South Downs Way trip by bike July 2009
Family of 5 with widely varying fitness levels, age range 12 to 47, took us 6 days, don’t think we could have done it quicker. We had a great time and would recommend it. Youngest would have rather have done it on horseback or with a dog. 2 punctures throughout. We couldn’t find Buriton shop marked on map.Used Chesil St car park for the cars, £5 per car per day.
Day 1 - Winchester to nr Hamilton Farm, Lane End (SDW map 7b) 6.5 miles.
Accom – Mays Farm b+b, Longwood Dean. Comfy, clean, hearty breakfast.
Day 2 - Hamilton farm to HMS Mercury ( SDW map 7a ) 12 miles.
Accom – Wetherdown Sustainability Centre, Droxford Road, East Meon, Petersfield 01730 823549. Friendly basic hostel, help yourself to large self-catering breakfast, envigorating shampoos and shower gels, secure bike storage.
Day 3 - HMS Mercury to Cocking, 17 miles.
We couldn’t find Buriton shop marked on map.
Accom – Moonlight Cottage tearooms b+b. Pricey, outside loo for family room, good food but didn’t live up to previous glowing write-ups.
Day 4 - Cocking to Amberley, 12 miles.
Accom – The Sportsman, Crossgates Rd, Amberley. Clean, needed 3 rooms to accommodate family of 5 so was pricey, food good.
Bus transport link to Amberley station arrived one minute after connecting hourly train to Arundel ie completely unco-ordinated public transport.
Afternoon party split: 4 to swim in open air pool at Arundel and Dad to Littlehampton for laundrette and to buy replacement brake blocks.
Day 5 - Amberley to Fulking, 16 miles.
Fulking full of expensive new car makes much to eldest child’s delight. And lots of horses to view today and next day to appease the other 2 children.
Accom – Four Acres b+b, Poynings Road, Fulking. Very comfortable, very clean, excellent packed lunches ( 2 rounds of sandwiches, fruit and cake )and thoughtful home comforts such as dvd selection. Local pub (Shepherd and Dog) very good food, huge portions.
Day 6 - Fulking to Alfriston, 25 miles.
Accom – Alfriston YHA. Clean, comfy, cosy and good buffet breakfast. Smugglers Inn pub in Alfriston village, good food and served all day eg our evening meal was at 4.30 pm.
Day 7 - Alfriston to Eastbourne, 7 miles. Then various trains to get back to Winchester and luckily each train accommodated our 5 bikes.
Improvements: Would like more water taps and existing ones to be marked on map and Harveys XT40 2006 map needs updating.