2009.02 Monarch’s Way ride

Sat 28 February 2009 7.30am Rowland’s Castle
RT PT JR FL CB and KB-S assembled at the bench at the end of TC, and all set off south to Worthing station for a tea and the 8:25 to Havant. Arriving ensemble, JR took us the long way round from Havant to RC, where the brek stop was discovered to be closed due to an addition in the family. Desultory sandwiches were munched to the accompaniment of nostalgically produced genuine British Rail coffee, from the local Co-op. Thus fortified, we set off on the road to pass Standen house and pick up the Monarch’s Way
The first real climb came after passing through Walderton and Stoughton, but KB-S and FL had the grace to wait for the rest of us at the top
Looking East toward Stoughton Down . . .
and west from the top.
Down to cross the B2141 at Brickkiln farm, up Hylters Lane then take a right to cross the valley and descend into West Dean for a splendid late Brunch at the pub, entertained by watching the police play with their speed gun on the road outside. Down to the river, then over St Roche’s hill (the second real climb) to arrive at the racecourse, which we skirt to the south and continue east by road towards Selhurst Park. Madness then set in, and led by KB-S we struck south along Halnaker Gallop, until it ended in a field. Following what appeared to be a rabbit trail (which is a highway to KB-S) we emerged from the trees and crossed Denge Bottom to pick up a track south from Middle Barn, which eventually delivered us back onto the A285. Still, we got to see Halnaker windmill from three sides. North-east on the A285 brought us to Stane Street, thoughtfully provided by romans and used by the monarch in question, which took us toward Bignor Hill. Through the woods south-east from Bignor, we passed the motorbikers at Whiteways lodge and continued by road to arundel for an excellent cream tea (or cream water for FL) in the Edible Sandwich Shop.

FL’s new creation – the “Cream Water”
The establishment must be owned by Ed and Sybil, punsters of that parish, but top notch food.
Discounting the idea of a train back from Arundel as a relief from RT’s cracked rib or a solution to CB’s time problem, we fixed CB’s puncture in a pitstop time and headed off to Warningcamp and Angmering Park, Patching, Clapham and into Findon down Church Hill, having left KB-S to carry on to Tolmare. 47.9 miles!