Articles Discovery Route South Downs Travel

The South Downs Discovery Route

South Downs road

In our last Discovery Route of 2018, James Oxley combines the sights and sounds of the seaside with rolling hills and bustling market cities on a journey by way of the South Downs Nationwide Park…

Over the previous few problems with Journey Biker Rider journal, we’ve teamed up with TomTom to convey you a collection of Discovery Routes which are all about exploring probably the most lovely and thrilling driving locations the UK has to supply. From the desolate wilderness of Dartmoor to the pristine great thing about the Yorkshire Dales, we’ve journeyed via beautiful landscapes and skilled exhilarating rides to rival anyplace on the earth.

Our newest journey took us 125 miles alongside the size of the South Downs Nationwide Park, from the seaside city of Eastbourne on its japanese fringe, to the cathedral metropolis of Winchester within the far west. Having lived in London for a few years, I’ve ridden by way of this a part of the world on quite a few events, however I’ve by no means taken the time to completely discover the South Downs. In doing so I used to be reminded that you simply don’t want to hunt out faraway locations to expertise a very fantastic motorbike journey when nationwide parks like this are in your doorstep.

The route naturally splits into two sections, coast and countryside. It begins with a leisurely cruise alongside the south coast by way of kiss-me-quick seaside resorts and alongside dramatic cliff tops. This part dips out and in of the nationwide park however is properly well worth the journey to breathe in bracing sea air and marvel at spectacular views of the English Channel.

South Downs road

The route then leaves the coast behind and diverts inland previous Arundel Citadel, which wouldn’t look misplaced in a Disney film, earlier than weaving its method by way of picturesque countryside, chocolate field villages and historic market cities. Simply outdoors the nationwide park within the north, you’ll end up on the Satan’s Punch Bowl, a powerful pure amphitheatre so named as a result of the Satan himself is meant to have dug it out of the earth.

From right here, there’s a smorgasbord of nation lanes, villages and cities to discover. I selected to cease and take a stroll across the historic market city of Petersfield, earlier than making my approach to a well-liked biker café for a well-deserved late lunch. Alongside the best way, I discovered some unimaginable roads and a gentle stream of fellow riders having fun with them on a Sunday afternoon.

It may be onerous to flee the hustle and bustle of life within the South East, so making an early begin would keep away from visitors the worst of the visitors alongside the route, notably via the coastal part of the journey. Nevertheless, there have been loads of occasions I discovered myself cruising via empty nation lanes, marvelling at my environment and feeling grateful I had taken the outing to discover this lovely a part of the world. In fact, do that experience in the midst of summer time and also you’ll be battling by way of throngs of vacationers, however within the winter months Britain’s shoreline takes on a singular allure that’s value experiencing. 

1. Eastbourne Pier

Eastbourne-Pier

Eastbourne-Pier

The journey begins at Eastbourne Pier, a quintessential English seaside spot. Regardless of the very fact the pier has been swept away, blown up by a mine and suffered extreme hearth injury throughout its 152-year historical past, it nonetheless retains its grandeur. I’d advocate taking a stroll to the top of 300m construction, previous the cheesy arcades, to discover a quiet spot and forged your eye over the contours of the English shoreline wiggling off into the space. When you skipped breakfast, attempt the close by Amy’s Café on Seaside Street. The avocado, poached eggs and streaky bacon on toast are scrumptious, and the espresso is superb.

2. Beachy Head

Beachy-Head

Beachy-Head

Leaving the pier behind, you’ll journey alongside Eastbourne promenade earlier than climbing by means of some splendidly tight turns as much as Beachy Head Street. On the prime, be aware of automobiles drifting into your lane as drivers crane their necks to see the sweeping views of Eastbourne under.

Simply across the bend is Beachy Head, the tallest chalk sea cliff in England towering at greater than 500ft IN METRES?  The experience might have solely simply began however ensure you pull into Beachy Head automotive park and take a brief stroll to the close by lookout level. Breathe deep gulps of invigorating sea air and marvel on the spectacular panoramic views on supply, together with a glimpse of Beachy Head lighthouse. You’ll end up stood subsequent to a struggle memorial that pays tribute to the 110,000 aircrew of RAF Bomber Command who fought in World Conflict Two.

Beachy Head was a serious operational route outbound from the UK for the bomber crews. Wanting up, it’s straightforward to think about the roar of the plane engines above and the trepidation the courageous males should have felt as they forged a ultimate look again on the chalk cliffs, with the very actual risk they might by no means see residence once more.

three. Brighton seashore

Brighton-Beach

Brighton-Beach

There’s one thing particular about cruising alongside Brighton seafront, catching glimpses of the ocean in between vibrant crowds thronging the promenade. Brighton has a youthful, edgier vibe than sedate Eastbourne, and properly deserves the nickname ‘London by the sea’ because of its reputation as a day journey vacation spot and a extra everlasting location for individuals shifting out of the Capital.

It will be straightforward to spend the whole day exploring Brighton with its unbiased outlets, cafes and bars, and iconic landmarks just like the Royal Pavilion, an unique palace constructed within the coronary heart of the town. Nevertheless, there’s nonetheless an extended option to experience on this route of discovery, so I’d advocate parking up in one of many motorbike bays on the seafront to the west of the pier and discovering a spot to eat an ice-cream on the pebbly seashore. It’s round right here you’d have discovered the mods and rockers of the 1960s famously hurling insults and fists at one another.

In the present day’s seashore crowd continues to be predominantly younger, however much more relaxed. It’s a spot to see and be seen, the place trendy garments and hipster facial hair far outnumbering kiss-me-quick hats and deckchairs. Don’t fear about not becoming in, you experience a motorbike, so that you’re instantly cool!

four. Arundel

Arundel

Arundel

Our route leaves the coast behind for good at Worthing, as you journey inland to rejoin the South Downs. Quickly sufficient you may be met with the magical sight of Arundel Citadel and cathedral. Each wouldn’t look misplaced in a Disney or Harry Potter movie, perched atop a hill above the cosy little city. The oldest a part of the fort dates again over 1,000 years, though it was virtually utterly rebuilt between the 1870s and 1890s.

Should you don’t fancy paying the £13 to £22 ticket worth to look contained in the citadel, then I’d recommend doing a bit window buying at a number of the marvellously eccentric outlets dotted all through the city. My favorite was Kim’s Bookshop which tried to draw passing commerce by putting fascinating tomes reminiscent of ‘Birds of the Czech Republic’ and ‘Chinese Bamboo Carving’ in its window.

Boasting equally beautiful structure, Arundel Cathedral is nearly as spectacular because the close by fort and is value taking a couple of peaceable minutes to look inside. The route passes by it on the best way out of city.

5. The Satan’s Punch Bowl

The Devil's Punchbowl, South England

The Devil's Punchbowl, South England

The experience from Arundel on the southern fringe of the South Downs, by way of the villages of Petworth and Northchapel to the north showcases why that is such a particular a part of the world. As you comply with the A283, you’ll be able to drink in intoxicating views of rolling hills stretching to the horizon, journey by way of gloriously solar dappled tree tunnels, and move by lovely villages that make you proud to reside on this inexperienced and nice land.

The street takes you north in the direction of the intriguingly named Satan’s Punch Bowl, which sits simply outdoors the South Downs Nationwide Park. Legend has it that the Satan himself created this pure amphitheatre by scooping out nice mounds of earth to hurl on the Norse God, Thor. Lately it’s a haven for walkers, runners and nature lovers eager to benefit from the spectacular surroundings. It’s the right spot to park up and stretch your legs by following one of many strolling routes signposted all through the world.  There are additionally some inexperienced lanes close by for those who fancy some off-road motion on two wheels.

If like me you’re feeling much less energetic at this stage of the journey, sit on the Nationwide Belief café onsite and luxuriate in a espresso and a bit of cake. I extremely advocate the chocolate and cherry brownies.

6. Petersfield

Petersfield

Petersfield

Virtually on the centre of the South Downs is the sleepy market city of Petersfield which dates again to the 12th century. At its coronary heart is a market sq. the place you’ll be able to park your bike outdoors the Submit Workplace and loosen up in one of many pubs or cafes dotted across the edge. Should you fancy swapping two wheels for 2 oars, half a mile stroll away is Petersfield Heath and Pond the place you’ll be able to lease a rowing boat and luxuriate in splashing round on the water.

7. Loomies Moto Café

Loomies Moto Cafe South Downs

Loomies Moto Cafe South Downs

You possibly can inform you’re nearing Loomies Moto Café by the gradual improve in motorbikes on the street. The restaurant has been a well-liked biker hang-out for greater than a decade. It’s surrounded by unbelievable motorcycling roads that provide a number of the greatest driving within the South Downs.

The automotive park is usually filled with bikes of all types and it’s the right place to speak bikes with pleasant, like-minded people amid the shrill of high-revving sports activities bikes and the guttural throb of Harley Davidson V-twins.

Likelihood is you’ve labored up a starvation by now and Loomies is the right place to conquer it. The café serves up wonderful hamburgers and gut-busting breakfasts. In case your waistband can take it, I’d recommend the Loomies Burger, comprised of prime Aberdeen Angus beef and served with home particular Loomies chutney. It took me some time to get again on the bike afterwards, however it was value it.

eight. Winchester Cathedral

Winchester Cathedral

Winchester Cathedral

The ultimate few miles of the journey takes you alongside extra superb nation lanes. Whereas there are many locations to get your knee down and prime up adrenalin ranges, I discovered myself subconsciously easing off the throttle and having fun with cruising via the countryside, stopping now and again to take in the views.

In case you have a SatNav with a winding roads setting (just like the TomTom Rider 550), it’s going to take you alongside a collection of single-track lanes that skirt the sides of fields and move by farmyards. Whereas not one of the route is off-road, I did benefit from the feeling of venturing off the crushed monitor, stood up on my footpegs as my bike slithered over a floor of mud and unfastened gravel.

All too quickly, countryside provides strategy to an city panorama and you end up navigating via Winchester. It isn’t a very giant metropolis, however what it lacks in measurement, it makes up for in historical past – as soon as being the traditional capital of England.

The ending level of this Discovery Route is Winchester Cathedral, probably the most well-known native landmark. The cathedral is likely one of the largest in Europe and its location has been used as a spot of worship because the seventh century. It’s also the final resting place of English novelist Jane Austen, her grave turning into a pilgrimage for literature lovers all through the world. The grounds of the cathedral are the right spot to take a seat again and take in this architectural masterpiece whereas reflecting on a different and completely gratifying experience by way of the South Downs Nationwide Park.

Need to journey this magnificent South Downs route?

A map of the ABR South Downs Discovery Route

A map of the ABR South Downs Discovery Route

Plug the next waypoints into your SatNav to comply with the ABR and TomTom South Downs Discovery Route

1. Eastbourne Pier (BN21 3EH)

2. Beachy Head (BN20 7XX)

three. Brighton Pier  (BN2 1TW)

four. Arundel

5. Petworth

6. Northchapel

7. Satan’s Punch (GU26 6AB)

eight. Petersfield

9. West Meon (GU32 1JX

10. Winchester Cathedral (S023 9SL)

The TomTom 550

TomTom Rider 550 SatNav

TomTom Rider 550 SatNav

Uncover extra unimaginable routes and points of interest within the UK with the brand new TomTom Rider 550 SatNav, which comes pre-loaded with sufficient unimaginable rides to maintain you busy for a lifetime, together with various options which are designed to assist you to get probably the most out of your subsequent journey. Winding Roads and Hilly Roads settings will take you on probably the most thrilling journey between two factors, whereas the all-new Routes and Stops features will will let you get on the street with the world’s greatest curated routes pre-loaded onto the gadget.

Model new for the TomTom Rider 550, is the power to replace the system by way of WiFi, and to have your smartphone messages learn to you, and it’s suitable with Siri and Google Now, so you possibly can management it together with your voice. The TomTom Rider 550 retails at £399.99, whereas the TomTom Rider 550 Premium, which comes full with a number of fixing mounts, retails at £499.99.

Win a TomTom Rider 550!

Fortunately for you, we’ve teamed up with TomTom to provide the probability to win a brand-new Rider 550 value £399.99. Enter right here.

ABR Internal 1ABR Internal 1

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