July - Firle

East Sussex Cycling Festival, Firle Place, Lewes

Report by Dave Saturday saw a group head off North through Glynde for a tea/coffee/bacon sandwich stop at the station cafe in Isfield. The ride then continued north via Nutley for lunch in Fletching. Here we were joined by Tim, Anne and Brendan, all very hot after travelling from home to the campsite, putting up the tent then cycling to lunch. The afternoon took us along some very pleasant lanes and two good bridleways to reach Lewes, where some shopping was done for the evening cooking. As we returned to Glynde we were passed by the bunch taking part in the stage race taking place over the weekend winding up for the finish Distance approx. 36 miles. Sunday was hot again, and we all started early and climbed part way up the hill from Firle to the top of the South Downs to watch and encourage the riders in the Hillclimb stage of the race. We were glad we didn't have to climb all the way to the top on such a hot day. The descent back down to Firle was fantastic, even from our half way point. After a brief visit to the campsite we headed east on the Coach Road bridleway then up to Middle Farm for Coffee after, well about 4 miles! We were all feeling rather lazy as the day was so hot, so we headed slowly up through Ripe and Golden Cross then a short loop for an excellent lunch at Chiddingly, complete with live music. Phil and Verna wished to visit the church at Berwick, so we decided to try out a bridleway from Chalvington, which was quite rideable, though a little bumpy for some. The next bridleway was totally impassable as the farmer had not left a passage through his field, but we found another one from Wickstreet to Arlington Reservoir which was fine once we worked out where it went! The church in Berwick was interesting, with frescos painted on the walls by members of the Bloomsbury Group staying at nearby Charleston Farmhouse. For more info and pictures of the church click here. We returned back to the campsite in Firle along the old coach road - a fantastic piece of bridleway, rolling up and down with great views of the South Downs and over the Sussex Low Weald. Distance was a lazy 23.5 miles, but we were back in time to watch the finish of the last stage of the race and to wander round the trade stalls.

Relaxing at the campsite - Photo by Dave

Arriving at Arlington Reservoir - Photo by Dave

Murals at Berwick church - Photo by Dave

Along the Old Coach Road - Photo by Dave

More relaxing at the campsite - Photo by Dave

Close Encounters! - Watching the hillclimbPhoto by Neville

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