Rudgwick - The seventh step - London to Edinburgh via Land's End and John o'Groats - CycleBlaze

May 25, 2019


Last night, just before we went to sleep we decided to change plans.  The main focus of this trip was to visit friends while doing the LEJOG and we have now visited all the folk we were going to see in south East England.  This meant there was little reason to carry on all the way down the coast to Lands End.  Instead it made more sense to cut back north to Reading and catch a train down to Penzance and start the main part of the journey from there. 

The one immediate benefit of our change in plans was that we stumbled on to the Downs Link, a 59.1 km footpath and bridleway linking the North Downs Way at St. Martha's Hill in Surrey with the South Downs Way near Steyning in West Sussex and on via the Coastal Link to Shoreham-by-Sea, just next to the village of Lancing where we spent last night.  For much of its route, the Downs Link follows the course of two dismantled railways - the Cranleigh Line and the Steyning Line - both of which closed in the 1960s.  This meant we had a glorious ride almost all of which was on unsealed paths and bridleways with no motorized traffic.

The start of the Downs Link.
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One of our many snack stops today.
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Cycling through what used to be the West Grinstead railway station.
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One of our concerns was that we would struggle to find a campsite with it being a bank holiday weekend.  By cutting back inland it meant this was less likely and we found a cheap site at Riverside Farm, just before Rudgwich.  The campsite and farm are reminiscent of "The Darling Buds of May"  and the owner and his wife play a very good Pop and Mom Larkin.

The campsite is just below the "Double Bridge", so named because the incline on the first (lower bridge) exceeded the specifications allowed by the authorities and a higher bridge with a less steep ascent had to be built on top of it.

The double bridge near Rudgwick.
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Tomorrow we head for Farnborough and will be spending the night with Kathy and Justin (whom we had seen in London last week) before heading for Reading and the train to Penzance (well that's how the plan look today).

Today's ride: 47 km (29 miles)
Total: 317 km (197 miles)

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