Communicating the South Downs

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Brighton to Hassocks

Hassocks is a fantastic starting point for discovering the South Downs by bike with trains from Brighton taking around 10 minutes. You’ll need to either bring your own bike, or you can pre-book a mountain bike from Hassocks Community Cycle Hire (average price £20 per adult, per day). You’ll also need a cycle ride map of route 5 ‘Ditchling and the top of the Downs’.

Start your 17km cycle ride by following the directions to Ditchling Village home of the award winning Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft. The museum is housed in a striking architecturally designed structure which fuses contemporary architecture with the charm of the existing buildings – a former school and traditional barn. Here you will be inspired by artists such as Eric Gill and Edward Johnston, creator of the famous Johnston typeface used for the London Underground. Discover works from painters such as David Jones and Hilary Pepler. And see why Ditchling became one of the most important places for the Arts and Crafts movement in Britain.

Have a bite to eat at Mister Magnolia (opposite the museum) or Ditchling Tearooms (opposite the church) before visiting the Church of St Margaret of Antioch, a 12th century structure built on an earlier Saxon church referred to in the Domesday book. The rich history of this building is closely interwoven with the history of the village, and the lives of nationally recognised local artists.

Continue on your cycle ride where you’ll get to do some off-road biking before joining the South Downs Way. Climbing Ditchling Beacon, the highest point in East Sussex is worth the effort once you experience the magnificent 360 degree views. You’ll also pass the 19th Century Jack and Jill Windmills (booking for visits to Jill available on weekdays).

Once you arrive back head for The Hassocks, once a Victorian coaching Inn. Here you can have a drink, something to eat, then get the train home.

Attractions

Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft
Lodge Hill Lane, Ditchling, East Sussex, BN6 8SP
01273 844744

Ditchling Beacon
Ditchling, East Sussex
01323 423197

Church of St Margaret of Antioch
West Street, Ditchling, Hassocks, East Sussex BN6 8TS
01273 843165

Jill Windmill
Mill Lane, Hassocks, West Sussex BN6 9PG

Food & Drink

Mister Magnolia
1 High Street, Ditchling, Hassocks BN6 8SY
01273 846638

Ditchling Tearooms
6-8 West St, Ditchling, Hassocks, West Sussex BN6 8TS
01273 842708

The Hassocks
Station Approach, Hassocks, West Sussex BN6 8HN
01273 842113

Cycling

Hassocks Community Cycle Hire
Hassocks Hotel, Station Approach, Hassocks, West Sussex BN6 8HN
07521 961909

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