The Next Ride: Sunday 29 July 2012 – Rye to Hastings via Brede Valley

17 July 2012

Udimore – Brede – Cackle Street – Sedlescombe – Westfield – Ore

I had this ride on the list a few weeks back, but removed it when I realised it would be, to borrow a phrase of Roger’s, too hilly for some. Then along came the Olympic bike ban on London trains, and this ride came back into the frame because it doesn’t involve any London trains. OK, it is hilly, but I reckon out of our huge membership there ought to be a posse of stout fellows and fellowesses who can manage it (I did, after all!). And it’s not as hilly as Polegate to Eridge – far from it! It’s also a very pretty ride – not just good views from the high points, but many tree-covered slopes which dapple the sunlight most agreeably.

The Brede is one of the two rivers that flow into the sea at Rye (or at least they used to, when there was sea at Rye). Its valley runs eastwards from Sedlescombe to Rye, with the railway joining it after Doleham, and we will follow it for 10 miles on the north side, initially at river level and then climbing to the ridge with the lane. We cross it at Sedlescombe, pass the Pestalozzi International Village, and then turn south-east towards Westfield (not the shopping centre!) and south to Ore and Hastings.

Lunch will be at the King’s Head at Udimore, which has splendid views across the valley. There is a possible tea stop at the Carr Taylor vineyard between Sedlescombe and Westfield. Tea and cake are reasonably priced, and there is also wine tasting on offer!

If all that doesn’t tempt you … I will be trying out a new facility with this ride: as we can now put each ride’s photos into a separate “set”, I will be posting some photos before the ride. (They are photos from the practice, of course!) I’ll put them up as soon as the previous ride is out of the way; so take a look and decide whether you can bear to miss it.

Length: about 20 miles.
Duration: about 5 hours.
Terrain: Some hard-surfaced (stony) cycleway, part of NCN2. Otherwise mostly quiet lanes. 2 miles of B2089. One very short stretch of the A28, on the pavement.
Hills: Well, although we are mainly cycling alongside a valley, the Brede has tributaries and these tributaries also have valleys … but we do not go above the 70m contour until right at the end, when we climb to the ominously named “ridge” at Ore. There will be at least four or five places we will need to dismount and walk.
Start at 12:00. (See below for location.)
Getting there: Train to Rye. Because of the limited bike-carrying capacity of the Brighton–Ashford trains, I suggest Brightoners divide themselves between the 9.20 and 10.20. I will be getting the 9.20, and heading for the Café on the Quay (directions below) as some of us did last time; this café is on our route, so I suggest we start the ride from there. Londoners may not be able to make this ride due to the bike ban, but you could try your luck via Ashford on the 9.37 from Victoria (southeastern side – not calling at Clapham Junction) or the 9.40 from Charing Cross. Those with cars can park at either end and use the train (note that this is not a circular ride).
Getting back: Trains from Hastings to Brighton at 3 minutes past the hour and London Charing Cross at 50 minutes past.

Directions to the Café on the Quay:
From the front of Rye station cycle up the wide one-way street at right angles to the railway. Turn right at the top, then carry straight on till you come to a roundabout on the A259. The café is on the corner to your left.