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Sussex 1000 — A bikepacking adventure from Hammer to Camber

Alice Baddeley

Sussex 1000 — A bikepacking adventure from Hammer to Camber

Bike Touring Collection by Alice Baddeley



121:55 h

1,005 mi

53,825 ft

This was my 1000 mile, 20 day bike packing tour of Sussex passing through every city, town and village. Every night I camped at a different campsite and managed not to take the same road more than once! As a Sussex resident I decided to take the 'stay local' message literally and discovered just how beautiful and varied this county is, starting in Hammer and ending in Camber to cover the entire county by zig zagging horizontally towards the sea.

Highlights of the trip included the scenic Ashdown Forest, the off-road disused railways including The Downs Link, Worth Way, Forest Way, Cuckoo Trial and Centurion Way, the stunning views from The High Weald in the east, scenic sections of the South Downs Way, Beachy Head and its fantastic road cycle along the clifftop, flat harbour areas in the west including Pagham and the coastal path (NCN2) running next to the sea.

The county has some iconic properties such as the oast houses in the east, formerly used for drying hops, and the Cowdary Estate houses with yellow framed windows and doors in the west. It is also home to six fantastic cycling cafes called Cadence, which all feature along the way. There are many great country pubs and vineyards too which I have mentioned and photographed along the way.

On The Map



  1. Day 1: Hammer to Eridge — Sussex 1000

    72.1 mi
    8.9 mph
    4,250 ft
    4,225 ft

    Starting in the small hamlet of Hammer, I weave through the northwest corner of the county taking in the stunning views seen from Marley Common and the Greensand ridge at Blackdown, the highest hill in Sussex.


    As I head east I meet the familiar Downs Link which takes me from Rudgwick to the quaint village


  2. 08:32
    68.8 mi
    8.1 mph
    3,975 ft
    4,225 ft

    I wake up and realise that I may have pitched a little too close to the campers next to me as the daylight makes me realise how vast the field is! However, they don't seem to mind as I have a nice chat with them before starting another long day.


    It is a a hilly start which weaves through the High Weald


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  4. 04:50
    33.9 mi
    7.0 mph
    2,425 ft
    2,600 ft

    Starting in the affluent north west corner of west Sussex, I glide through quiet country lanes then past a fantastic looking mountain bike park called Rogate B1KE PARK with sandy trails and tall pine trees.


    The quiet narrow roads and scenic byways continue for some time through sandy woodland and sunken


  5. 06:53
    52.8 mi
    7.7 mph
    3,825 ft
    3,575 ft

    It is a welcome flat start to the day where I head west towards the southern end of Horsham and then skirt past the perimeter of St Leonards Forest, part of the High Weald AONB.


    I cross the M23 for the second time on this trip and drop down to Handcross where I find an excellent coffee stop, Jo.Co: a


  6. 04:55
    35.0 mi
    7.1 mph
    3,000 ft
    2,900 ft

    Starting on the outskirts of Crowborough I head to Mark Cross via the village of Rotherfield to stop for an outside lunch at The Lazy Fox pub which has a large beer garden and fantastic views. The food is very good too.


    I take the scenic tree lined back roads to Frant, an elevated village overlooking


  7. 05:41
    46.7 mi
    8.2 mph
    2,525 ft
    2,725 ft

    I wake up to a lovely misty sunrise then head through the villages of Blackboys and Framfield and the town of Uckfield before then on quiet country roads passing by the historic Peacock Inn pub.


    Next is Fletching, a pretty village with a historic church, inviting coffee shop and small pub. Another village


  8. 04:57
    43.5 mi
    8.8 mph
    2,150 ft
    2,075 ft

    After the best outdoor shower of my life at Knepp Estate I hit the road towards West Chiltington flying past the brilliant Kinsbrook Vineyard where you can stop for excellent coffee, cakes or their signature wine.


    I cycle via the back bridleways of Pullborough with stunning views of the South Downs


  9. 05:28
    49.8 mi
    9.1 mph
    2,025 ft
    1,975 ft

    I start with scenic country lanes and bridleways which lead me through the grand Seaford College (not in Seaford) then onto a very pretty stretch past Duncton Mill fisheries with the South Downs towering over in the background.


    Park Lane at Sutton is a picturesque woodland bridleway which lies on the


  10. 08:49
    64.5 mi
    7.3 mph
    4,675 ft
    4,850 ft

    I start the day by heading through the village of Newick and south towards Barcombe Cross passing the Hubbery Cafe at Spithurst Hub, a Swedish outdoor pop-up serving food and coffee.


    I venture east crossing the Ouse at Isfield and cutting across quiet country roads through the villages of Halland, East


  11. 06:37
    45.4 mi
    6.8 mph
    3,575 ft
    3,450 ft

    Starting on the eastern edge of East Sussex I loop around Beckley Wood and Brede High Woods then on to the pretty and historic village of Robertsbridge.


    I reach the small hamlet of Brightling, my highest point of the day where there are some excellent views over the woods.


    Quiet scenic country lanes


  12. 05:55
    52.2 mi
    8.8 mph
    2,025 ft
    2,050 ft

    I start the day by cycling through the village of Chiddingly with its highly rated Six Bells pub. Then onto Vert Lane, a wooded bridleway through Laughton Common woods.


    I nip through Ringmer past the inviting looking Forge Coffee Cafe then via country lanes to Ditching at the foot of the South Downs


  13. 07:47
    60.9 mi
    7.8 mph
    3,400 ft
    3,375 ft

    Starting on the outskirts of Storrington in the morning mist, I head west towards Amberley past The Sportsmans Inn pub which has fantastic views of Waltham Brooks. Quiet country roads take me via Bury and West Burton on to Bignor past the entrance to the grand Roman Villa.


    I turn off up Bignor Down where


  14. 05:47
    45.1 mi
    7.8 mph
    3,200 ft
    3,125 ft

    I wake up to the gentle roar of the A27 and then zig zag east towards Arundel and its impressive castle. I detour via Wepham and Burpham past the lovely George pub.


    Steep stoney chalky bridleways take me over Wepham Down which offers fantastic open views as far as the sea. A spectacular ridge leads me


  15. 05:52
    49.5 mi
    8.5 mph
    2,400 ft
    2,200 ft

    I set off from the quirky Blackberry Wood campsite in Streat and cycle along the gravelly Streat Forge with excellent views of the South Downs. Next is Lewes via Pells Pool, an outdoor freshwater swimming pool which shimmers in the sun.


    After Lewes there is an excellent off-road tarmac cycle path linking


  16. 06:16
    51.6 mi
    8.2 mph
    3,400 ft
    3,675 ft

    I wake up in my large field with a slightly sore head after a night out in Battle with a friend who lives there. I cycle along the historic Battle High Street and quickly find myself on scenic country woodland roads and head towards the very eastern edge of Sussex. There are some fantastic views from


  17. 01:50
    12.3 mi
    6.7 mph
    1,050 ft
    1,025 ft

    Today starts with an off-road section linking Jevington to Litlington across a scenic section of the South Downs. At Litlington is the flagship Cadence Cycling Cafe and I'm greeted with a filling 'Naughty Armstrong' toastie and coffee. It's a short cycling day today so I meet a few friends at this Cadence


  18. 06:11
    46.3 mi
    7.5 mph
    1,725 ft
    1,800 ft

    I start the day by cycling through Firle then Glyde, both very attractive villages on the outskirts of Lewes. After Lewes is Kingston which boasts a great looking pub called The Juggs.


    At Falmer I am now in very familiar territory and make a stop at The Amex Stadium to visit the Brighton and Hove Albion


  19. 05:35
    54.1 mi
    9.7 mph
    700 ft
    700 ft

    After waking up in a wooded area next to the River Arun, I cycle towards Ford passing the prison and onto Yapton for a stop at Edgcumbes Coffee Roasters.

    I head west on flat terrain to Chichester and take some shots of the impressive cathedral.


    After a brief stretch on the excellent off-road Centurion


  20. 05:12
    55.6 mi
    10.7 mph
    850 ft
    525 ft

    Starting in Selsey, the most southern point in Sussex, I admire the impressive lifeboat which is perched on the sand outside Selsey Lifeboat Station.


    I cycle around Pagham Harbour, one of my favourite places in Sussex and wish I had more time so I could stop off at the lovely Crab and Lobster pub in


  21. 06:45
    65.2 mi
    9.7 mph
    2,675 ft
    2,950 ft

    I wake up to a beautiful red sky and start the day by cycling down the scenic Gorhams Lane and through Telscombe village. I stop in Seaford for a coffee at the sailing club and watch the ferry from Newhaven make its way to France.


    I have a few people cycling with me today for my last day of the trip


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Collection Stats

  • Tours
  • Distance
    1,005 mi
  • Duration
    121:55 h
  • Elevation
    53,825 ft

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