DOWNS & WEALD ROUTE DESCRIPTION
From the banks of the Thames in Greenwich, the route takes in parks and bridges through South London and along the Pool and Ravensbourne Rivers, before emerging onto the North Downs.
It uses traffic-free routes over the North Downs, then onto Crawley, where the main route follows the Worth Way railway path to East Grinstead, with an alternative route via cycle track to Brighton.
The main route crosses the Greenwich Meridian Line at East Grinstead, then joins the Forest Way, past Ashdown Forest - the home of Christopher Robin and Pooh Bear - and follows minor roads through the historic villages of the Weald. Heathfield Tunnel marks the start of the 11 mile Cuckoo Trail, running to the foot of the South Downs at Polegate.
The alternative route reaches Brighton and Hove and travels along the seafront to the Palace Pier and Brighton Marina. It passes Rottingdean and Peacehaven, with stunning views along the coast, before descending into Newhaven and the ferry port. It then heads inland, crosses the South Downs along the River Cuckmere and rejoins the main route.
At Polegate you can choose to enter Eastbourne, on traffic-free routes, and travel along the coast or use minor roads to bypass the town to rejoin the route near Pevensey Castle - a Norman castle inside a more ancient Roman structure. The route continues along the coast to Hastings, joining up with the route from Dover. It's this last section that you touch the Garden of England long distance cycle route, which can take you back to London if you feel like a round trip of south-east England.
Information courtesy of Sustrans