Family Cycle Paths
Family cycle paths are the perfect way to explore Europe at your leisure. Here are our favourite family cycling holidays.Read more
With the whole of the UK well on its way to becoming a great cycling nation, Sussex is building a strong claim to be one of England’s cycling heartlands. The rolling green countryside is dotted with some of the world's leading cycling businesses, including Hunt Wheels and Kinesis bikes – not to mention the growing number of bike-friendly cafes, with one seemingly in every little village. These points, combined with the fantastic network of quiet country roads and various landscapes, have given rise to a burgeoning cycling culture that is as welcoming to a part-time pootler as elite racing cyclists.
In this article, we’re going to look at the more leisurely end of the spectrum and run you through our three favourite leisure cycling routes in Sussex.
While I love all of the routes on our Sparkling Sussex eBike holiday, this one pips the others to the post for the number one spot thanks to its variety and a long stretch of traffic-free cycling. Most of the time, we start this ride from the excellent Ockenden Manor hotel in Cuckfield, fuelled by their delicious breakfasts. The ride takes you out of Cuckfield and quickly onto some picturesque single-track lanes that twist through hedge rowed fields and the occasional vineyard before you pop back into civilisation at Henfield.
This is where the route picks up the Downs Link cycle path – a traffic-free and mostly pan-flat path that runs along an old railway line, all the way to the beach at Shoreham. Keep an eye out for the ruins of Bramber castle and the spectacular views of the South Downs on the way. Upon reaching the coast, follow the cycle paths along the seafront promenade to Climping, passing through the old English resort towns of Worthing and Littlehampton and the charming village of Rustington before reaching the gorgeous sandy beach at Climping, just a stone's throw from Bailiffscourt hotel.
This is a ride for the oenophiles. At 49km long, it’s a good ride on a regular bike or a reasonably easy one on an eBike – as is standard on our Sussex cycling tours. The route takes you out into the country, through the quaint village of Lindfield and into the lanes of Sussex. The route twists and turns towards Ditchling, a charming little village at the foot of the South Downs home to the excellent Museum of Arts & Crafts and the award-winning pub The Bull – a must-visit for lunch. But the real attraction for our guests is the Ridgeview Wine Estate on the edge of the village, where you can ride up and take part in a pre-booked tour and tasting.
After this and a hearty pub lunch, the cycling route closely follows the foot of the South Downs, passing fields of vines on the right and the flowing hillside to the left, before turning north. Again through Hurstpierpoint and onto more lanes that lead you to the door of Bolney wine estate – where another visit can be arranged. After all that wine and food, you’ll be pleased to know that it’s only a couple of miles left from here!
Last but not least is the ride from the coast to the countryside that takes our guests from Climping to the ancient market town of Midhurst. Whilst it’s a shame to leave the lovely Climping behind, this ride makes it all worth it. The big highlight of the day comes early on, just 6 miles in, with a visit to the stunning town of Arundel. You get a good view of the castle as you approach, thanks to it’s position perched on the hillside overlooking the river valley, and it is well worth making a visit if you have the time.
Rolling into the town you find a number of streets lined with cafes, boutiques and antique shops that beg you to lock up your bikes and explore on foot. Once you’ve done that, there is some stunning countryside in store, not least the stretch through Burpham and over the South Downs to Amberley. You can probably guess that does involve a bit of a hill, but it’s never too steep and on an eBike you barely notice it – especially when you reach the other side and stop for a cup of tea in The Riverside Café in Amberley. It’s all plain sailing from here as the cycling route winds through hamlets all the way, passing a Roman villa and the vast polo fields of the Cowdray estate on the way.
For more recommendations on the best Sussex cycle routes, give us a call on 020 7471 7760, or alternatively, view our cycling holidays in the Sussex here.
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