The Next Ride: Sunday 26 November 2017 – Shoreham to Steyning

17 November 2017

This is a not too strenuous ride along the River Adur from Shoreham Station to Steyning and back. Option to cycle to Shoreham or take the 10.30 train from Brighton arriving at 10.45. We will set off at 11.00 and make our way to the River Adur, crossing over the Old Shoreham Bridge and joining the cycle/footpath along the river. There’s an excellent cafe and pub for lunch in Steyning which we wouldn’t have to book for in advance – we can decide on the day!

Options for the return journey are either to cycle all the way back or take the train again from Shoreham – trains run every 30 minutes (the choice of a 12 or 26 mile ride).

Julia (mobile 07969523425)


The Next Ride: Sunday 12 November 2017 – Palace Pier to Newhaven

3 November 2017

Outline: start at 10.30 from the Palace Pier, Brighton, and ride the nine miles to The Ark, Newhaven, for an early lunch. Owing to buses replacing trains to Brighton from Seaford and Lewes, two return routes can be taken according to choice i.e. a split into two groups. The first is to return on the outward route back to the Palace Pier. The second is to go along the River Ouse as far as Southease, then take the South Downs Way and a short cut to Falmer and return down the Lewes Road to The Level in Brighton – about 13 miles.

Outward Route: from the Palace Pier the cycle path goes to the Marina along the seafront, behind the Marina onto the undercliff path and on to Saltdean, and then beside the A259 to Peacehaven. To avoid this busy main road, parallel minor roads to its north are taken, starting on Highview Road and ending on Downland Avenue, where we can use the newly surfaced cycle path on the western side of the A259 as far as the pedestrian traffic lights so as to go across to Upper Valley Road, and then down Gibbon Road and along West Quay to the Ark Inn for lunch.
Return Route (a): those not wanting to go on grassy paths and bridleways, could either return to the Palace Pier along the outward route, or go on towards Seaford for a while (past the nature reserve), and then return to Brighton.
Return Route (b): this would start on the Sussex Ouse Valley Way (SOVW) to Piddinghoe (the latter part is grassy, and the need to dismount past the end of a barn for about fifteen yards), then continue for half a mile on the minor road, until rejoining the SOVW up to the Southease Bridge. From this bridge the South Downs Way (nearly all grassy, and a steep undulation west of Rodmell), is taken passing above Rodmell and Kingston, and just after the Jugg’s Road track, from the Newmarket Plantation, we go on the grassy bridleway across to the Falmer B2132 road and down the parallel track to Brighton University (i.e. past the Amex Stadium) and on past The Keep. Thereafter the cycle path along the Lewes Road is followed as far as The Level. (A few might go on past The Old Steine to the Palace Pier to get home along the seafront cycle path.)


The Next Ride: Sunday 29 October 2017 – Berwick Circular, featuring Laughton Place

20 October 2017

In looking for an archive ride to fill the hole in our schedule, I came across this one, which, incredibly, dates from 7 years ago (click here for the report from that ride). It features an optional visit to Laughton Place, formerly the chief manor of that well-known Sussex family, the Pelhams, originally built in 1400 and remodelled “on a grand scale” by Sir William Pelham. All that has survived is the tower, which stood close to the main hall, “an outlook post and set of secure private rooms combined. By 1600 the family had abandoned Laughton, driven by the damp, to build again on higher ground, and slowly the house decayed.” (Text from the Landmark Trust, who now own it.)

We may also have a look at All Saints’ Church (13th C), where there are plenty of dead Pelhams, including a couple of Prime Ministers, and some nice stained glass. (Last time, we got invited in for coffee!)

It’s a bit of a “there and back” ride, although a slight variation is possible in the matrix of lanes around Ripe. There is also an optional 1-mile section via Vert Wood on a track if it is not too wet.


Length: 19-20 miles; no hills.
Terrain: Tarmac lanes, with a 1 mile offroad section in Vert Wood if we take it.
Lunch: The Roebuck at Laughton at 1pm.
How to Get There: 10.12 train from Brighton to Berwick or meet at Berwick Station at 10.34.
Return Train at 44 mins past the hour, 24 minutes journey time to Brighton.

REMEMBER TO PUT YOUR CLOCK BACK! (or we’ll collect you from the Berwick Inn!)


The Next Ride: Sunday 15 October 2017 – Hassocks to Shoreham

2 October 2017

From Hassocks station we turn right onto the B2116 and through Hurstpierpoint to Albourne. At the T-junction there we turn right into the B2118 for a few yards then immediately left onto the Henfield Road (B2116).

After cycling about a mile take the second road on the left signed Blackstone Lane. Continue through the village of Blackstone to the T junction with the A281 (on old maps this is the B2117!). Turn right into this road, directed to Small Dole, then immediately left into Bramland Lane, the road continuing as Horn Lane.

At the T-junction just past Woods Mill nature reserve – where we had a picnic in the summer with Joyce and Leon – we turn left onto the A2037. Continue along this main road for about a mile to stop for lunch at The Fox.

After lunch we retrace our route through the village as far as New Hall Lane, turning left into this small and quiet cul-de-sac then right onto a potholed track as the lane comes to an end. After a short distance at another T-junction, turn left onto a narrow, well-surfaced lane and at the fork in the road, we turn right towards Stretham Farm. At the entrance to the farm a few yards along we go through a footpath style gate on the left (on Sundays the entrance to the farm is locked). Cross the cattle field towards the farm, and once through the gate turn left onto a pebbled track for 100 yards or so, to join the Downslink Cycle route. Turn left here and continue along this route to Shoreham.

Terrain: mostly flat with short undulations. The morning on tarmac, some roads with fast-moving traffic, some quiet lanes. The afternoon mostly off-road – one field – and the Downslink. Possibility of one muddy patch if weather has been wet.

Distance: Approx. 18 miles, (8 am, 10 pm.) Waterproof shoes advisable if it is wet.

(Alternative routes in wet weather or for those wishing to avoid the potentially muddy field, and the bumpy bits of the Downslink north of Bramber: – after lunch turn right onto the main road (A2037), and cycle as far as the roundabout (about 1-1/2 miles). Take the right turning there into Upper Beeding through Bramber to rejoin the Downslink at the roundabout below Bramber Castle, on the A283)

(There may be a possibility of the two groups, if we do divide, meeting up again at this roundabout – there is a benchseat!)

Trains from Brighton: 10.14 arriving Hassocks at 10.22. (Thameslink)

Return trains from Shoreham-by-Sea: 16.03, 16.33, both direct or the 16.48 with a change at Hove. (Southern)

We will have to book a table for lunch so please ring Sikka 01273 697412 if you wish to have a meal at The Fox.

Tessa and Sikka

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.