Where would be without Mr B? Probably still taking a day to change an innertube and wondering why there was no teeth left on our chainrings! We've come a long way since then but it was Mr B (real name Simon Brooks) who pointed us in the right direction when we started off cycling. He has since left our endz and have set up shop on the South coast. We made the round trip to see him and the family last 'summer' - but we did it in biblical conditions! It motivated us to write our blog about wet weather riding! Well Mr B is back and has shared one of his routes which takes you out of Chichester and into the South Downs...
This is a 50 mile coast to mid-Sussex route but you could ride the opposite direction starting at South Harting. Beginning from Pagham, it’s a nice flat 4 mile warm up passing open farm land ,cross the A27 and carry on into Chichester, it’s a bike friendly town and there’s plenty of cycle paths. Take the B2178 and after about a mile you’re into countryside and light traffic. When you get to Funtington, continue straight through the village. After about half a mile on your right hand side you can see what remains of Funtington airfield built in WW2 for the D-Day landings, one of many in Sussex. After a mile or so turn right on to the B2146, at this point it’s worth pointing out that from Chichester to South Harting it’s uphill most of the way with verifying degrees of gradient.
After a mile or two turn right at the sign post for Walderton and Stoughton. This is a narrow country lane with lots of loose gravel. Next, it’s up Lambdown Hill and on to East Marden where you join the B2141. A left turn towards South Harting and you’re soon on a stiff climb up to the top of the South Downs where you’re rewarded with wonderful views . Young notinthepeloton (not young anymore I'm afraid!) would be able to tell you the gradient, but I’m old school and use OS maps, all I can say is the contour lines are close together! Once over the top it’s a fast descent with switchbacks all the way to South Harting be careful though there’s at T junction at the bottom just after a blind corner. South Harting is a lovely Downs village and would be a great place to stop for a sticky bun and coffee but unfortunately there’s no cafe! Go through the village and take the road towards Elsted, there’s great views as you doodle along with the hills of the downs to your right and green fields to your left .
At Elsted turn right sign posted to Treyford and just up from here on the left there’s a small cemetery - it’s a nice place to stop, have a drink and contemplate life. Another good place to stop is at Bepton, there’s a 12th century church that’s well worth a look. Carrying on to Cocking and the Blue Bell pub is run by a village cooperative and they do food (coffees and teas), I can recommend the fish finger sandwich! At Cocking we head South on the A286. Just outside the village, there’s a short sharp climb back over the downs. Continue to Singleton where we turn left towards East Dean. At Singleton, there’s a museum of buildings which is well worth a visit.
When you get to the A285 at Upwaltham, there’s an 11th century church to your left, again well worth a look. Take a right at the junction and it’s the the last big climb of the ride, it’s all down hill after that. Look out for the sign post to Eartham, a left turn here and after about 4 miles you come to to the A27 cross over here be careful as it’s a very busy road head towards Westergate and take a right turn at the sign post for Oving. Not far from here is the village of Tangmere where there’s a WW2 airfield with a museum.
A left turn onto the A259 then a quick right toward Merston and a left on to the Pagham road back towards the village. If you do the ride starting at South Harting, there’s a lovely cafe near the beach at Pagham for coffee and cake .
This is a local ride for me now as I recently moved here from the “smoke” and as you can tell I’m not a speed demon (I’m 61 - so modest Mr B!) so the ride could be done a lot quicker without all the stops, but where’s the fun in that! Hopefully the route gives the reader a taste of cycling in West Sussex!