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.

Practicalities:

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.

Jim

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The Next Ride: Sunday 15 May 2016 – Lewes to Berwick

4 May 2016

Ringmer – Palehouse Common – East Hoathly –
Whitesmith – Vert Wood – Ripe

I love those 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.

On previous rides we’ve tended to turn west after the fox statue, and make for Isfield. Maybe that is what Sue has in mind for her ride on June 26th; but we will venture eastwards today, and take in the delights of Palehouse Common and Hollow Lane (which might bring to mind a certain poem by T S Eliot …) before arriving at our lunch stop, the King’s Head in the delightful little Sussex village of East Hoathly which, in true Sussex tradition (think of the Grinsteads and Chiltingtons) is nowhere near West Hoathly.

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.

Practicalities:

Start at Lewes Station at 09:30.

Trains: Get the 09:12 Bexhill train from Brighton to Lewes. It will probably be an electric train with plenty of space for bikes, as the maggots are resting today. On arrival in Lewes, remain on Platform 3 for a quick look at the latest railway history poster, and a game of guess-what-they-left-out. Then an optional repeat of my brief history of Lewes Station if anyone wants it.

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. If we arrive at the wrong time, the Berwick Inn has a bouncy castle we can play on.

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. If not too muddy, we can also go via the Lewes Railway Land Nature Reserve at the start of the ride.

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.

Jim.


The Last Ride: Sunday 4 October 2015 – Chiddingly Festival

7 October 2015

Word was it would be the last day of summer, so a lucky thirteen riders gathered at Berwick station on a pleasantly sunny, Sunday morning:  Angela, Chris, Corinne, Fred, Ian (our leader), Jenny, Julian, Kate, Richard, Rob, Roger, Sikka and Terry.  The weather remained kind all day, with just the occasional grey cloud to remind us how good the sun felt the rest of the time.

The start at Berwick station

Our first target was the Chiddingly festival. We reached Chiddingly in well under an hour, only to find the main festival site in the last stages of being dismantled. A few tents and trestles were dotted around but not a single belly dancer was to be seen, and certainly no wild boar hot dogs.

Lunch at the Six Bells, Chiddingly

So we resigned ourselves to an early lunch at the nearby Six Bells pub, wrongly named as it turned out since it did not open until the clock had struck noon. That said, the welcome was friendly, the beer was Harveys and the reasonably priced food was good. So we sat in the garden to be summoned individually by name over a tannoy when our meal was ready. [1]

Six Bells ephemera

The Six Bells – famous for its collection of vintage adverts

Lunch at the Six Bells, Chiddingly

No sooner were we back on the bikes than it was time for the next stop. This was at the the Quadrangle in Allies Lane where Tessa was exhibiting her work in another bit of the festival that was still going strong. Annabel Cottage and neighbouring buildings were packed with a wide range of art work, including Tessa’s elegantly distinctive ceramics. We relaxed in the delightful garden with tea and cakes to prepare for the final stage of the ride.

Teatime with Tessa

This took us through some beautiful woodland and country lanes, back to Berwick station just in time to miss the 15:41 train. This turned out to be good news because otherwise we would never have found out that the nearby Berwick Inn was open. From the front it looked decidedly closed, but Kate ventured round the back and found it was buzzing with activity. The explanation for this strange state of affairs then became clear: the car park is at the back so that is where the customers arrive, unless they are train hopping cyclists of course.

Through the woods

So further refreshments were ordered and the hour long wait for the next train was happily filled with conversation on topics rather more intellectual than usual, such as whether dogs can think and whether it is possible to calculate the probability of winning a game of patience, assuming you play using real cards (rather than on-screen) and don’t cheat. For those who are interested, our conclusions were yes and no, in that order.

Time was when pretty well every Clarion ride was led by Ian. More recently other members have come forward to share the load, which is great news.  But it was good to see Ian back in the saddle and leading a ride.

Thanks, Ian, for a delightful day out!

Roger


[1] “Tannoy” is an obscure brand name. In 26 years as a public address engineer, I never once came across a Tannoy product. It’s a bit like calling a modern computer “an Amstrad”! – Jim.

[More photos on Flickr]