The Next Ride: Sunday 21 January 2018

12 January 2018

Hassocks to Lewes

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 & Sikka


The Next Ride: Sunday 7th January 2018 – Cooden Beach to Catsfield and back

2 January 2018

This is a repeat of a ride we did in August 2015. We’ll set off from Cooden Beach station, and after skirting the Bexhill suburbs of Cooden and Little Common, we reach the delightful Peartree Lane, which very soon delivers us to High Woods. We lingered here (in the rain!) last time but the paths don’t really take us anywhere much so we’ll probably just nod in its direction this time.

We cross the A269 at Lunsford’s Cross, and then Potman’s Lane brings the only seriously steep hill, which is about 1 in 15 but is soon over.

Lunch will be at the White Hart at Catsfield, at 12:00, a pleasant little pub which was judged “spacious and warm” last time, and the food “good and reasonably priced”.

St Laurence’s Church (12th century) may once again tempt us in. This time, however, I will make sure we are all together before making the decision to stop there, to ensure that we don’t lose anyone!

On the way back we go through Henley’s Down, and then there is a possible off-road detour which is a little bumpy but at least gets us away from traffic. We can discuss whether to take it or not on the day; if this proves to be a “cat-herding” exercise, we can split up and then reconvene in Sidley.

Sidley is on the outskirts of Bexhill, so at this point we turn west and regain Peartree Lane and our outward route.

We return to Cooden Beach station after a total of only 14 miles; once again, if any of us want to go further, it will be possible to cycle back to Pevensey and Westham station, 6 miles further on (but not to Norman’s Bay, as trains don’t stop there on Sundays). The sun sets at 9 miutes past 4 and we should get to Cooden well before that. But bring lights – just in case!


Start at Cooden Beach station at 10:40. There are bike-friendly ramps to road level.

Distance: 14 or 20 miles

Terrain: Mostly quiet roads, some off-road possible. Some undulations.

Getting there: There are no direct trains from Brighton to Cooden on Sundays. I recommend getting the Ashford train from Brighton at 9:12 and changing at Eastbourne onto the 10:21 Ore train (this gives us half an hour for the change, and even a possibility of coffee).

Getting back: Trains leave Cooden Beach at 38 minutes past the hour, and Pevensey & Westham at 44 minutes past, changing at Eastbourne again.



15 December 2017

Meet by the Palace Pier at 10.30 am – or along the route at e g Maroccos. Only about 9 miles, (there and back) – plus from home to the Pier of course.

Do check your emails on New Years Day after 5 pm – just in case.


The Next Ride: Sunday 10th December 2017 – Burgess Hill, Ditching Common, Hassocks circular

29 November 2017

Lunch at The Bull Ditchling. This is a delightful and award winning pub with excellent food, open fires, good ale (so I’m told) and everything delightful.

We have made a reservation for 10 but it is held on my credit card, so it is really important you confirm you are coming by Friday 8 December, 9pm.
This is short ride (around 6 miles), as the days are also short, and cold, and the pub will be beckoning. Some of it is off road, with a few gently undulations, through pleasant woodland, along mostly firm terrain, some with leaf cover, some with mulch and a few short stretches of actual mud, easily negotiated by dismounting and walking alongside on the firmer ground. 
We meet at Brighton Station and catch the 10.14 train to Burgess Hill. We start by walking along a footpath which takes us to join a bridleway which in the Anglo Saxon period was known as Kings Wood, owned by King Alfred.  We continue along bridleways through Ditchling Common joining Spatham Lane, then a short distance along the B2116 and through Ditchling village to The Bull for lunch. After lunch, we continue along the B2116 to Hassocks Station (just over 1 mile). Trains to Brighton are 09 and 32 minutes past the hour. The return journey after lunch is therefore very short.
We have made a reservation at The Bull, secured by Angela D’s credit card. We must confirm numbers in advance, so please let Angela know by 9pm on Friday 8th December if you are definitely going to come.
Should the weather forecast be extremely inclement, we could cut the ride very short by getting the 11.44 train from Brighton to Hassocks and cycling to The Bull at Ditchling, returning the same way.
Angela D – 07814 457680
Wendy     – 07495 887701
Angela and Wendy

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!)