Jim asked me yesterday if I could share a map of running routes I’ve tried around Lewes. “Very handy for the beginner,” he said.
So here goes.
First, if you’re smartphone inclined, I’d recommend investing the pound or two you need to record your progress and keep an eye on how far (and how fast) you’re going, and how you’re advancing over time. I know it’s not just me that responds to positive, real-time reinforcement. I’ve enjoyed using The Running Professor, and have recently switched allegiances to Nike+. The advantage of the former is that it has built-in lessons if you’re following a programme like “Couch to 5K”; the advantage of the latter is that is accumulates your runs automatically.
Second, as I’m in Southover, more of my runs (and so more of my favourites) are on the South side of town. For rough distances, assume that most of these runs start at around Southover Grange. But I’ve just been told that along the Ouse, North of the Pells is lovely, and I’ll be trying that soon and will report back.
Third, I’ve been doing this for barely three months, so I’m no expert AT ALL. But one of the things I adore about running and spreading my wings further is the way you see the town and country you thought was familiar in an entirely new light, finding new connections between places. Lovely.
1. Lewes Priory and Priory Fields. I love what’s been done in the Priory, and I love running through living history. It’s about 1/3 a mile from the entrance of Priory Park to Priory Fields. And it’s just under 1/2 a mile around the very perimeter of Priory Fields. Into and out of the Priory and a couple of laps of Priory Fields – about a mile-and-a-half.
2. Stanley Turner. Head down Cockshut Road, past the Southdown Club, right at the bottom of the road, left under the A27, and right into and around the Stanley Turner ground. First part – home of Southover Bonfire Society’s firesite – is where rugby training happens; over the trip-trap bridge and you have two football fields to the left, a cricket pitch to the right, and three rugby pitches straight ahead. A loop from Southover High street is getting on for two miles.
3. Around the Dump and playing fields. Head from Anne of Cleves, down Southover High Street, past the Dripping Pan, right down towards the dump, left past the Priory playing fields, then right and right again to go right round those playing fields. Carry on to the bottom of Cockshut Lane, then right again to return to Southover High Street. Just over a mile and a half.
4. Along the Ouse, to the South of town. Head down towards the dump again, as in 3., but then head as if to the dump. Just before the entrance, take the footpath to the left of the dump. Follow the path, under the railway bridge, then climb up onto the Ouse-side path. Hug the path by the river, across the railway land, til you get to the Linklater pavillion. Then through the level-crossing gate, and loop back down Lansdown Road and back via the Station and Southover High Street. A good two-plus miles.
5. To and from Kingston. Starting from the Swan at the end of Southover High Street, run along the C7, past the Stanley Turner ground and Cranedown, to and past Spring Barn Farm. You have to cross sides a couple of times, so watch out for the traffic and nasty blind curves. Past Spring Barn Farm, up the hill towards Wyevale (Garden Centre), then right into Kingston village. Long, slow, shallow inclines. Just opposite the Juggs pub in the village, follow the footpath the skirts Iford and Kingston Primary School. Back through a sheep field, skirting Spring Barn Farm again. Back down the C7. Mix it up – and avoid the hill over the A27 – by going back through the Stanley Turner. Three and quarter miles or thereabouts.
All routes marked – clearly I hope – on the following two maps (1, 3 and 4 on the first, 2 and 5 on the second). If you want me to e-mail you a bigger resolution copy, let me know.
I’ll add more to this list every three months or so. But as I spread my wings further, I’d love to hear from you on what your favourite runs in and around Lewes are – urban, rural, up on the Downs. I’m particularly keen on 5-10K runs that you can do starting from Lewes.
Hear from soon, I hope.