Camping at Sculdown Vineyard

3 Regions Camping weekend at Sculdown Vineyard Rides by: Cliff and Pauline (with interference from Liz) Report by: Tricia Anderson For our 3-Region camping weekend we enjoyed an amazingly hot and sunny two days with a light breeze making it bearable and pleasant. We were based at Sculdown Vineyard campsite just down the road from Broad Oak, East Sussex. Saturday 12 people (6 tandems) set off downhill through Brede to have a look at the "Giants of Brede" and were treated by an enthusiastic volunteer to a guided tour of a restored 1904 triple expansion steam pumping engine, housed in the original waterworks building constructed by Hastings Corporation Water Department, along with a collection of small steam pumps and engines. All are currently being run by compressed air rather than steam. We were also shown around the Nuclear Bunker built in 1992 in case of air contamination but never used and now being occupied by the local amateur radio enthusiasts. All quite fascinating. Rather later than planned we finally set off (uphill!) on our planned route to Hastings via Battle for a coffee stop, Bexhill-on-Sea and along the front to Glyne Gap for a late picnic lunch perched on a cliff just above the beach where Christopher bravely swam (with all his clothes on!). Up and up and up out of Hastings to Fairlight then down to Pett Level for a whi along some flat roads at last before climbing up to Winchelsea to find once again that the cafe wasn't open so we enjoyed ice creams from the wonderful tiny village shop. A couple more big hills before a good run along the top of a ridge back to the campsite to find 2 more expected families sitting in the sunshine. Showers and then barbecues were lit and an enjoyable evening was spent chatting in the warm evening. Saturday - Brede, Bexhill, Hastings and Winchelsea Distance: 44 miles Height Gain: 1007 metres Climb/Distance Index: 22.9 metres per mile (1.42%) High Point: 166 metres Low Point: 0 metres
*****Sunday 19 people (9 tandems & 1 solo) gathered and it was already obvious that it was going to be an even hotter day than Saturday. Luckily we used lots of shady, leafy lanes and the breeze was kind to us. Up then down to the edge of the marshes and up again to get to the Kent & East Sussex Railway Station cafe at Tenterden for coffee. From there it was west and down a track into Sissinghurst Castle grounds then to Cranbrook for lunch, either in the pub or picnic in the churchyard. Lots more ups and downs to tea and ice creams at Bodiam Castle to refuel us for the final two arrow up hills required to get us back to the campsite. Tired people packed up tents and said farewells after two very good days of cycling just over 40 miles each day. Sunday - Tenterden, Cranbrook and Bodiam Distance: 42 miles Height Gain: 922 metres Climb/Distance Index: 22.0 metres per mile (1.36%) High Point: 106 metres Low Point: 2 metres

Entering Winchelsea - Photo by Liz

At the start on Saturday - Photo by Christopher

Brede Pumping Station - Photo by Dave

Inside the Pumping Station - Photo by Dave

Battle Museum Cafe - Photo by Dave

Retreat! - Photo by Dave

Mud! - Photo by Dave

Look - a bird! - Photo by Dave

Hastings Promenade - Photo by Dave

Rest, shade and ice cream - Photo by Dave

Missed - Photo by Dave

Sunday - Re-grouping in Beckley Woods - Photo by Dave

Ice cream again - Photo by Dave

Saturday Route

Sunday Route

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