The Last Ride: Sunday 13 December 2015 Hassocks Circular – Twineham and Wineham

17 December 2015

Well, we were just a little band of four today as Ian, Julian, Delia and I left Hassocks station on a warmer than usual December morning.  We followed a familiar route out towards Hurstpierpoint where hymns could be heard as we cycled past the church at the crossroads in the village. The congregation was certainly ‘giving it their all’ for us to be able to hear them from the roadway.  Then, on through Albourne towards Twineham through some very pretty lanes where Julian identified the birdsong of a green woodpecker, robins and possibly a song thrush, who were also ‘in good voice’.

At this time of year the winter landscape allows views through the trees that, of course, with trees covered in their summer leaves, you do not see in other seasons.  Between Twineham and Wineham, (what a lovely rhyming couple), we had a view of something unexpected, a massive electricity sub-station which crackled its energy supply along the wires between the concrete supports. Not the prettiest of sights, but at least it is out of view for that part of the year when the trees are in leaf.  Other views through the trees were more pleasing to the eye – the wintry, grey outlines of the Downs and a patchwork of pasture and arable fields.

Always along these routes are some very pretty houses and cottages and also some very large properties which I often find make me wonder what people do for a living to own such large places.  Well, Ian came out with a theory that made us all laugh. He reckoned that many were owned by retired drug dealers who, having evaded the law, wanted a quiet life in the country in their old age!

At Twineham we stopped for lunch at the Royal Oak which, according to the landlord, dates back to the 16th Century and has been a pub for over 200 years. The historic building prompted a conversation about the dangers of travelling by horse drawn coaches back in the day of highwaymen.  Ian, Delia and I have been watching the recent programmes on the tele about smugglers, pirates and highwaymen and the dastardly deeds they got up to. Worth a look on the iplayer if you haven’t managed to see them.

After lunch, (three delicious plates of ploughman’s and one bowl of spiced carrot soup), we began the journey back through Woodmancote towards Albourne and Hurstpierpoint, and we decided not to stop for tea as the light was beginning to fade and Delia was concerned that I do not have any lights on my bike.  So, we got back to Hassocks mid-afternoon in order to make our way home after a very pleasant winter ride and even more pleasant conversation.  Thanks to Ian for organising and leading the ride and may he and all other ‘Clarionistas’  have a very lovely Xmas and I look forward to a New Year of many more rides.


The Next Ride: Sunday 13 December –  Twineham and Wineham

2 December 2015

Since our usual end-of-the-year ride – the short circular based on Berwick – is not possible because of lack of train availability, I’ve been thinking about an alternative – short and easy – substitute and this is what I’ve come up with.

We meet at Hassocks station and make for Hurstpierpoint, Albourne and High Cross, taking the Twineham road as far as Twineham Green, then along Bob Lane to Wineham and (an early) lunch at the Royal Oak – always a favourite stop. Back at High Cross on our return leg, we’ll take the road down to Shaves Wood then the B road back to Hurstpierpoint with a possible tea stop at Washbrooks Farm before returning to Hassocks.

Quietish roads, no-off road, no big hills, a few minor “undulations,” only  about 16/17 miles

 Catch the 10.14 from Brighton station or meet at Hassocks station at 10.23.

Best trains from London would be the 9.36 from Victoria – arrives at 10.37 – or the 8.56 – arrives 10.41 from London Bridge.  It always takes a while for us to get going but if you’re planning to take either of these routes please let me know so we can be sure not to start without you. 

My mobile number is 07770743287 and it will be switched on (!) as soon as I get to the station.

Do check your emails at 5 pm the day before – if the weather looks like being grim I will cancel/postpone.


The Next Ride: Sunday 20 April 2014  (Easter Sunday) – Hassocks to Lewes

8 April 2014

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

As it is Easter Sunday we have planned an early lunch at Wivelsfield to avoid the crowds. Menus will be handed out on the train and lunch orders phoned through to the pub before we set off from Hassocks.

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

After a few yards we turn right onto an offroad track (weather permitting). 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.

The Cock Inn is our lunch stop where we plan to arrive between 12-12.30.

After lunch we set off for Lewes avoiding Plumpton Green, arriving at 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 tea.

Trains to Brighton: 06, 19, 44 past the hour.

Lunch details
On our practice ride we asked the pub to email me the menu so that we could all preorder (it being a busy day).

We will distribute  printouts of it on the train to Hassocks on the day,but would encourage people to make a decision beforehand. We will be phoning through our orders from the station carpark.

Please  phone Tessa on 01273 777574  if you are definitely planning to come on the ride so the pub can be alerted about numbers, beforehand.

Tessa & Sikka


We welcome people who want to try one or two of our rides before joining. If you would like to join the Clarion club, click here to download a membership form.

The Next Ride: Sunday 9 March 2014 – Cuckoo Trail and Pevensey Levels

25 February 2014

Only c 16/17 miles and mainly pretty flat.

From Polegate we’ll take the Cuckoo Trail through Hailsham leaving it at Hellingly near the Cuckoo’s Rest. From there we’ll head eastward to Magham Down and the outskirts of Herstmonceux for about two and a half miles.  Half of this will be on the fairly busy A271 and gently uphill – but that’s the lot for traffic and (apart from the Trail bridge over the by-pass) the nearest thing to a hill on the route.

We’ll stop for lunch at the Catkins (sic) Tea Rooms.  I’ve checked  this out – it does a roast or a range of snacks and sandwiches including vegetarian ones on Sundays and can also supply free range eggs to anyone running short of them.  It’s in the Cooper’s Croft Garden Centre, adjacent to a “high quality” cattery (hence presumably the tea-room’s name) and near the famous “Truggery” shop which afficionados of ancient Sussex crafts might like to go and have a look at after lunch.

Then it’s down Cricketing Lane and across the Levels to Rickney and then along the usually quiet  Glynleigh Road eventually rejoining the Cuckoo Trail just north of the Old Loom where we can make the usual tea-stop before returning to Polegate.

Catch the 10.20 from Brighton station or
Meet: at 10.49 at Polegate station
Trains back at 42 minutes past the hour (non-stop). There are others involving a change:

My mobile number is 07770743287 


We welcome people who want to try one or two of our rides before joining. If you would like to join the Clarion club, click here to download a membership form.

The Next Ride: Sunday 23 February 2014 – Hove to Steyning and back

11 February 2014

Just a little potter out to Steyning and back via the Shoreham Toll Bridge and the Coombes road, since no one else has volunteered to lead a ride on this date. It’s a re-run of my previous ride while some of the club were in Norfolk last year.

Meet outside Marocco’s at 11 am. Ride past Carat’s, over the lock gates and along to Shoreham on the back streets. Over the toll bridge and up the Coombes road to Steyning – it’s about 10 miles, and the pace can be as leisurely as people wish it to be.

In Steyning there are cafes and pubs galore, so I’m sure we’ll find somewhere to have lunch. Last time we struck lucky with the White Horse, so we might try there again. Then we can potter back the way we came, with a tea stop at Shoreham Airport café if anyone fancies it. Bail-out point at Shoreham station if needed, otherwise we’ll just retrace our route to the start.

Meet: 11 am outside Marocco’s on the seafront in Hove. I will be there anyway (unless the weather is absolutely atrocious when as usual the ride will be cancelled by email the day before), so just turn up. We’ll wait, oh, until 11.05 for latecomers! The route is so well known that I’m sure we’ll be easy to catch.

Total distance: 20 miles, mostly flat with a couple of little undulations that we’ve all done many times before.

Trains: Not needed for most people, but they are of course available at various stations as always.

Contact: Jenny, 07527 119736


We welcome people who want to try one or two of our rides before joining. If you would like to join the Clarion club, click here to download a membership form.

The Next Ride: Sunday 26 January 2014 – Burgess Hill to Wivelsfield

14 January 2014

We’ve been trying to recreate the ride Ian led 7 years ago on 19th Jan 2007 when the sun shone & we enjoyed the lovely lanes of the Sussex Weald. After a 25 mile trip from Hassocks on Thursday we’ve shortened it to  20 miles from Burgess Hill, returning from Wivelsfield station & lunching at The Witch Inn, Lindfield, where we had super meal today. We’d like to catch the 9.54 train to Burgess Hill as Witch Inn has party of 28 at 1pm & we need to arrive before them – though buy return to Wivelsfield. Following Ian’s advice that most of the ride should be before lunch, it took us 2 hours today to reach there & an hour or so back along Slugwash Lane afterwards. Need to depart promptly from Burgess Hill station even so & start the lanes that lead to Borde Hill Estate via Cuckfield. Lanes are undulating but paved & mainly traffic-free & a few bits of main roads to cross or to ride.

Catch the 9.54 train from Brighton station or meet at Burgess Hill station at 10.10 

Return trains from Wivelsfield 05, and  35mins past the hour.

Terrain – no off-road but short undulations on good lanes.

Lunch – The Witch Inn, Lindfield.

Mick’s mobile   07803730401 

Anne and Mick

We welcome people who want to try one or two of our rides before joining. If you would like to join the Clarion club, click here to download a membership form.

The last ride: Sunday 12 January 2014 – Hassocks to Shoreham

14 January 2014


Despite a cold overcast day a magnificent 12 assembled at Hassocks Station. There was our leader John, Joyce, Leon, Roger, Suzanne, Linda, Richard, Angela, Jenny, Anne, Mick and a welcome return of Rob. We set off through Hurstpierpoint and Albourne to Partridge Green where the Green Man provided lunch. Most of us enjoyed our meal though our pockets let out a small ouch.


As usual the conversation was varied and interesting ranging at my end of the table from language learning to the 38 Degree meeting to Clarionette plans for upcoming exciting holidays with Linda off to Morocco, where for one day she has to forsake the bike in favour of a camel to cross the desert. Meanwhile  Anne and Mick looked forward to cycling in Cuba with Fred and Amanda and even her rarely sighted husband Rob.


After lunch Rob left to cycle back to Lewes while Joyce and Leon got off to a quick start allegedly to curtail their ride at Henfield. As it happened Joyce was able to keep going all the way to Shoreham. The rest of us set off at a good pace, trying to keep the cold and a bit of drizzle at bay. It has to be said that the car drivers seemed bigger faster and more aggressive than ever.


We arrived back at the airport but tea and cakes were declined as it was apparent that by the time they were consumed it would be dark. So all made their way to Shoreham Station save Jenny, John and Mick who decided to cycle back to Brighton.
Thanks John, for leading the ride. Thanks also to our very own lanterne rouge, Suzanne.


The Next Ride: Sunday 12 January 2014 – Hassocks to Shoreham via Ashurst

5 January 2014

18 to 20 Miles

From Hassocks station through Albourne, Partridge Green to Ashhurst. Lunch at the Fountain Inn. Return via Steyning and Coombs to Shoreham with the possibility of a tea stop at Shoreham airport.

Train back from Shoreham (or make it a longer ride by cycling home from there)

Catch the 11.05 at Brighton station or meet at Hassocks station at 11.15
Train for return from Shoreham to Brightron at 17.07
My mobile no. is 07814-257495.


We welcome people who want to try one or two of our rides before joining. If you would like to join the Clarion club, click here to download a membership form.

The Next Ride: Sunday 20 October – Shermanbury

9 October 2013

We welcome people who want to try one or two of our rides before joining.  If you would like to join the Clarion club, click here to download a membership form.

We first did a ride incorporating the Shermanbury Place bridleway back in 2005 and we’ve done it a couple of times more recently, but not for a  while.. I’ve kept it  as “flat” as possible, made the afternoon session a bit shorter than the pre-lunch one.

We leave Hassocks station and follow the road to Hurstpierpoint where we turn south once over the A23 and follow the old London road down as far as Shaves Wood  where we take the road up to High Cross. The last bit into Shermanbury involves a short stretch of busy main road, then we take the bridleway through Shermanbury, emerge onto a lane near Wineham and make our way to the Royal Oak for lunch.

Then it’s Bobs Lane, Twineham and down to High Cross, then Albourne and retrace our route back to the station.


Meet:      at Hassocks station at 10 54

Getting there:     Catch 10 45 from Brighton station (earlier train at 10 15 – arrives 10 24).   Anyone coming from London should catch the 9 32 which arrives at 10 52.

Distance: 19 miles

Off road   Just the bridleway at Shermanbury – shouldn’t be a problem.

Hills:  not many and only little ones

Catering:  lunch at the Royal Oak with possibility of tea at the Hassocks station pub (or a diversion to Washbrooks Farm)

Getting back:  trains to at 08, 37 and 52  minutes past the hour to Brighton and 14, 24 and 54 to London.

My mobile:          0789 985 1172


The Next Ride: Sunday 10 February 2013: Hassocks – Fulking – Newtimber (only 15/16 miles)

29 January 2013

From Hassocks, we head through Hurstpierpoint and across the A23 to Albourne with the old 1930s former Kings Head pub in front of us. We make our way to down to High Cross, down Blackstone Lane and the lanes south of the A281 past Bramlands. Then south again down the appropriately named Clappers Lane, arriving in Fulking.

The Shepherd and Dog – the popular pub at the bottom of Devils Dyke – or the Royal Oak at Poynings – for lunch.

Heading towards Brighton for a while and then down the lane to Newtimber. We can have a look at the Newtimber Place, a moated 16th/17th century house. Then along ‘Equestrian Route’ for a couple of hundred yards until it joins the cycle route beside the A23 and links up (near the ‘Llama Trekking’!) with the road back to Hurstpierpoint with the possibility of a tea stop.

Catch 10 15 from Brighton station or meet at 10 24 at Hassocks station. Trains for return at 1505, 1536, 1554.

Anne and Mick