|Via:||Carlshalton, Coulsdon, Redhill, Crawley|
|Meets:||CSH8, NCN22, NCN21, NCN2|
|Route outline (key)|
NCN20 runs south from the River thames atWandsworth, London to the south coast at Brighton where it meets NCN2. The vast majority of the route is paved, however parts run on old pavements that do have a rough surface, so are unsuitable for road bikes in places. Between Coulsdon and Brighton it follows closely to the A23, in parts running beside it, or on it.
Wandsworth - Chipstead
Chipstead - Warwick Wold
Three Bridges - Bolney
^^needs north of Pease Pottage^^ Route returns to the local road network at a roundabout with Brighton Road, a LAR built in the 1990s when the A23 between Handcross and Pease Pottage was widened. At this roundabout we head southwards, however to the North is another roundabout with allows access to the Pease Pottage Services along with a newly built housing development, just North of this is Junction 11 of the M23, which is unsuitable for cycle traffic. Heading southwards we have to re-join the main carriageway, luckily the road is fairly wide (S2) and doesn’t have much traffic as the A23 runs adjacent. The road here is also well maintained, has a smooth pavement (although not a shared surface) and limited 50mph. After a while we meet another roundabout, this is for the Southbound exit for Handcross, as it lacks room for one co-located with the other slip roads. At this point the Brighton Road becomes the B2114 and the pavement switches from the eastern side to the western side, as you head southbound you can see the land formation of the old A23 southbound carriageway in the woodland. Homes on the western side become more frequent and then we arrive in a 30mph zone. We then arrive at a mini-roundabout with the B2110 at Gravelpit Corner, route 20 takes the slight right onto the A2110/A2114 multiplex where we head down the high street. There is a convenience store & a pub along here which is always handy for hydration. At the southern end of the High Street the B2114 follows the road around to the left, while the B2110 follows around to the right, route 20 takes the left here. Then route 20 splits, the original (and still signed route) takes the B2114 to Staplefield along a S2 road, which lacks visibility, then down a paved country track to Warninglid, where it crosses over at the Warninglid fly over to rejoin a cycleway next to the A23. However, since 2014 there has been a brand-new cycle route beside the A23 built to a high-quality finish and even some road signs on it. From Handcross this requires you to take the next right onto the old A23 (now signed as part of the B2110), this is a two-way road but becomes a one-way road southbound towards the bottom that then becomes the A23 southbound on-slip, at this point the new cycleway emerges. At the old Slaugham junction, the cycleway switches from the eastern side to the western side using Staplefield Road, interestingly at the start of the western side it is signed as a public bridleway, although no maps or WSCC databases show it as one. It then follows this new cyclepath to a new LAR called Nursey Lane, shortly before Nursey Lane there is a subway with height restriction signage saying “Horse Riders Dismount”, although it is only a public footpath that crosses here. Nursey lane is a dead-end S2 that provides access to a number of commercial builds and some gypsy sites, so there is very light traffic, although HVGs are present, there is a pavement, but not signage showing it as a shared surface. At Warninglid Junction the cycleway goes around a roundabout before quickly exiting back onto a cycleway that runs parrel with the A23, this surface is okay and should suffice for road bikes. Not too far south the cycleway follows an entry-slip road onto the A23 northbound, here we rejoin the main carriageway which is the old A23 northbound, now a S2 LAR called London Road. The road surface here isn’t great and likely hasn’t received much attention since the A23 was realigned in the 1990s. We shortly arrive at a roundabout adjacent to a petrol station, this provides access to Jeremy’s Lane and a stand-along A23 Northbound off slip road. A bit further south there is a T-junction with Broxmead Lane, the is connected to a stand-alone A23 southbound exit slip road. We continue to follow the London Road into Bolney. The road is an S2, however is fairly wide as it used to support the A23 until the early 1990s
Bolney - Pyecombe
Pyecombe - Brighton
A23 Handcross - Warninglid Widening (2014)
Handcross - Warninglid Widening took place in 2014 on the A23. Previous to this the A23 between Handcross Junction and Warninglid Junction didn't have any provision for NMUs, so when the route was chosen for the NCN20 it was routed along the B2114 to Staplefield (fairly busy, moderate steepness, S2) then along Staplefield Lane (low traffic, low quality surface, narrow S2) to Warninglid Junction NCN would then pass over the A23 on the B2115 to join a cyclepath adjacent to the Northbound carriageway. The works included a high quality NMUs path alongside the whole of the A23 between the two junctions, however the southernmost section runs on a new service road. This new path is three metres wide, and features road markings and signage due to high-speed travel on the steep incline around 10% for a sustained period of the way. Most signage still shows the old route, however the majority of cyclists follow the new unsigned route.