London to Hastings

Dogtrousers

Kilometre nibbler
I'm in for August 3rd. But probably not the main event. As said above I'll try to ambush you somewhere South of Crystal Palace.

For example: Let me know what time you're likely to be passing through and I could wait for you here

Personally, I'm not keen on Westerham Hill, and there are various other ways over the ridge. You don't have to go past the grim reaper. If you go straight on in Downe village rather than left towards the reaper and then go left on Jail Lane it brings you to the top of the grim reaper hill, but not as steeply (steep, but not as steep) Or you could do the more gentle ascent on the W side of the main road up Nash La/Layhams Rd/Skid Hill La to Titsey and down Clarks Lane to Westerham (like this). But I'm not trying to teach my grandmother to suck eggs. Too many cooks and other clichés. So I'll shut up.
 
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mmmmartin

Random geezer
Consider going up the hill after penshurst place then via groombridge, town row, Mayfield, along newick lane to heathfield then along the cuckoo trail (old railway line now a cycle path and utterly flat) to hailsham then out through the marshes via downash and rickney then past Norman's bay to Hastings. This is far flatter and faster than the route you plan. There is also a pleasant bit of coast to ride alongside.
For the train journey back you may prefer to put 20p in the Permit To Travel machine at West St Leonards station, which is usually unmanned, and if asked pay the fare to the ticket chappie on the train. If asked. Starting from Hastings means you must buy a ticket to get through the barrier.
Just sayin'.
 

StuartG

slower but further
Location
SE London
We did a club run from Croydon to Rye, ending up at Hastings for the train home earlier this year. It was utterly flat*, gorgeously jaw dropping and mostly on very quiet back lanes. Rye is somewhat more beautiful intermediate destination than Hastings. So if you want to attract the flat earthers we have a route ...

* Well apart from the usual North Downs nonsense when you are fresh and one horrendous uphill approaching Hastings. Would there be a way round that?
 
U

User10571

Guest
Sam, I did London to Hastings when there was some royal nonsense going on a couple of years ago.
Adam organised it and it is documented here. Somewhere.
It's a tough ride, with a tougher (unpleasant) ending.
Last few miles are nothing to write home about, and probably best avoided.
Consider Pevensey Bay as an alternative destination.
Really
It's not too far off target.
 
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Dogtrousers

Kilometre nibbler
Well apart from the usual North Downs nonsense when you are fresh and one horrendous uphill approaching Hastings. Would there be a way round that?
Battery Hill?
I have unfinished business there. Not that I'm terribly keen to go and finish it.
 

StuAff

Silencing his legs regularly
Location
Portsmouth
Sam, I did London to Hastings when there was some royal nonsense going on a couple of years ago.
Adam organised it and it is documented here. Somewhere.
It's a tough ride, with a tougher (unpleasant) ending.
Last few miles are nothing to write home about, and probably best avoided.
Consider Pevensey Bay as an alternative destination.
Really
It's not too far off target.
Documented here in fact. Adam put a cleaned up version of the route here.
 
OP
anothersam

anothersam

SMIDSMe
Location
Far East Sussex
Let me know what time you're likely to be passing through and I could wait for you here
There looks good.
dogtrousers.jpg

Personally, I'm not keen on Westerham Hill, and there are various other ways over the ridge. You don't have to go past the grim reaper. If you go straight on in Downe village rather than left towards the reaper and then go left on Jail Lane it brings you to the top of the grim reaper hill, but not as steeply (steep, but not as steep)...
Church Hill? Funny you should mention that. I've never actually honked up it, and just assumed it's worse than what we're calling grim reaper hill. If I recollect correctly it's narrowish and busy enough (nothing like Westerham Hill of course) that a slow ascent might not be the most relaxing experience with cars on our tail, but it's not that long, and overall it would surely save a bit of time without sacrificing any real points of interest. Prefer it to the western approach. I'll do it on the recce.

Consider going up the hill after penshurst place then via groombridge, town row, Mayfield, along newick lane to heathfield then along the cuckoo trail (old railway line now a cycle path and utterly flat) to hailsham then out through the marshes via downash and rickney then past Norman's bay to Hastings. This is far flatter and faster than the route you plan. There is also a pleasant bit of coast to ride alongside.
I like going via Bidborough because it offers such a great vista north, and sets us up for a fast spin through Southborough then Tunbridge Wells.

At first glance T Wells might seem to be a place to avoid, but as we'll be getting a large serving of country, I think a brief dip back into town midway through the ride helps keep it from being too samey after London. Although the route I've chosen is the main road, it's not too bad, even with traffic; the bus lane through Southborough helps. Plus it's a good place to get food. I'm planning on stopping in the precinct for lunch.

Your Cuckoo Trail variation is flatter, at least the Cuckoo Trail part (and maybe some other bits; I don't know that route well enough to compare), but I prefer the very pretty lanes between Brightling and Herstmonceaux, former site of Royal Greenwich Observatory, which we won't be running into but will be able to see from a distance. From there it's mostly downhill then downright flat, with a great warmdown from Pevensey eastwards, ending with a spin along the boardwalk.
For the train journey back you may prefer to put 20p in the Permit To Travel machine at West St Leonards station, which is usually unmanned, and if asked pay the fare to the ticket chappie on the train. If asked. Starting from Hastings means you must buy a ticket to get through the barrier.
Just sayin'.
You can also get on at Warrior Square, which is often manned but also without a barrier. Speaking of trains, the Hastings line is usually pretty mellow. As for not paying Southeastern their due, I can of course offer no comment, other than the observation that once you get north of Frant it's all barriers (not always closed it must be said) and penalty fare stations, except for High Brooms I think. But I've never had a problem buying a ticket on the train.

We did a club run from Croydon to Rye, ending up at Hastings for the train home earlier this year. It was utterly flat*, gorgeously jaw dropping and mostly on very quiet back lanes. Rye is somewhat more beautiful intermediate destination...
I'm not particularly trying to flatten the route, though I'm not averse to shaving some miles; just not at the expense of the more interesting bits. Plus, I know this way well enough to feel comfortable escorting others.

User10571 – No, it's Hastings for me. Don't know what route Adam used, but I'd be surprised if it was this one!

As I was posting, StuAff put up Adam's route. Am giving it a look...

...and now that I have, I can see that it's doubtless faster, but offers a totally different experience.
 
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mmmmartin

Random geezer
In Tunbridge Wells you could do a lot worse than stop at The Velo House, a brilliant new cycling cafe run by Ollie, you go past it from Southborough. It's the old natwest bank at the top of the drop down to the millennium clock. Highly recommended. Good coffee. Wifi. A cycle service operation. Cycle parking, and they supply the locks for you.....
 
OP
anothersam

anothersam

SMIDSMe
Location
Far East Sussex
I'm doing my best to get the word out – besides the LFGSS/CycleChat thread [strikethrough as applicable], see later comments here (which I can't link to directly, grrr) and tweet here, which has yet to be retweeted by the power tweeters. Beyond that my influence dissipates even more alarmingly.

Today's Hastings pic: Energy Bike
energybike.jpg


watts.jpg


In Tunbridge Wells you could do a lot worse than stop at The Velo House, a brilliant new cycling cafe run by Ollie, you go past it from Southborough. It's the old natwest bank at the top of the drop down to the millennium clock. Highly recommended. Good coffee. Wifi. A cycle service operation. Cycle parking, and they supply the locks for you.....
I'll have to stop by and check it out.
 
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OP
anothersam

anothersam

SMIDSMe
Location
Far East Sussex
I've added a blog at road.cc, but will continue to monitor this thread.

Note that I've added a third ride, sort of. One weekday starting the week of July 21st I'll be doing a pre-recce recce down to where I live, which is not far from Etchingham station on the Hastings line. If anybody is free and fancies it, you're welcome to join me. I'll be shoving off at noon or a bit sooner from the vicinity of Charing X. It'll probably take 4-5 hours (though you don't have to commit to the whole ride). Which day depends on... the weather.
 
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OP
anothersam

anothersam

SMIDSMe
Location
Far East Sussex
By the way I rode a similar route last year and enjoyed it (in a somewhat masochistic way). It was lumpy, but fun. And had one super long straight wheeeee descent.
I've done that bit from around Battle south lots of times. I like the old London Road approach down to the Old Town.

I lead a lfgss forum ride down to Hurstmonceaux a month ago or so, it was considered hilly but too extravagant…
Best to take "extravagant" as praise.

I think that's a comparable amount of climbing... And sooner or later yyou have to get over the North Downs ( South Downs?)
They flatten right down for us towards the end.

Who was that comedian who would say, 'You don't want to be doing that. You want to be doing this.' - Harry Enfield? I think he's come in here in disguise
A ladder for the hills!
 

Dogtrousers

Kilometre nibbler
I have been told that Judge's Bakery in Hastings sells mackarolls ... like sausage rolls but mackerel. Twice I've cycled to Hastings with the intention of trying one, and twice I have failed. Third time lucky?
 
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