to walk a short distance or ride a 2 mile detour. Then an easy downhill back to Hassocks station.

Train times

from Brighton:     9.59 arr 10.09;     10.14 arr 10.23
to Brighton:          16.06 arr 16.16        16.32 arr 16.43

Apologies for the delay


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