London to Brighton events

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Finish line of the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, 2005

London to Brighton refers to a variety of races, tours, charity rides and rallies that take place between London and Brighton in the United Kingdom.

The route often follows the A23 (and, often, nearby minor roads). The route is full of contrasts, passing through the London suburbs of Westminster, Brixton, Croydon and Purley, past Gatwick Airport, Crawley and then into the countryside of The Weald, crossing the North and South Downs. Ditchling Beacon on the South Downs (near but not part of the A23) is a steep climb followed by a gentle descent for five miles into Brighton, where the route finishes on the promenade by the Kings Road arches. The current London to Brighton Veteran Car Run does not use the route past the Ditchling Beacon but follows the A273 road up Clayton Hill and rejoins the A23 at Pyecombe.

London to Brighton Veteran Car Run[edit]

The route was originally popularised by the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run begun in 1927 for cars built before 1904 and re-enacting the original 1896 Emanicipation Run, which was held on 14 November 1896 to celebrate the passing into law of the Light Locomotives Act which raised the speed limit to 14 mph and did away with the need for a person to walk in front of a mechanised vehicle waving a red flag to warn other road users. In 2007 531 cars participated and over ninety percent of them finished the course; in 2008 there were 550, with 126 international entries from as far away as Australia, Canada, USA, Argentina and South Africa.

Seafront display of Minis after a London to Brighton drive

London to Brighton Bike Ride[edit]

A bicycle ride to raise money for charity takes the route each summer. About 30,000 cyclists take part. The toughest part is the climb over Ditchling Beacon; having already cycled some 50 miles (80 km), cyclists must then tackle a 1 mi (1.6 km) climb with an average grade exceeding 1 in 10. Several sections are somewhat steeper, and the vast majority walk up. The British Heart Foundation has been involved with the London to Brighton Bike Ride since 1980. Since then more than £40 million has been raised to help fund pioneering research, patient care and vital information and over 650,000 riders have taken part.

Running events[edit]

An ultramarathon running race used to take this route each October, starting on Westminster Bridge in the centre of London, and finishing at The Level in Brighton. This is a distance of 54 miles, 198 yards (87.085 km). The race was organised by the Road Runners Club from 1953 to 2005. However the course had been raced over at least since the early 19th century, and regularly since 1899. In its later years the race was low-key with just over one hundred runners taking part. The fastest would finish in well under 6 hours, whilst there was a time limit of 10 hours after which the course was not marshalled. The race was discontinued after 2005 because of increasing road traffic and difficulties in finding sufficient marshals. In 2010 the ultra-running organisation Extreme Running staged an off-road London to Brighton Trail Race from Blackheath in London to Brighton sea front (56 miles).[1] The winning time was 8 hours 32 minutes. The race was next planned to be held in 2011.

Madeira Drive at the finish of the Historic Commercial Vehicle Run

Motoring events[edit]

The London to Brighton Mini Run takes place on the 3rd Sunday in May. It celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2010. In 2009 the event broke the world record for the longest convoy of Minis with a Guinness-verified total of 1450 cars.[2] The London to Brighton, and believed to be the largest one make car show in the world[citation needed] attracting over 2,500 Minis both classic and modern. It is organised by the London & Surrey Mini Owners Club.

In 2005 this tradition was copied in the United States. The SotaMINIs car club organised the New London to New Brighton Run in the state of Minnesota (Mini-sota). Minnesota is the only state in the US that has both a New London and a New Brighton. The distance between the two is exactly twice the distance from London to Brighton. The first year it was attended by 20 MINIs/Minis. It has since doubled in size.

The London to Brighton Land Rover Run is an annual gathering of Land Rover enthusiasts organised by the South London and Surrey Land Rover Club. The event started at Crystal Palace Park until an extension of the London Emissions Zone forced it to move. Since 2012 it has been held at Hook Road Arena in Epsom and the Land Rovers drive down to Madeira Drive in Brighton. The event takes place on or around the first Sunday in October. In 2006, 814 vehicles took part.

Other events[edit]

Other London to Brighton events include those for MGs, air-cooled Volkswagens, 2CVs, vintage motorcycles, Smart Cars, and vintage commercial vehicles. Most events, especially motoring events, finish at Madeira Drive on the seafront.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]