Handsome Bicycles / Hastings

Herstmonceux Castle

Herstmonceux Observatory

This year the route takes in Herstmonceux Castle and grounds. The ride passes straight by the Observatory and then on past the Castle. We have received special permission from the Castle management to allow the riders access to the grounds on the proviso that all riders are through by 10am. We have been given a small area in the grounds next to the toilets for riders to stop and take a rest stop. We are providing Free water bananas and flap jacks for the riders.

Refreshed after the break at the Castle, the ride runs through leafy country lanes then onto a main road for a very short while where we turn left just before the beautiful windmill. We then take a long , long  low gradient ride past Bodle street green up to Woods corner. The route gives great views of the country side.

When you get past Willingford lane  you need to keep a look out for the Brightling needle - one of Mad jack Fullers Follies. Route continues below.

Windmill Hill

Mad Jack Fullers Follies

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Batemans

Home of Rudyard Kipling

After the Brightling needle the course runs down hill towards Burwash. But look out for the sharp left turn that leads the route to Batemans . The views running up to the historic building are stunning! The course then runs on toward Etchingham. Watch out for a tricky right hand turn at Borders lane and then down through country lanes to Robertsbridge.

Gray Nicholls

Robertsbridge

Heading into Roberts bridge we pass the Darvel Community and into the village. After the rail crossing on the left is the home of Gray Nicholls the legendary cricket bat manufacturer. We follow the route out of the village and across the A21 on toward Salehurst. An undulating route on country lanes brings us out to the B2244 next the the Curlew Restaurant.

Bodiam Castle

Bodiam water stop

We follow down hill to Bodiam where our second water station is situated on the green to the right. The National Trust have allowed the riders to use the outside facilities. We are providing Free water, Flapjacks and Bananas. From the Castle we head out uphill towards Staplecross. We regain the B2244 at Cripps Corner and head south to Sedlescombe.

Geese

Running wild over Sedlescombe

As we head downhill on a potentially busy B road we whizz by the first of the Vineyards - Sedlescombe Organic. A sharp turn left and we are heading into the picturesque Village of Sedlescombe. Please be aware of the Geese! They hold right of way in the village and hold up traffic on a daily basis during the summer. We ride past Pestalozzi international school an on toward Westfield passing our second Vineyard Carr Taylor.

Conquerors March

Stone stile lane

We head through Westfield heading towards Three Oaks but turn right at the dreaded Stone Stile Lane. The climb out of Westfield and up to the Ridge in Hastings is Brutal! The Hill twists left and right and as you think you have crested the climb it heads upwards again. Hated by most cyclists in the area there is the slight comfort of knowing there is a water stop at the top where you can refuel on Free water bananas and flapjacks.

Alexander Park 

Hastings

Onto the Ridge at the top of Hastings heading toward Battle, We turn left at Hillside road and head down toward Alexander Park. The park is the centre piece of Hastings and the residents are rightly proud of the beautiful Victorian park.  Following on through the town, across the pedestrian zone at Queens road, past Handsome Bicycles and onto the seafront. We ride past  Source Park BMX centre and Hastings pier on the way to Bexhill.

The Ride Finishes where it started at the Iconic De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill. All finishers receive a medal. The Sportive is part of the 1066 cycling festival that is held over 2 days in Summer. On Saturday June 22nd events are organised in Hastings near the pier and On Sunday June 23rd the Festival takes place on the Lawns of the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill.