Friday

  1. Get a morning train to beautiful Arundel. If coming from London (like Anna) there are plenty of direct services from Victoria. (And if you travel regularly with a friend it might be worth getting a two together railcard.)
  2. Arrived? Good. It’s time to get into the saddle for a cracking ride.
  3. Turn right from the station on the A27 before turning left immediately after the railway bridge. Stretch out your calves and warm up your legs as you cruise along a quiet back.
  4. Turn right at the junction in Warningcamp and look for the sign for Nurses Cottage B&B. Check-in, drop any stuff you don’t need for the ride here and say hello to Lizzie Lee, the owner. If you’re lucky, you might get a slice of her famous flapjack- it’s worth doing puppy-dog eyes for.
  5. Track back to the junction and head north to Burpham, passing through the village before picking up a bridleway heading north. It’s time to start climbing.
  6. Near the South Downs Way, you’ll see the rusted remains of a WW2 Churchill tank. Grab your breath and press on - the downhilling is about to start.
  7. This one’s a beaut. Enjoy descending a steep bridleway as it plummets and contours towards Storrington, with a mixture of smooth, sweeping singletrack and root-strewn gulleys keeping you on your toes. Try to stop your big wide grin from snagging on any trees.
  8. Continue down to Storrington High Street and turn right. Loop back up Chantry Lane and enjoy a bit more singletrack, before popping out onto the South Downs Way.
  9. Follow the South Downs Way west and descend gently into Amberley. It’s an attractive spot, made even better by a number of decent refreshment stops. If the weather’s nice, The Riverside Café – overlooking the attractive Houghton Bridge – is hard to beat.
  10. Hopefully you’re now full of energy, as the toughest climb of the day beckons. Cross the river and rejoin the A29 before joining a small singletrack. Select a small gear – this one is steep – and keep going.
  11. Drop down onto a satisfying singletrack racing alongside the edge of Houghton Forest.
  12. Ride up over the top of Bignor Hill, take in the views and then head back down into the forest itself.
  13. This section through the forest is areal highlight, with loads of singletrack sections joining near-seamlessly as you pass beneath a canopy of mixed woodland.
  14. Exit the forest and cross the A29 (again). Descend into Houghton and ride along the bridleway next to the river Arun, heading back towards Arundel.
  15. Reach Nurses Cottage B&B, give your bikes a wash down and head for a well-needed (and deserved) shower yourself.
  16. For dinner and a pint, The Swan Hotel in Arundel is the place. Don’t drink more than a couple– not only have you got a big day tomorrow, but there’ll be another big opportunity to sample the local ales.

Saturday

  1. Take advantage of Lizzie’s excellent breakfast. Seriously, make sure you do.
  2. Pack up all your stuff and see if you can snaffle some more flapjacks. Don’t worry if you can’t - you’re doing more sightseeing than intense biking today.
  3. Follow the country lane north to Wepham. Turn right at a small lane gently ascending up next to The Thatched Barn B&B.
  4. Follow this track as it makes it’s way up over a pleasant ridge, enjoying the patchwork of fields all around.
  5. Descend down onto Greyfriar’s Lane before once again entering the village of Storrington.
  6. Take the right turn at the main junction following the A283 eastwards out of the village, with Sandgate Park nature reserve on your left.
  7. When you reach the crossroads turn left, following Water Lane along running easily through pleasant, flat countryside.
  8. At the next junction take a right up Spithandle Road, with a slight rise past pretty cottage before heading back out into open countryside.
  9. After a mile or so you’ll reach another junction. Take a right and follow it up through Ashurst and Bine Green, until you see Stan’s Bike Shack on the right of the lane.
  10. Grab a coffee and talk bikes with Stan and any other local bikers doing the same. This place does hire, repairs and (probably) the best espresso this side of Italy.
  11. Carry on a few hundred metres into Partridge Green. This unprepossessing village is home to one of the South’s most lauded breweries – Dark Star. You’ve wisely booked a tour, and can look forward to trying some of the most exciting beers in the land. See, we told you not to drink too much last night.
  12. Once you’ve had your fill it’s time to get back on the bike. Head out of the village eastwards following A281 then B2116. It’s easy going along quiet lanes, giving you plenty of time to chat and reflect on your favourite moments.
  13. Hassocks is 9 miles from Partridge Green. It shouldn’t take you too long to ride there. If there’s time grab something from Downsview Deli next to the station – scones and tea would be a civilised way to end an outstanding trip.
  14. Get a direct train back to London. It’ll take you 74 minutes into St Pancras.


If you want to follow directly in Anna's Friday footsteps, you can check out Phil's route and story here - or just download the GPX file.