The western side of the Sussex confines have some of the most beautiful countryside to ride in, not that East Sussex isn’t also glorious for riding, this too has some great places to roll through; but given that I live just on the inside of the boundary (west) I tend to ride around there more than the east. The heath-like scenery, with ferns and evergreens is something that I’ve always felt drawn to in terms of a preference for environment types. It’s probably why I love the New Forest and those pictures of great Californian evergreen forests, the idea of living in a mountain cabin surrounded by pine trees.
Fortunately I don’t have to ride too far to be amongst this scenery soul-food. The lanes to the west of Storrington, around Rackham and Greatham are where this fern-covered landscape begins, which is about 15 miles away. It continues (and gets even better) around Coldwaltham, Coates, Heath End, Sutton, Bignor and around Petworth.
No matter what time of year it always look stunning, be that the lush green of summer, the promise that spring brings as daffodils bloom, the browns and golds of autumn or the openness and bleak charm that winter has. On occasion I have even spotted deer running alongside me as I spin along the lane. It’s just lovely, or lurv-erly as a barrel chested cockney might say.