Mick and Sikka took the train from Brighton to Berwick and arrived to find Jenny already there as she had cycled from Lewes to get in a few extra miles. The morning air was damp and mild with no expectation of rain. As there were just the three of us and only 17 miles to Eastbourne, we decided to cancel the lunch booking and go straight there, the route being almost entirely flat.
We circled round Arlington Reservoir on wet roads, occasionally encountering large puddles and one minor flood where Mick, our leader, ventured across first, finding a shallow route for us through the middle. Bravo Mick!
The Downs were shrouded in mist, lending a mysterious, almost secretive atmosphere to our journey. We cycled round Abbott’s Wood on quiet roads and joined the Cuckoo Trail at Hailsham. We could have stopped at the tea rooms for coffee but decided to push on, keeping to the Sustrans route from Polegate to Eastbourne Seafront. We had to join the seafront road soon after that as the promenade is limited to pedestrians.
Arriving at the Towner Gallery, we made a beeline for the café and enjoyed a snack lunch before visiting the two free exhibitions. These included some modern art and sub-titled films as well as pictures on loan from a gallery in Aberdeen. Many paintings were by Sussex artists, among them Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell of Charleston fame.
To complete the delights of the day we repaired once more to the café for tea and cake, leaving just in time for the 3.26 train back to Brighton.
This was a perfect day for cycling and we had a thoroughly enjoyable and varied outing. Thank you Mick (and Anne for participating in the recce).