Walk Reports for 2021


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Sunrise Saunter – Tuesday 21 December 2021

At 7 am on the shortest day, four remarkably wide-awake members convened on Cliffe Bridge in the hope of seeing the sun come up.  A brisk walk-up Malling Hill was followed by a less brisk-walk up Mill Road and an even less brisk trudge to the top of the Downs above one of the many old chalk pits.  A glimpse of the moon from time to time through the clouds engendered some small flutters of hope but it was not to be.  At Saxon Cross there were many pale red streaks across the eastern sky but the sun remained demurely hidden.  Returning to Lewes by way of the golf club and Chapel Hill ended a very pleasant outing led by Graham.  Better luck next year, maybe?




Red skies at sun rise


Sun rays soon after



Mount Harry Circular - Sunday 19 December 2021

The first Footpath Group hike” attracted seven hikers.  From Lewes train station we made our way to The Swan, followed Juggs Road for a few yards and then branched right along Love Lane which eventually passes beside the Winterbourne stream which has not yet begun to flow.  Climbing out of Houndean Bottom, we crossed the old racecourse, past the old stables and headed for Mount Harry where a coffee stop was taken mostly perched on a convenient piece of abandoned farm machinery.  Basically, it was just a load of junk but somehow it tried very hard to look like a modernistic sculpture and it very nearly did.  It is worth noting that the cloud cover was very low, visibility was down to about 200 yards so there were no typical Downs views to be seen.  When asked to judge how far away a lone tree, somewhat obscured by the haze, was, estimates varied from 80 to 200 yards. This interesting exercise in judging distances was resolved  by one of the group marching to the tree with his smart phone and that indicated that the distance was just 0.03 of a mile, a mere 53 yards.  Taking the track that was probably not used by Simon de Montford in 1264, we dropped down to Offham, crossed the road, past the church and followed the old road back to Lewes which probably was the one followed by the Londoners fleeing the site of the Battle of Lewes, hotly pursued by the vengeful Prince Edward.  This enjoyable outing was led by Hilda and Graham.




Lancing- Sunday 5 December 2021

As we drove over from Lewes to Lancing, the rain stopped and we were blessed with bright and clear weather for the whole of the walk. We started from the Lancing Ring Car Park in North Lancing on a somewhat “bracing” triangular downland walk with wide views for the whole walk. The first northbound leg offered lovely views of the lower Adur valley, though slightly marred by the derelict cement works. It’s thirty years since these were closed and it’s astonishing that nothing has been done to remove this eyesore. The cold wind on the downland was quite strong, so we found a sheltered spot for our coffee break just above the hamlet of Coombes. From there we went in a westerly direction and hit the full force of the wind. Nothing daunted, we continued to the top of the Downs, where we again changed direction for the final leg, now going South East with the wind behind us and sheltered by bushes. The temperature seemed to be several degrees higher, and we were treated to a spectacular vista of the deep grey-blue sea and the coastline stretching all the way from the Seven Sisters in the East to Worthing in the west with the turbines of the offshore wind farm clearly visible near the horizon. The nine walkers were led by Alan.




Southease - Rodmell Circular - Wednesday 1 December

The walk was led by Roger and Diana and set off from the YHA carpark at 10.30.  It was a lovely crisp, sunny day and the 10 of us made our way over the railway line at Southease Station and on to Rodmell, passing the church and Virginia Woolf’s house.  We followed the path of her last walk down to the river Ouse and then walked along it back to the YHA where we all enjoyed coffee and cake after a very enjoyable 4-mile stroll in good company.




By the Church


Across the river



Caburn in view


Back by the River Ouse



Alfriston – Sunday 21 November 2021

On Sunday the Lewes Footpaths Group walk began in Alfriston. On a sunny, cold morning we crossed the Cuckmere on the White Bridge and immediately started the long climb up the downs, leaving the quaint little church of Lullington on our right.


After following the clearly marked footpath through cultivated land we crossed the narrow road to Wilmington which brought us out onto downland. We continued our ascent as far as the reservoir and then dropped down on the path that took us past the toes of the Long Man; we stopped to admire him but felt he could do with a wash and brush up. The path then followed the contour line as far as the Holt, where we stopped for a coffee break and a chance to admire the panoramic views. The sun was too low and the wind too cold to linger for long, so we set off again on the rutted and slippery track downhill to Wilmington.


Our path took us through the churchyard under the branches of its ancient yew tree and past the new yew planted to mark the millennium. then across the fields to Alfriston. The footpath was unploughed and grassy, thanks to an unusually considerate farmer. We reached the banks of the Cuckmere at Long Bridge and followed the river to return to our starting point in Alfriston.

The walk was led by Anne




Seaford – Sunday 7 November 2021

Sixteen of us set off from Firle Road, Seaford, outside the Seaford Head Golf Club on a lovely sunny morning. We walked along the private road that circles the west side of the golf course with views of Newhaven and the sea and the countryside towards Firle Beacon. A private road leads to the Rathfinny Reservoir. However, we turned off onto a narrow track between hedgerows that led to Paul Earl’s seat. Here we took the wide and partly grassy track leading to Bo-Peep car park.


It was at Bo-Peep that we had a short coffee break using four convenient benches overlooking Selmeston and the countryside surrounding the Arlington Reservoir. We resumed our walk along the South Downs Way, eastward for a short distance before turning back south towards the sea. On such a lovely day, the views from the top of the downs were great and the scenery around us picturesque. We continued downhill on wide grassy paths, listening to skylarks and enjoying views of the sea, Seaford Head and the start of the Seven Sisters.


At the bottom of the hill, we spotted the beginning of Rathfinny Vineyards and we climbed the narrow chalky slope back to Paul Earl’s seat. Coming up the very narrow slope, we were greeted by four horse riders coming towards us. We felt nervous but the horses and riders were very well behaved and passed us without incident! Strangely, I’d seen hoof marks but never encountered any riders in the vicinity before. When we reached the beginning of the private road off Firle Road, we carefully walked across the golf course on permitted tracks. Before the last piece of green, there was a warning bell to ring and we made good use of it! A walk of just over six miles was led by Hazel and assisted by Graham.




Ringmer – Sunday 24 October 2021

On a beautiful, sunny Sunday morning ,sixteen of us set off from The Wok restaurant along the Broyle in Ringmer for a five-mile circular walk. After a short walk along the grass verge, we turn off onto a footpath across farm fields towards Rowland Wood. Some of the fields had been ploughed and were muddy in places where the tractor had churned up the soil. The huge field of sweetcorn on our right had been harvested since our walk-out a few weeks before.


When we reached Rowland Wood, we saw a selection of fungi including shaggy ink cap or lawyer’s wig. The woods were looking their best with sun streaming down on carpets of fallen leaves. We made our way towards Park Corner and walked along the quiet road for a short while before turning into Laughton Common Wood. There, we found a comfortable mossy bank to sit and enjoy our coffee and snacks. We waved at some horse riders, walkers with dogs and bikers going passed us.


As we continued through woods, we saw a roe deer standing motionless in the middle of the path for a few minutes until it decided to move out of our way. We walked past some fields to reach the woods running parallel to the B2192 that takes you past the East Sussex Gliding Club back towards the Wok Inn. It was a pretty path through the woods with streams and a very green pond covered with duckweed. One needed to tread carefully with tree roots sticking up and badger and rabbit holes on both sides.There were a few tricky stiles which slowed us down. By one o’clock, we were back to our cars and there was an option to have a drink in the Wok. The walk was led by Margaret and Jeannette.




Poynings - Sunday 10 October 2021

On a misty October morning, twelve of us departed from Poynings and slowly clambered up to the top of Devil’s Dyke, encountering several groups of teenagers on some kind of hiking and map-reading project.  On reaching the summit, the mist somewhat marred the normally spectacular views of the Weald but provided an ethereal autumnal aspect. After walking along the top of the Downs for a mile or so, we descended steeply (and carefully) to Fulking. Here we crossed the road and had a well-earned coffee break in the little recreation ground. From there our route took us across and along several fields, at one point having to double-back as we found ourselves on the wrong side of a hedge, having missed the well-hidden path to the other side. After rectifying the situation, we continued north and then eastwards, admiring en route a couple of white ponies, a field of alpacas, who seemed to find us as interesting as we found them, and a couple of docile horses. Finally, we emerged onto a lane that took us back to Poynings. The walk was led by Alan.




East Dean – Sunday 26 September 2021

Fifteen of us got off the bus from East Dean at South Downs Way/ Eastbourne Downs Golf Course and crossed the A259 to walk down the hill towards Beachy Head. When nearly opposite the pub, we walked down the path to the RAF Bomber Command Memorial on the cliff top, where we paused for a coffee break.


The views along the way were lovely - despite the day being overcast and breezy at times. We continued along the cliff top towards Belle Tout until we found a sheltered spot for our lunch break with views of the Light House.


The day was beginning to brighten as we walked along the path running parallel with the Beachy Head Road. We turned inland up a road leading to a farm, across fields and pathways to bring us back to East Dean via Birling Manor and Gilberts Drive. Young cattle in one field weren’t interested in us thank goodness! They were too busy eating lush grass. We also saw some birds of prey. This enjoyable walk, of just over 6 miles, was led by Hazel and assisted by Graham.




Beach Head Lighthouse








Black Clouds – Bright Seas









Coffee Stop at War Memorial



Lighthouse From the Lunch Stop




London Holiday – 13 to 15 September 2021

On Monday 13th September, 19 of caught the train to Teddington Station where we met our excellent guide Sophie who took us by public transport to Kew Gardens. We had an early lunch then guided tour to see a few highlights of the gardens including “the Five Lions” - all trees surviving from 1762 when the gardens were established. As we walked three miles back to Richmond, we enjoyed views of Richmond Lock and Palace among other sights.


On Tuesday 14th, we walked to Strawberry Hill for a conducted tour of this wonderful old house. After our visit, we walked along the river to see Turner’s House and Marble Hill House. A ferry took us across the river to Ham House where we enjoyed a tour of the extensive grounds by Vivien one of our members who volunteers there. After refreshments, we walked upstream and back to our hotel, the Lansbury via Teddington Lock. We had time to relax before our evening meal.


On Wednesday morning, we checked out of our hotel and walked through Bushy Park to Hampton Court Palace for an optional conducted tour of the palace which included the sumptuous Royal Chapel. We met at the jetty for a boat trip down to Richmond from where we made our way back to the hotel. There was a choice of local pubs for a late lunch before returning home. The holiday was arranged by Margaret and organised by Travel Editions.







Janet’s Strolls – Summer 2021

During the summer months Janet has led six strolls of 2 – 3 miles usually incorporating a café stop. We have strolled the railway land, the downs, along the river and over to Kingston. We also took the train to Newhaven and walked through to Seaford and the final stroll saw us taking the train to Bexhill and walking to St Leonards. Between 6 and 12 people have come on these strolls where they have enjoyed the shorter distances and gentle pace with a chance to catch up with old friends.







Lewes Loop Holiday – Tuesday 17 to Friday 20 August 2021.

The group’s summer holiday began as a three-day trek to finish the High Weald Landscape Trail at Rye. Covid restrictions rendered that impossible so the next plan was to walk the Vanguard Way, starting at the end. The “pingdemic” put an end to that idea so the final decision was to walk the Lewes Loop instead.

The Lewes Loop is a 33 miles trail that passes through a number of villages surrounding Lewes. Being a loop, it is possible to start anywhere along the route but for the purposes of splitting it up into easily walkable chunks, we started at Southease train station on Tuesday morning, having caught the train from Lewes at a very civilised hour. A steady climb on the South Downs Way took us to the top of Itford Hill which affords a nearly all-round panorama east to Seaford Head, south to the sea and Newhaven and north up the valley of the River Ouse to Lewes. At the radio masts the route took us down to Glynde where some of the group took a train to Lewes whilst the remainder clambered up the hill to the Caburn ridge. From there, we descended gradually towards the Glyndebourne wind turbine, and here took a slightly longer route than planned, ending up on Potato Lane outside Ringmer. We walked along the Lane to Ringmer, where most of the party waited for the bus back to Lewes. The three remaining stalwarts had a refreshing cup of tea in Ringmer and were joined by a fourth member for the final leg of the day. This took us through fields of different crops to Plashett Wood, which we circumnavigated to arrive at Halfway House in Rose Hill. As we had made good progress, we arrived 45 minutes before schedule and were able to revive ourselves with a drink in the pub before catching the bus back.

On day two, the weather remained overcast, and we returned to Rose Hill and continued south-westerly until we reached the Ouse at the Anchor Inn. After a short coffee stop, we continued along the river towards Barcombe Mills. The banks of the river were overgrown with the very attractive but destructively rampant Himalayan balsam for most of the way. From Barcombe Mills, our route took us along a very narrow path through a seven-foot-high field of maize, which one or two members found a little overwhelming. Furthermore, the “path” disappeared before the end of the field, so we had to fight our way through the last few metres, only to find no apparent exit through the barbed wire fence! Luckily, we found a gate a little further down and having survived this little (mis)adventure, we made our way to Barcombe Cross and had our picnic lunch on the tables of the Royal Oak (which was closed). Half of the party decamped back to Lewes and the rest of us continued across country to South Chailey, then past an orchard with a large flock of free-range hens darting about. From there, the route took us across the land around North Barnes Farm, which at the time of writing, is at the centre of a major controversy. The land is owned by Eton College and there is a proposal for a new village with 3000 houses to be built on the site. Unsurprisingly, there were many placards on display, objecting to the proposal. We were scheduled to catch the 15.49 train from Plumpton back to Lewes, but as we approached the station, it looked as if we were not going to make it and would have to wait an hour for the next train. Somehow, however, we managed to put on a final spurt and caught the train with about 30 seconds to spare!

On Day 3 we took the train back to Plumpton, from where we walked around the racecourse and across to East Chiltington. The weather was much improved with bright sunshine, though not too hot for walking. We continued south, past Novington Manor towards the Downs. There was evidence of an imminent event at the Manor with several tents and signposts which intrigued us and had us guessing as to what was going on, but no definitive answer. We soon reached Plumpton village and started the steep ascent of the north face of the Downs. At the top we were rewarded with spectacular views of the Weald on one side and the Downs falling away to the sea on the other side. We had our lunch stop by the side of a field that was being harvested. This generated a lot of interest for five or six buzzards that wheeled around overhead, presumably on the scrounge for exposed rodents. After our break, we continued largely downhill, enjoying the first of the blackberries that were just beginning to ripen, and reaching our destination at Falmer just before three o’clock.

Five hardy souls elected to walk the 8.5 miles on the last day, from Falmer to the starting point at Southease. The route takes in the wondrously quiet village of Falmer, considering how close it is to the A27 which so cruelly divides it, the National Nature Reserve at Castle Hill, the lost hamlet of Balsdean, the memorial to Colonel John Harvey who died there in a riding accident in 1819 and the villages of Telscombe and Southease, the latter with a round church tower which is one of only three in Sussex. At the end of the walk, two of the group were presented with their certificates for completing the whole of the loop. They had the honour of being the first ever to complete it on consecutive days. Around 20 members walked for various parts of the loop on various days. Graham led on the first and last day and Alan did the honours for days two and three.




On the Downs above Plumpton




Jevington - Sunday August 15 2021

After struggling to get past the roadworks on the A27 and to find somewhere to park in Jevington (many thanks to the Eight Bells for allowing us to park on their property), thirteen of us set off up Church Lane, past the church and then onto the South Downs Way through the woods. Near the top of the hill, we continued along the track bordering Lullington Heath. The verges at the sides of the track were carpeted with a plethora of wildflowers, many of which were identified for us by Vivien, our botany expert. Several species of butterfly were flitting around, including Chalkhill and Common Blue, Red Admiral, Small Heath and the ubiquitous Meadow Brown.


After a descent and another ascent, we had our coffee break at Winchester Pond, a lovely spot with an ancient Dewpond, restored relatively recently. Following the path around Lullington Heath, the track took us down the edge of Friston Forest and was again awash with a blaze of purple and yellow wildflowers and on one hemp agrimony bush we were treated to a display of at least six basking Red Admirals. Another descent was followed by the final ascent, at which point the weather, which had been pleasantly warm and sunny, took a turn for the worse with a haar, or sea mist, rolling in, resulting in a sudden unwelcome and unexpected drop in temperature.


So, we made our way back down to Jevington, stopping to admire the old church and to examine in the churchyard, the gravestone of Sir Hartley Shawcross, the chief prosecutor at the Nuremberg Tribunal in 1945. On reaching the village, several members had a welcome drink at the Eight Bells. The walk was led by Alan.




Kingston Circular – Tuesday 10 August 2021
Such excellent timing - we could hardly believe our luck! It was a beautiful warm, still, sunny morning after a week of unrelieved, gloom, rain tropical downpours. Perhaps summer had returned after all. Six of us set off, initially walking through the town, to pick up our trail at Juggs Road. The first half of our walk – from Southover to Kingston Ridge, and then up to the South Downs Way – was all uphill, some gentle, some steeply ascending especially the last part up to the SDW. We stopped near the Ashcombe Windmill to take in the views and make use of this iconic structure as the backdrop for a group photo. When we finally reached the SDW, we agreed that this was the perfect place to stop for a breather and quick refreshment, providing the chance to appreciate the magnificent long views in all directions that more than compensated for our exertions.


After a short stretch of the SDW, we reached Dencher Road, the start of our descent into Swanborough. Apart from the wonderful downland views, the numerous butterflies flitting around and the myriad wild flowers - including a vast swathe of the now relatively rare delicate harebell and a few round-headed rampions (the Pride of Sussex) - added to the pleasures of the walk.


On reaching Swanborough and crossing the Newhaven Road, the rest of our trail was entirely on the flat – across fields of corn ready to be harvested, alongside a stunning field of sunflowers (momentarily transporting us to the South of France) and finally along the banks of the Cockshut stream to emerge from the underpass back onto Southover.


It had been a lovely walk – glorious weather, magnificent landscapes, good company – all the more appreciated after our months of isolation.      The walk was led by Vivien










Falmer to Lewes – Wednesday 28 July 2021

17 members met at Lewes Bus Station to catch the bus to Falmer village for this walk. Just before boarding the bus the rain came down in torrents. We all thought this was how the walk was going to carry on. But on arriving at Falmer village the rain had stopped, all jackets came off and the weather progressed further. It was really good to have five new members join the group for their first walk. It was a steady climb all the way to Blackcap, with spectacular views of surrounding hills. By this time the wind was picking up, but undeterred we all carried on for our lunch stop on Blackcap. Feeling refreshed it was downhill all the way back to Lewes. The walk was led by Jean.




Wadhurst Bewl Water circular – Sunday 18 July 2021

Only mad dogs, and eight walkers from Lewes Footpaths Group, go out in the midday sun! On a very, very hot Sunday in July, eight walkers met in the village of Wadhurst for a circular walk, taking in some of the Sussex side of Bewl Water.

Staying in the shade as much as possible we walked between steep banks for a short distance, before turning onto open pasture land, spotting a huge puff ball mushroom on our way. Walking uphill our path was overgrown in places, before opening out onto farmland. We were following hedged field boundaries and walking through meadows. Arriving at Long Wood brought some respite from the heat. Here we stopped for a short rest before heading up through open fields again.

We continued walking on grassy tracks and through shady woods, eventually reaching the Bewl Water perimeter path. Here we were rewarded with beautiful views across the open water. With the wild flowers, birds, boaters, fishermen, cyclists and walkers there was much to see. Across the water the activity centre came into view.

Our route took us around the south west edge of the reservoir. Thankfully much of the path was through woodland, even muddy in places. Eventually we headed back up towards Wadhurst, passing hop fields and walking through the Wadhurst churchyard.



Lewes Stroll – Tuesday 1 July 2021

Our morning stroll on Tuesday, as the title suggested, was an amble rather than a ramble round the outskirts of Lewes ending up with a welcome drink in Grange gardens. The weather was warm but mostly overcast as 14 of us set off from the castle gate, rising past the bowling green to the castle mound. We took the left path to bring us down to Paddock lane before rising to de Montefort Road. Via the steps in Valence Road we carried on to the prison and the Southern most footpath along the South edge of the old race course.


Hope in the valley and the riding stables brought us to the footpath over the A27, up the steep hill to Juggs lane, making a nodding acquaintance with a grazing horse and flock of sheep on the way.


It was downhill all the way then via Southover High Street to Grange gardens and the tea shop by the terrace where we enjoyed refreshments and time to chat.




Iford – Wednesday 19 May 2021

On Wednesday 19th May, eighteen members met at the Railway Station for a four and half mile walk to Iford via the Convent Field, Rise Farm and the party field. The morning was very overcast with rain expected. We crossed the fields climbing over three styles into the lane that leads to Iford. On reaching the Church we took advantage of a break where some members visited the church. Recommencing our walk we carried on through the village and returned to Lewes along the path leading to the fishing lakes at Swanborough. The heavy overnight rain had made underfoot very muddy, the first time we had got mud on our boots for a long time. The sun had come out by this time and it seemed very tropical as we returned to Lewes where everybody had had a very enjoyable walk. This walk was led by Jean.




The Downs above Southerham Lane - Tuesday 4 May 2021

On Tuesday 4th May, ten of us set off from North Street car park in Lewes on a cold, blustery day. We made our way towards Cliffe High Street and on to South Street. From there, we passed the Snowdrop Inn and walked between the River Ouse and A26 until we crossed over the busy road and into Cliffe Industrial Estate. After walking along Southerham Lane past Monkey Buzness and Hanover Displays, the road turns sharply left and then almost immediately we found our footpath leading upwards through woods to the top of the Downs. Despite the wind blowing in our faces, we enjoyed a panoramic views of the Downs with Mount Caburn in the distance. Skylarks were singing all around us.


We turned back towards Lewes Golf Course and made our way down the steep Chapel Hill back to South Street. The highlight of the walk was having coffee and delicious cake in a cafe nearby. The stroll was about three miles long and was led by Margaret and Jeannette.




Barcombe Mills – Sunday 25 April 2021

On Sunday, April 25, 18 walkers set off from Barcombe Mills in sunny but cool weather, to the sound of many different birds enjoying Spring as much as we were. After passing the ponds and the hamlet, we crossed the cutting of the much written-about Lewes-Uckfield railway line. We then headed in a northerly direction across fields and the Red Bridge. The high point of the walk was along Dallas Lane through Burtenshaw and Agmond’s Woods, which were carpeted with primroses and wood anemones, with bluebells just beginning to make an appearance. A lovely orange-tip butterfly settled very close to us and displayed its wings for us, unperturbed by our close quarters. This was quite a treat as normally these delightful little butterflies flit around and one usually only catches a glimpse as they fly by.


At the end of the woods, we took our coffee break in a field protected from the cold north wind and enjoyed the sunshine just by the Ouse. Our return journey took us along the river, which we crossed on the White Bridge, and then again by the Anchor Inn, which, as expected, was very busy with folks enjoying the recent release from lockdown and the sunny weather. We followed the River all the way back to the car park, passing quite a number of people kayaking on the water. The walk was led by Alan.




Seaford Head – Wednesday 21 April 2021

It was a bright sunny morning when 8 of us set off from Splash Point to climb to the top of Seaford Head.  For some it was the first steep ascent in quite a while, given that lockdown walks tended to be on the tame side.  The view looking back from the top towards Seaford and Newhaven beyond was splendid, the sea so calm and blue. We all agreed that this more than compensated for our exertions. 


We made our way along the cliff, any inclination to wander near to the edge for a selfie (not our style!) thwarted by all the new roping-off after numerous cliff falls.  Turning inland, we soon arrived at South Hill Farm which offered another stunning view across the green downland landscape with fields full of sheep and lambs, and the confetti effect of all the blackthorn in full bloom everywhere. 


Our route then took us down lanes, across fields and onto the track alongside the Cuckmere River.  We found a sheltered spot out of the pesky wind for a short refreshment break, listening to the non-stop birdsong from the hedgerows, and were then treated to that glorious sight of a little egret in flight.


On reaching the famous Coastguard Cottages, we picked up the cliffside track for our return to Splash Point.  But we first turned around to take in the view of the Seven Sisters.  It seemed to us all to be even more beautiful than we recalled, those white cliffs whiter than ever and the sea more blue.  Maybe it was because of our long confinement and we were seeing it all anew.  More signs of spring accompanied us on our walk back – swathes of purple ground ivy and violets, and skylarks singing as they soared heavenwards.


A most enjoyable walk, made all the more special being in this wonderful landscape in a social (though socially distanced) group after our year of isolation.








Piddinghoe – Sunday 11 April 2021

On a bright but cold morning, 16 of us assembled in Southease, glad to be out and about with others after the lifting of restrictions. Passing the lovely 11th century church of St Peter, we crossed the C7 and headed up the valley, which is delightfully named Cricketing Bottom. Ascending the hill at the top of the valley, we joined the road that dropped down into Telscombe village, where we took our coffee break in the churchyard. From there we headed eastwards, passing behind the furthest inland houses of Peacehaven and eventually descended steeply into the valley that emerges by Dean’s farm, north of Piddinghoe. Crossing the C7 again took us to the bank of the Ouse, which we followed in a bracing wind back to the bridge at Southease.


The walk was led by Alan.





Offham and back Over The Downs – Easter Monday 5 April 2021

Eighteen of us convened for the first covid compliant walk following the easing of restrictions.  We were a cheery lot, perhaps a little giddy after being released from such a long period of semi-confinement.  Suitable social distancing was observed: only prime-ministerial elbow bumps were seen by way of greetings.  After such a long time without any real rain the river bank beside the Ouse was quite dry, indeed, some of the more clay like parts were beginning to crack up a little.  The icy north wind blew into our faces whilst the sun struggled to make an appearance.  Turning left under the railway, we walked beside the old cut used by barges carrying lime from the chalkpit, seen ahead, and joined the byway to Offham.  Soon after we were passed by a couple of motorbikes, with riders, of course, which seemed a noisy intrusion but was perfectly legal on the byway.


At Offham we joined the Greenwich Meridian Trail, crossed the, even on a bank holiday Monday, busy A275 and, leaving the trail, we began the arduous toil up the path to the top of the chalkpit.  The view from the top looking over the vast expanse of the Weald below is always reward enough for the effort and for a short time, whilst we sat and gathered our strength, the sun came out.  Continuing to the very top we came upon two bird watchers who were taking pictures of a Peregrine Falcon with a camera fitted with one of those huge telescopic lenses.  The bird, a female, was chewing on its mid-morning snack.  At the bottom of the motor road, various members left to go their separate ways home, the main group continuing down Hill Road and thence into town.  For just a few seconds tiny hail stones fell onto us and were gone in the blink of an eye.  So much for the forecast of snow.


Hilda and Graham led this very enjoyable outing.




Hooray, walking again




We have to climb up there?

Yes, but the view is worth it.




So we sat down and enjoyed it.


There is a bird there, honest.













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