DCSIMG

Lewes Hike and Bike Festival back bigger and better

alkers at Ditchling Beacon on the South Downs Way. It is the third highest point on the South Downs at 248m and the highest point in East Sussex. Ditchling Beacon the last leg of the London to Brighton charity bike ride.

alkers at Ditchling Beacon on the South Downs Way. It is the third highest point on the South Downs at 248m and the highest point in East Sussex. Ditchling Beacon the last leg of the London to Brighton charity bike ride.

When you look around the lovely corner of East Sussex we are lucky enough to call home, one thing is clear.

This area was made for cycling and walking, with its undulating landscapes, breathtaking views and a sea that sparkles in the sunshine.

Little wonder then that the Lewes Hike and Bike Festival (Tuesday May 27 to Saturday May 31) is back after its first event last year, bigger and better.

The festival already has a programme of 14 guided walks and bike rides confirmed.

It even has financial backing from the South Downs National Park Authority, Lewes District Council and East Sussex County Council.

But organisers are keen to point out you do not need to be super fit to join in a walk or a bike ride.

Festival founder Steve Ranger said: “The countryside around Lewes provides some of the best walking and cycling anywhere in the South East.

“There are spectacular landscapes right on our doorstep and we want people to know that to enjoy them you don’t need to be super fit or have a specialist equipment or expensive bikes.

“Many of our guided rides will take just a few hours and are suitable for everyone who can ride a bike.

“We are also keen to hear from any local groups or individuals who would like to lead walks and rides during the festival, the more variety we can add to the programme the better.”

Organisers said the festival was much bigger this year and added the fair would be held in the Precinct in Lewes town centre.

Last year it was held at Lewes Railway Station so organisers are hoping the more central location and increased number of stands will attract more visitors.

While the festival will include events in and around Lewes, it will also include rides and walks taking in other towns and villages, such as Seaford, Arlington, Rottingdean and Plumpton

Some of the rides already confirmed are: a 34 mile circular ride via Arlington, Seaford and Rottingdean; the 59 mile Tour de Lewes that includes two circular routes returning each through the town; a women’s off road ride along the Downs to Ditchling returning through Plumpton Plain and Landport Woods; and a challenging 21 mile Lewes Four Peaks challenge that takes in all of the four sections of Downs around Lewes.

Confirmed walks include: the 14 mile Seven Sisters walk between Seaford and Eastbourne; a Lewes town history walk; and an off road Ouse Valley walk via Iford and Rodmell returning along the river footpath.

The programme will also incorporate evening discussions and a street festival for everything walking and cycling.

Alongside the festival the county council’s Bikeability cycle trainers will be working with schools in the Lewes area.

The festival is aimed at encouraging walkers and cyclists of all abilities to explore Lewes’s history and celebrate the South Downs.

It will coincide with the Lewes Cycle Challenge which runs from May 26 to June 15 where people living or working in Lewes are encouraged to cycle to work, cycle for fun or just cycle instead of taking the car.

Full programme details are on the festival website www.leweshikeandbike.co.uk and people can follow what’s happening on the Festival Facebook page and on twitter @leweshikenbike

 

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