This itinerary has been written by Nigel Greenwood, founder of So Sussex, Elderflower Fields and The Living Coast by Bike making him our our expert on Sussex! 

Brighton is a cool place,everybody knows that. The city has some of the best bars, restaurants, shopping, nightlife and culture outside of London. But how many people know it also lays claim to being part of The Living Coast, a UNESCO Biosphere that stretches from the English Channel into the magnificent South Downs National Park right on Brightons doorstep.

Most people arrive in Brighton by car or train, but it's by bike that you truly grasp the diversity and beauty of Brighton and the surrounding countryside. The Living Coast By Bike provides loads of cycling options for getting from the city and out into the surrounding countryside, but one of our favourite ways to arrive in Brighton is over the South Downs from Lewes, the county town of Sussex and steeped in its own heritage and traditions many summed up by the traditional saying of 'We wunt be druv'.

Take a train from Brighton to Lewes, they run every 20 minutes or so and the journey takes around 15 minutes. The view of rows of Brighton houses from the curving Grade II listed London Road viaduct just after leaving the station is one of the highlights of the journey. Bikes can be taken on the train during off-peak hours and if you dont have your own bike you can break your journey at Falmer and pick one up in Stanmer Park at the recently opened  Brighton Bike Hire. There's plenty to see and do in Lewes and you might want to stop here for a late breakfast at the original Bills restaurant, a coffee at Depot or a pint of Harveys, the local beer, at The Swan Inn, all a stones throw from the station and the start of your ride - The Egrets Way.

Heading out of Lewes The Egrets Way has a been a battle of wills between local cycling enthusiasts and land owners. The route takes you along the River Ouse valley and through the Lewes Brooks, teeming with life and fabulous views of The South Downs stretching away East to Eastbourne and West to Winchester.  At Southease there is another chance to stop for refreshments at the Courtyard Cafe on the 160km long South Downs Way, before you head away from the hostel and begin following 'Over and Under' one of ten rides exploring The Living Coast. Use the Komoot App and instructions to follow the ride which climbs through the beautiful flint villages of Southease and Telscombe up onto the top of the South Downs and fabulous views of the sea. Congratulations! You are now at the highest point of the ride and its pretty much downhill from here, but dont go too fast or you will miss Thai Angle on the hill through Saltdean towards the sea. If you get your timing right and order ahead you can enjoy some of their wonderful Asian food sat on the beach, just mind out for the ever curious and hungry Gulls.

There are plenty of quiet places on the beach between Saltdean and Brighton Marina for a snooze or explore in the rock pools, but once beyond The Marina the peace and quiet is replaced by the buzz of Brighton. It's not too late though to have one final moment of relaxation before throwing yourself into the city's ever changing nighlife. Stop at Sea Lanes for a warm down and one final look back along chalky cliffs of The Living Coast.


The Living Coast By Bike
Sussex Downs

One of the best ways to discover this area is by bike and to help you explore, we have developed a series of tried and tested bike rides. The rides are graded easy, medium and hard, so no matter your ability you will be able to find something that is suitable.



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