Sunday 26 November Ride to Durleighmarsh Farm Cafe, Nr Petersfield

It was a beautiful clear blue sky day with a northerly wind and very cold. It had dropped low enough for a grass frost but borderline below freezing so no problems with ice on the road. Plenty of woolly hats in evidence though.

Jeff was the leader and he was joined at Chichester Cross by Mark, Bob and Edwin.

I had been off the bike with a nasty chesty cough for 4 weeks so had decided to go only as far as elevenses. Jeff was taking a route north via West Dean and after being told of the new Cafe at Singleton Open Air Museum decided to make an early elevenses stop there,

We headed out via West Street and then on the quiet route along the Centurion Way coming across only the occasional dog walker and jogger. After negotiating the Path exit at West Dean we rode on the lanes through the village before joining the main road for a short way to the Museum. Early arrivals were just coming in for the Museums Christmas Market and a tent took up the patio area where we usually parked bikes. We were directed to a new Bike Park nearby.

The cafe is a new building before the Museum pay point next to a beautiful pond. We got there early enough to avoid crowds in the cafe.

Here Jeff continues the story

It was a sparking winter’s day. The downside was the freezing temperature combined with a NW wind so stopping at the new Weald and Downland cafe in Singleton suggested by Edwin was a good idea. Well it was apart from the constant stream of cars heading for their Christmas Market ( it is still November!) and the disposable coffee cups from a coffee earn . Still the building was good – oak frame with stainless steel flange bolted joints.

Edwin left us at this point leaving Jeff , Bob and Mark to climb up to the South Downs Way crossing before heading down to Cocking and then on back roads via Treyford
Then it was on to South Harting. The South Downs looking their best in the winter sun.   We reached Durleighmarsh Cafe just after noon and were very impressed by the lunch .  We returned to South Harting and then it was the hard  climb up the back road to Harting top. A little known cut through to Uppark is possible when the gate is open and this avoided going down hill again !
By the time we reached Compton the skies were darkening obviously getting ready for the predicted heavy rain on Monday.  However we got back to Chichester dry by 2.40 only to find yet more people Christmas shopping.


Edwin continues

While the others headed north for lunch I retraced the route back to Chichester. On the way back it was noticeable on the cycletrack past the college that they had repainted some of the faint bicycle markings on the path. Possibly some pedestrians might pay more attention, or maybe not.

My mileage from and back to Pagham was 30.

One of my recent pictures was taken at the V&A Museum using a fisheye lens and taking advantage of the reflection in a display case .

For more details see


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