Ride by Dave and Caroline

Starting from the Cafe in the Park, near the council offices in Horsham, this ride will head south via Wivelsfield Green to the Five Bells Inn, Smock Alley, West Chiltington for lunch. Afternoon tea will be at Southwater Country Park. Distance around 36 miles, with possible extensions after lunch if we feel like it. *****Report by Dave Nine tandems started from Horsham Park on a beautiful morning. Dave confidently headed for the backstreets looking for the cycle path out to Warnham. After a few wrong turns and circles confidence was lost, but a stop to look at the map sorted everything and we found the pleasant route over the golf course. As lunch was a rather ambitious (for us) 26 miles away we could not hang around, so it was a rapid run through the amazingly quiet lanes through Rowhook and Ellens Green to reach the first real break at Drungewick Aqueduct. Someone was heard to complain that he was in a time trial, not a club run!

After inspecting the aqueduct, built only recently in 2002 to carry the restored Wey and Arun Canal over the River Lox, we headed through Wisborough Green onto a bridleway heading south to cross the River Arun and the Wey and Arun Canal again.

A few short stiff climbs, a private road with vicious speed bumps and we arrived at the lunch spot bang on time.

The Five Bells in Smock Alley was clearly not used to large parties as they struggled to serve us and ran out of several items on the menu, however the food that arrived was excellent.

After lunch Mary and Alan took the direct route back to Horsham, while Dave decided to extend the route and try out an untested bridleway to visit the Blue Idol House, near Coneyhurst. This bridleway was rather bumpy and a little muddy in places, as some found out! We had a short break to look at the house, which was the home of William Penn, before wiggling through the lanes towards Southwater. Here Dave's navigation failed again as we stopped at the end of a dead end road - this time we were shown the correct route by a friendly local. Southwater Country Park is an excellent stop - the delicious bread pudding is especially good. We were also treated to a display of remote control model boats on the lake. One model aircraft carrier even had working deck lifts for the planes, and a harrier jump jet that lifted off, complete with sound effects! We eventually dragged ourseleves out and followed the cycle route back to Horsham. This route uses a short section of the Downs Link and an excellent bridleway section with a fast descent and fine views - quite the best way to enter Horsham and complete an excellent ride.

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Drungewick Aqueduct - Photo by Dave

Drungewick Road Bridge - Photo by Dave

Bridge over the River Arun - Photo by Dave

Approaching the Bridge over the Arun - Photo by Dave

Reading the Menu - Photo by Dave

Group Photo - Photo by Dave

Afternoon Bridleway - Photo by Dave

Southwater Country Park - Photo by Dave

Model Thames Barge - Photo By Dave

The Route on a Google Map

Before the start - outside the cafe in Horsham Park

Hornshill Lane - Near Rudgewick

Keith and Jane - at the top of the bridleway up from the River Arun

Dave and Caroline - speed past!

Regrouping at the end of the bridleway

Brian and Helen - speeding through a gate on the muddy bridleway

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