The Next Ride: Sunday 18 October 2015: Three Bridges Circular 

7 October 2015

via Worth Church and Weir Wood Reservoir

Worth – East Grinstead – Weir Wood Reservoir – Kingscote – Turners Hill

This is my first “made to order” ride. It arose out of a conversation with Julian after our visit to Catsfield Church on 23rd August. It turned out that he had not been to Worth Church, and very much wanted to see it; so I agreed to plan a ride with that in mind.

The church is a little way along the Worth Way. After visiting it we’ll continue along the Worth Way to East Grinstead, and have lunch at about 1pm at the Old Dunnings Mill, the lovely Harveys pub and former watermill where we met the London Clarion section in March last year.

Julian also suggested a visit to Weir Wood Reservoir, which has a nature reserve. So we’ll proceed southwards to the reservoir, and spend a little time in or around the bird hide there. The reservoir was created in 1952 by damming the river Medway, which flows through this valley. (NB veterans of the London Clarion meet-up may remember a long whizz downhill to the pub … and yes, unfortunately we have to go up that hill this time around, mostly walking. Also anyone with an O level in Geography will appreciate that rivers tend to be in valleys …)

After leaving the reservoir we take a bridleway past Stone Farm Rocks, a striking series of sandstone crags which belongs to the British Mountaineering Council. Later we cross the juvenile Medway, pass the Kingscote Estate Vineyard (which has a wine shop!) and go under the Bluebell Line. We’ll then use a Permissive Bridleway to avoid a hill, passing some wonderful views and emerging into Vowels Lane near the top. (I originally thought the vowels would be along the lines of “Agh! Ugh!” but with this new route it will hopefully be more like “Ooooh!” and “Aaaah!”)

After Turners Hill (which is not much of a hill) we will experience the downhill variety, passing (or more likely stopping at) Tulleys Farm Tea Rooms (which, unfortunately, doesn’t appear to have a swing or a model railway) before rejoining the Worth Way and returning to Three Bridges Station.

Anyone wanting to avoid the ups and downs can retrace the outward journey from the pub, and this also makes the ride about 3 miles shorter.

Terrain: Much of this ride is on quiet lanes through lovely woodlands, and the off-road sections are on good surfaces, though they may be bumpy in places. There is a short section of the B2028.

Length: 21 miles or less (see above)

Duration: about 6½ hours, depending on stops.

Undulations: see above!

Start at: Three Bridges Station at 10:45

Getting there: Trains from Brighton at 10:00 or 10:14; from London Bridge at 9:42

Getting home: Trains to Brighton at 19, 24, 48 mins past the hour; frequent trains to London



The next ride: 20 March 2011 – Bluebell railway

8 March 2011

Please be clear that while all are welcome to join us we each take part in rides at our own risk.

Sunday 20 March 2011
Three Bridges – Kingscote – Bluebell Railway – Sheffield Park – Haywards Heath

This is a repeat of a ride we did in September 2007, with a different ending. We once again encounter National Cycle Route 21, in the guise of the Worth Way, and follow it most of the way from Three Bridges to East Grinstead, then strike out southwards to Kingscote, where the Bluebell line starts.

Since the lunch at Horsted Keynes last time was … well, a bit basic, I have now developed an alternative route which involves staying on the train to Sheffield Park and using the proper restaurant there – prices are reasonable and there is a fairly good choice, with veggie options. We may well want to look round the engine shed and the shop at Sheffield Park too.

The single fare from Kingscote to Sheffield Park is £8.00 plus 50p bike fare (they have a proper guard’s van!). This is somewhat more than we paid three years ago, but then the Bluebell are currently trying to raise £2m to move a huge mass of household refuse that was dumped in the cutting in the 1970s, so that they can link up to the National Rail network at East Grinstead (where they have already built a Bluebell station next to the Network Rail one) so the money is going to a good cause!

The route out of Sheffield Park station involves about a mile of the A275, which is rather too busy for our liking, but we will have to put up with it. We then strike out north-westwards on quieter lanes, and reach Haywards Heath via Lindfield. We will make two crossings of the River Ouse (thankfully, by bridges!) and see it from the train – it is narrower here than where we crossed it at Isfield on the Lewes ride last year, of course.

Total ride length is about 19 miles. There are some hills but no serious ones.

Suggested trains:

From Brighton: 10.00 or 10.14

From Preston Park: 10.03

From Hove: 09.54 (change at Burgess Hill)

From London Bridge: 9.42

From London Victoria: 9.47

or meet at Three Bridges station at 10.45.

A return ticket from Brighton to Three Bridges will cover the return journey from Haywards Heath; if travelling from London you will need to get a return to Haywards Heath.

Return trains to Brighton at 8, 31, 38 and 41 minutes past each hour, to Hove at 11 minutes past, London at 1, 10, 31 and 39 minutes past.