Recent Walk Reports
section contains reports of our most recent walks.
This was one of the Group’s first ‘themed walks’. So, rather than just walking, we would also be focusing on some aspect of the nature around us, in this case the profusion of seasonal wild flowers.
It was not the most promising morning when 24 walkers gathered in Lewes for the start of the walk. A dense mist, the edge of the sea fret affecting the coast, was shrouding the Downs, exactly where we were headed. We walked through the town, along Cliffe High Street and then up Chapel Hill, definitely the steepest and most challenging stretch of walk. But in this instance, we had every excuse to ease the pain and catch our breath by stopping to admire and identify plants – and there are many species towards the top of the hill, including a mass of yellow rock roses.
By the time we reached the top and joined the track at the Southerham Nature Reserve, the mist had vanished. It remained slightly overcast for the rest of the morning, with occasional bursts of sunshine, but it was pleasantly warm – in fact, perfect weather for concentrating on the flora – and there was certainly no shortage of that. The recent rains seem to have given a growth spurt to many early summer flowers that were nowhere to be seen just a week ago. We headed down to Oxteddle Bottom, along the path to the Caburn Nature Reserve and up to join the Caburn track, then looped round to the Saxon Cross, back to the top of Chapel Hill and down into town.
At times, the group got quite spread out, with those less interested in flowers (but deep in conversation about the election?) some way ahead of those of us trying to identify every flower we came across – with the aid of our well-worn wild flower reference guide. We identified well over 50 species, ranging in size from the tiny delicate white flowers so aptly-named ‘fairy flax’, to the tall robust Viper’s bugloss, the latter in each instance smothered in brightly coloured 6-spot burnet moths, and including 4 orchid varieties. Throughout the walk, we were regaled with the intoxicating sound of the skylark’s’ song, often getting great views of these wonderful little birds hovering right above our heads.
The walk was led by Vivien.
This was the third part of the Lewes Loop series of walks and we started at The Swan in Falmer. A gentle climb northward led us onto The Downs with ever expanding panoramic views from Mount Caburn in the east to the pole of the new i360 attraction in Hove to the south-west. A longer and steeper climb took us to the crest where the fabulous view north over The Weald never fails to impress. At the Half Moon we enjoyed a drink outside in the sunshine before half the party carried on to Plumpton Station and half caught the bus back to Lewes. The wind, gale force at times, was noticeable on the tops but there was no rain, a blessing after the downpour the previous night. The party of ten was led by Graham.
Twenty-two members turned up for our second attempt at this walk, and this time we were blessed with very pleasant weather. Starting from the car park at the top of the Downs above Firle, we headed southwards downhill in the direction of Newhaven, through grassy downland. The skylarks were singing in full throttle, we saw a fair number of Common Blue butterflies and a variety of wild flowers were in bloom.
We took an early coffee break before heading upwards in a north-easterly direction, passing lots of sheep and a herd of attractive light brown (Jersey?) cows, who were inquisitive but docile. Towards the end of the uphill climb, we had to traverse three large fields of crops. The effect of this intensive monoculture arable farming on wildlife was immediately apparent – there was none! We were pleased to reach the top of the Downs again, re-joining grassland, skylarks and wildflowers as well as spectacular views in all directions.
After allowing ourselves the luxury of a second break to admire the views, we returned to the car park along the South Downs way over Firle Beacon. We arrived back before the threatened downpour, which in any case never materialised. The walk was led by Alan.
The May stroll started at Pyecombe Street where the old A23 road provided plenty of room for parking. Crossing the current A 23 by the north-western of the two bridges, the party passed the farm shop and successfully negotiated a field of cows, and then walked uphill to the edge of Newtimber Holt. Having admired the view to the south-west including the Devils Dyke, it was then a downhill stroll to Saddlescombe Farm for a break. Although the leader had said that a coffee shop would be open, the party were disappointed to find that it had gone with no replacement other than the water tap! We returned to Pyecombe Street on the South Downs Way and had excellent views on this clear and sunny day to the east and south before crossing the noisy A 23 back to our cars.
Sixteen Footpath Group members drove to Ashurst for a walk along the Medway. As forecast, early rain cleared to give a beautiful sunny, breezy morning. From the main road a narrow path took us to a bridge over the river, from where we walked along the river bank for about half a mile before turning westwards towards Blackham Court. Turning southwards along a well-made cart track, we reached a short section of road which took us downhill to rejoin the Medway.
We enjoyed a coffee break in the sunshine sitting on the river bank, then continued downstream along the Wealdway. We crossed the river and turned northwards on the Sussex Border Path, passing a wildlife area planted with a variety of native trees included the endangered black poplar. Our route took us under the railway line, where we paused to read the heartbreaking tributes, pinned to the fence, to the young man tragically killed there by a train. A grassy track with wonderful views took us along to the path back to the station car park. The walk was led by Anne.
This walk was the second part of the Lewes Loop and began on the South Downs Way which we followed for a while before joining the Greenwich Meridian Trail which took us to and through Telscombe where the stud farm was holding an open day. Judging by the cars in the car park it was proving quite successful. Climbing out of the village we turned right at the top and carried on along a bridleway heading west with splendid views north across towards Mount Caburn and south towards the sea.
At Balsdean, site of the now disappeared village, we ate our picnic and learnt that it was the Canadian soldiers in WW2 who demolished the already derelict houses and church because they got in the way of their firing lines. The rest of the route to the finish took us through Castle Hill nature reserve, along the recently constructed path beside the road to Woodingdean and through Falmer village which retains its tranquility in spite of the busy A27 running right beside it. However, the vandalism wrought on Falmer when the A27 was made into a duel-carriage way is brought home when one has to cross the footbridge to get to the Swan Inn and the bus stop for our transport back to Lewes. Ten of us enjoyed the walk led by Hilda and Graham.
Lamb watching us
Falmer’s Peaceful Pond
14 members of the Lewes Footpaths Group took part in a 4 mile circular walk in the Upper Dicker and Arlington area. We started the walk at Michelham Priory and soon crossed the newly-mown sports field of Bede’s School before going out onto the main road through Upper Dicker village.
Turning onto the Wealdway path, it was not long before we encountered our first batch of bluebells, in a wood temptingly on the other side a fence at the side of the path. Here we had the best views on the walk, across the open fields of the Low Weald, to the Downs above Firle, Beddingham and later Caburn and Malling hills. Crossing a couple of fields we arrived at a bridge over the Cuckmere River and walked onto the peace of Arlington Churchyard where we took a short break. On our shorter return path to the Priory we walked across fields and through a small woodland area and had views across our best bluebell wood close to the end of the walk. Here too we had just a whiff of bluebell perfume, wonderful. The walk was led by Sue.
This walk was the next part of the Lewes Loop which covered the short section from Glynde to Southease. Twelve of us disembarked from the train at Glynde and soon got onto the road out of the village, passing the currently closed Trevor Arms. A steady climb led us to the top of The Downs where we joined the South Downs Way turning west and following it to the train station at Southease. As ever, the views north towards Lewes and the Ouse valley and the views south to the sea and Newhaven made the toil of the climb well worthwhile. It was on the top that we learned of the surprise election plans of the Prime Minister. Our informant was a walker doing the South Downs Way who had seen the news on his phone. Nowadays it seems to be impossible to get away from it all. Graham was the leader.
On Tuesday April 11th, 18 of us caught the train from Lewes to Eastbourne to start a 5.5 mile walk entitled “Scandalous Eastbourne.” From the railway station, we made our way to Trinity Trees and found number 6, Kent Lodge, which was the former home and surgery of Dr. Bodkin Adams. This general practitioner became notorious, in the 1940s and 50s, as a suspected serial killer who murdered over 160 patients and inherited a considerable amount of money from their wills.
As we neared the Cavendish Hotel, we heard that the film “Notes on a Scandal” was filmed there. The film tells the story of a teacher having an affair with a pupil. This reminded us of the Eastbourne teacher, Jeremy Forest, who ran away with 15-year-old pupil in 2014. We continued walking along the sea front past the Grand Hotel where Claude Debussy stayed with his mistress Emma Bardoc. Reaching the Hydro Hotel, we had a leisurely coffee and admired the magnificent art deco foyer. Afterwards, we returned to the lower promenade and looked at number 2 beach hut where a brass board reported that King George V and his wife stayed there whilst he recovered from illness. Further on, as we walked along the Meads, we heard about other wealthy patients of Dr Adam’s who mysteriously died.
After hearing more fascinating tales, including the sex scandal at All Saints Church involving Gordon Ridout convicted in 2013, six of us enjoyed a delicious Greek-Turkish meal at Agora in Grove Road. The walk was led by Chris.
Decorous Hydro Hotel
Comfortable Coffee Stop
Sunny Group Talk by
the Royal Chalet
The weather was set fair for the first part of the Lewes Loop, a 33 mile circular walk round Lewes, starting at Isfield. Heading west the group of seventeen soon came to The Halfway House where we crossed over the A26 to follow a track next to and then through Plashett Wood. The footpaths and byways of The Weald at this time of the year can be messy morasses of sticky mud but not this time thanks to the relatively dry winter. After an easy and very pleasant walk we arrived in Ringmer with boots so un-mudded that there was no problem with us entering The Anchor for a most welcome drink, quaffed in the adjoining garden and with the enjoyment being only mildly spoiled by the cars going by on the road.
Eleven of us carried on to Glynde by way of the contentious Glyndebourne wind turbine reached after a steep climb to the top where the post of the old post windmill provides a sad reminder of the transitory nature of life and contrasts starkly with the sleek new turbine which will eventually also go the way of all things, much to the relief of many Ringmer residents no doubt. After a picnic lunch in the sun we pressed on to Glynde where arriving half an hour too soon for the train turned out to be a blessing as we sequentially wrestled, or that is how it felt like, our tickets out of the machine that playfully took the money but failed to deliver the ticket to one of our group. Fortunately for the rest of us the machine accepted our cards with exemplary promptness ones the intricacies of finding the right ticket had been mastered. Hilda and Graham presided.
We had put the clocks forward the night before, so slightly more bleary-eyed than on a normal Sunday, 14 walkers set out from Splash Point at the foot of the cliffs at Seaford on what turned out to be one of the warmest, sunniest days of the year so far, though accompanied by a pesky wind. This made the steep initial climb and the walk along the clifftop a bracing experience. But that was more than compensated for by the spectacular views in both directions – looking back, the long views of Seaford, the beach, the glistening sea and the town of Newhaven beyond, and looking ahead, the iconic view of the Seven Sisters, with the Belle Tout Lighthouse in the far distance.
Our walk along the clifftop was accompanied by many sights and sounds that told us in no uncertain terms that we have left winter behind - skylarks soaring and singing, gulls shrieking, meadow pipits and dunnocks rummaging in the undergrowth and sheep and their recently born offspring enjoying the grass after the long indoor months.
We walked eastwards as far as the famous coastguard cottages with the first of the Seven Sisters appearing to be almost within touching distance, then turned inland towards Exeat. Suddenly we were out of the wind and basking in the warm sun. We walked alongside the Cuckmere for a while, then started on our return route, with fields full of sheep and lambs on either side. Then back via Chyngton Lane, up to the South Hill Barn car park and we soon reached the clifftop again and, for the last part of the walk, retraced our steps, descending steeply to the Esplanade at Seaford.
The walk was led by Vivien.
Graham suggests this caption for his picture
Not quite the classic view of the Seven Sisters.
Eleven walkers had a pleasant four and a half mile walk from Newick to Little Horsted on Wednesday 8th March. The 9:30 am Compass bus 121 took us from Lewes bus station to Newick. At Newick we walked along Church Road to St Mary’s church where our footpath went through the churchyard leading to open country. We followed well trodden and clearly signed footpaths throughout our walk. Soon we could see the River Ouse and its flood plain below us. We crossed the lane from Piltdown and dropped down to the Ouse which we crossed on a well made footbridge.
At our mid way point we came to a cascading water feature on a stream feeding the Ouse where we took a refreshment break. During our break we were entertained by a Chinook helicopter hovering near us. Enjoying the impressive sound from its twin rotor blades we decided it was on a training exercise.
We crossed the lane to Isfield, crossed the River Uck on another fine footbridge and crossed the track bed of the disused Isfield to Uckfield railway. We had to make way for several cars and an articulated lorry on the narrow lane to Little Horsted. Nearing the A26 we were disappointed to miss a Brighton and Hove bus to Lewes but with four buses per hour the next bus came in 10 minutes and got us back to Lewes by 1:30pm. The walk was led by Dave.
Our walk on Sunday 26th February was a five mile loop round Mark Cross. As the weather hadn’t been great, it was very muddy underfoot, and only 10 people turned up. Starting by the village green, we took a public footpath in south-easterly direction across fields, through Renhurst Farm towards Lake Street. We followed this country lane for half a mile, and just after Trodgers Farm we turned left onto a footpath. It would lead us along the edge of a field, then through Rocks Wood towards an earth track, that belonged to a horse training facility nearby. There was poor signage in that area, and the path got recently diverted. We turned East to follow the footpath besides the earth track towards Pond Bay.
Due to the weather we dismissed a 1½mile loop round Towngate Farm, and cut short onto a footpath towards Bassetts. We continued due West towards Earl’s Farm, with beautiful views across the Weald. The path continued through Sandyden Wood, and finally emerged onto the busy B2100 road. Fortunately after ¼mile we turned right onto another footpath, uphill across a field towards the distinctive building of the Old Town Mill. The path then followed the wiggly driveway towards the A267, but this time we had a pavement. By the church we turned left into the old main street, that would bring us back to the village green car park. The walk was led by Wolfgang.
Due to the very muddy condition of some of the bridleways at Pyecombe, the advertised stroll from there did not take place. Instead, Robert Cheesman lead a stroll from the North Street car park in Lewes through Cabbage Walk to Landport Road and Farm. Then after climbing the hill to the Landport fork and reaching the crest of Nevill Road, along the path provided for schoolchildren from the Landport Estate attending Wallams School, the group entered the Council owned land at Landport Bottom. A coffee break was taken by the seat erected by the Group some time ago. It overlooks the chalk pit with views to Hamsey and across the Weald. The return into Lewes was made by going close to the racecourse buildings and then following the ridge, with its good views of Lewes, until we reached Spital Road and the town.
A misty, drizzly day did not spoil the enjoyment of the Lewes Footpaths Group Sunday walk in the Ashdown Forest. Starting from the Wren’s Warren car park, 13 walkers set off down a wide forest track leading downhill to Chuck Hatch Lane, turning off into the yard of White House Farm and exiting over a tricky stile set in a low stone wall. Heading steadily north-west over the fields, we disturbed a roebuck and two does, who vanished through the fence, no doubt to wreak havoc on nearby gardens. Continuing on past a plantation of new saplings, we reached Parrock Lane. An overgrown path beside a stream took us southwards again across fields, where we stopped for a brief coffee break.
Our route took us past the church at Coleman’s Hatch, then through woodlands to briefly rejoin the road as far as the ford, where some of us tested our boots by wading through it. Bearing right after the ford we headed uphill into the Forest again, finally returning to the car park along an open track. The walk was led by Anne.
The footpath group members who gathered at Lewes bus station were not entirely convinced by the leader’s assertion that the rain would stop by 10 o’clock and not start again before 2 o’clock in the afternoon but decided to go on the walk anyway. We disembarked at Brighton University and walked up beside Moulsecoomb station, climbed some steps by the railway line, followed a non-descript path and soon found ourselves climbing up a steep hill that demanded that we frequently stop to admire the view of the sea beyond Brighton where the sun was doing its best to glint on it.
Skirting the seventh hole on Hollingbury golf course we advanced into Hollingbury Castle, an iron-age hill fort dating from the 6th century BC with late bronze-age enclosures. We paused at the trig point to admire the all-round views of Brighton and the Downs before finding our way down to Coldean in order to cross the by-pass into the Great Wood of Stanmer Park. Most of us found our way to Stanmer Tea Rooms for a cup of tea before taking the bus back to Lewes. Graham was the leader whose faith in the Met Office weather forecasting abilities was fully vindicated.
The weather for our stroll was rather dank and dreary but not too cold. Eight of us met at the rail station then walked through Priory Park and beside the Cockshut stream. We continued along the cycle path to the garden centre where we stopped off for a cup of coffee. Suitably revived it was decided to take the longer route back to Lewes so we set off via the Juggs and Kingston church, across the village green and down Kingston Ridge. After crossing the road at Nan Tuckett’s corner we emerged onto very misty downland. Close by cattle were getting very excited as the farmer turned up on a lorry with their breakfast hay. Our route continued over the A27 and down Juggs Lane and so back to Lewes. The stroll was led by Janet.
Heavy rain was forecast for the whole day, and we decided that it would be pointless to do the planned downland walk from Firle Beacon. After some discussion, the 5 intrepid walkers that had turned up agreed that we would do a shorter walk from Firle village, keeping to lower ground. As it turned out, the rain was not as heavy as anticipated, just a drizzle, and we enjoyed a pleasant couple of hours’ walk. From the village, we went across the Firle Estate in front of Firle Place, then up to the Old Coach Road, which we followed eastwards as far as Tilton.
At this point, the rain had eased off a little and one of our members was keen to climb to the top of the Downs. However his enthusiasm was over-ruled and we proceeded in a small loop around to Charleston Farmhouse. We then retraced our steps along the Coach Road, returning past Firle church and the village, slightly damp, but not completely drenched as we had feared. The walk was led by Alan.
This was held in the very pleasant setting of the Mid-Sussex Golf Club near Ditchling. We were blessed with fair weather – bright, dry and not too cold (next day would have been a very different matter). Thirty-four members of the LFG gathered for a pre-lunch drink before sitting down for a splendid lunch. The ambiance is perfect for this sort of event. Guests can meet up and renew old acquaintances in the bar area before the lunch, then enjoy the bright, airy private space with seating at several round tables, offering plenty of room for people to circulate between courses or after the meal. As always, it proved an excellent opportunity for members, some regular walkers and others who may no longer be such active walkers, to meet and socialise in a convivial atmosphere. It was generally agreed that this was a promising start to the new year.
Twenty-five walkers left Lewes on January 2nd to go to Wilmington for a five and a half mile hilly walk. We were fortunate to have a beautifully sunny and clear day for this downland walk. Starting from the small car park at the south end of the village, we took the steep footpath to Windover hill, passing the feet of the Long Man on the way and then continuing uphill to join the South Downs Way. At the next junction we turned right to follow the path down to Lullington Heath, with excellent views in all directions on our way.
The coffee stop was taken at a dew pond with a seat. Then proceeding east past Oldkiln Bottom to Holt Brow just above Jevington, we turned left at the crossing path. Heading north in a crisp north wind, we passed the remains of Hill Barn and with a long view to the east. On the way back to Wilmington Hill, a large barrow was passed a second time. It was back down the footpath to the village and car park. The walk was led by Keith.
On Sunday the Lewes Footpaths Group set out on the Herstmonceux Castle walk (ESCC route 30), beginning in Boreham Street. We stuck to Boreham Lane for the first part of the walk rather than crossing the fields in view of the state of the stiles and the excessively inquisitive nature of the horses occupying the paddocks. Turning right into Jenners Lane, we then left the road and followed the field edge in the direction of Herstmonceux Castle.
The day was still and grey; the only signs of life were robins and wrens getting territorial in the hedgerows, and the sound of gunshots from a shooting party annihilating the bird life in the distance. The path took us to the main Wartling road for a short stretch, after which we turned left onto the footpath running alongside the Herstmonceux science centre, its observatory domes looking strangely alien in the English countryside. The path, part of the 1066 Country Walk, took us past the front of the castle, once one of the most important brick buildings of the 15th century, now restored and part of a Canadian university. We stopped for a coffee break in the next field, then followed a bridleway to enter the woods behind the castle. We returned along the lanes – pleasantly traffic-free on a Sunday morning.
Seven early birds, shepherded by Graham, caught the bus to Ringmer at the unearthly hour of seven o’ clock. Just as we left the confines of Ringmer village the rain began and rain wear was quickly donned. It did not last long but an intermittent, showery dampness stayed with us for the rest of the stroll. A short, sharp climb took us to the site of the Glynde Wind Turbine which is tall but not as tall as many turbines. Its sleek lines contrasted with the gently rotting remains of what, one assumes, was a post windmill from days of old. By this time the sun had risen though there was nothing in the sky to confirm that specific event apart from the fact that we could now see where we were going. Pressing on we walked up Week Lane to Saxon Cross and into the low cloud that spoiled the view but added to the atmosphere. On the golf course there were no golfers but a solitary dog walker loomed out of the clouds and then disappeared. An excellent breakfast was enjoyed at Le Magasin and it was generally agreed that this had been a good way to start the day.
Old and new wind power
Big, tall swishy thing
On a crisp, sunny day nineteen of us wrapped up well as we set off for a six-mile walk from Southease. We followed the path alongside the River Ouse for about a mile before crossing the busy Newhaven-Lewes road. Here we found a farm track for a short while until we turned off it to climb steeply through bushes startling a number of ring-necked pheasants. At the top, we admired the views of the Downs whilst sheep munched their ways through a field of turnips.
Our rough track led us to the north end of Peacehaven where palatial houses are interspersed with more modest buildings. From there, we made our way toward Telscombe village church for our coffee break. Leaving the church yard, we passed the old hostel now being extended and converted into terraced housing. It was a short climb along the village road until we turned off onto a chalk track which descended into the valley. By the “spider” bench, we turned left to follow the South Downs Way. There were spectacular views as we headed towards Rodmell village. Walking past the Abergavenny Arms, we passed close to Monks House, the former home of Virginia and Leonard Woolf, and saw the small village school on our right and church on our left. The permissive path, running parallel to the main road, led us back to Southease. After passing the 12th century church with its unusual round tower, we were soon back to our cars. The walk was led by Margaret and Jeannette.
On Wednesday 30th November, the coldest night of the year so far, we met at Lewes bus station. The temperature was hovering around zero. We took the 28 bus to Housedean Farm, crossed the bridge over the A27 and picked up the South Downs Way. As we climbed the first hill in brilliant sunshine, without a breath of wind, we warmed up and started shedding scarves and layers of clothing. On this clear, sparkling day the views were stunning.
We followed the ups and downs of the South Down Way until we stopped for our coffee break at the top of Balmer Down. Here, half a dozen men were manoeuvring sheep, one by one, through a metal enclosure. We found out that they were testing the sheep for pregnancy and if the ewes were carrying twins. From this viewpoint, we could clearly see the i-360 observation tower on Brighton seafront.
Suitably refreshed, we carried on to Blackcap before skirting the racing stables. When we reached Landport Bottom Nature Reserve one or two walkers, who lived at the top of town, turned off whilst the rest of us continued towards the town centre. Thirteen members took part in the walk which was led by Janet. Photos by Graham.
The sun shines on the righteous walkers
The undignified scanning of pregnant sheep
Forecasts of volatile weather & train cancellations slimmed the participants down to a compact half-dozen. In the event it was calmer and drier than anticipated. Although the wind made its presence felt, by avoiding exposed ridges no one caught a chill, and everyone enjoyed the walk, or so they told me at the time! The train was only 10 minutes the late, which is as good as one can expect these days.
After reaching Wannock from Polegate station we took a path on the edge of the village up an increasingly steep sided river valley, lush with ferns & other vegetation. The path was narrow so some concentration was required, but all stayed upright. Crossing the Jevington road by Filching Manor was followed by a cardio- vascular workout up through some woods, followed by a more open and gentle route hugging the side of the hill, before dropping into Jevington via the cricket pavilion, with only a short section of road walking.
We then passed allotments, fields of horses, pausing when reaching the Wealdway to lighten our load by consuming whatever refreshments we had been carrying. The route then opened out into fine downland views, before descending into Folkington. To complete the route we climbed up to the reservoir, finally descending gently back to Wannock & then Polegate Station. The walk was led by Peter.
The weather forecast was not that encouraging. Although exceptionally mild (it reached 17 degrees – in mid-November!) and with almost no wind, we were promised a thick blanket of cloud all day with intermittent showers, not great for a walk characterised by the wonderful views (weather permitting). However, against all expectations, the clouds parted and the sun shone all morning. It was so much warmer than we had anticipated that we found we had to shed some of the layers, especially on the ascents.
We started the walk from the Lancing Ring Nature Reserve car park. Six of us set off and followed the path, first a hedgerow-lined track, then into open country and the ascent up Steep Down to the trig point at the top. From here, the views are stunning – to the south, the glistening sea, the urban sprawl along the coast towards Brighton, with the new i360 tower just visible in the far distance, the outline of Lancing College chapel and, in all other directions, the undulating downland scenery of grazing sheep, cattle and arable fields.
The walk then turned eastwards, passing Coombehead Wood, where we stopped for a brief refreshment break in the warm sunshine; then on towards the small village of Coombe, down in the Adur valley below with the somewhat eerie long abandoned Beeding cement works in the distance and Shoreham and its ever busy airport to the south.
Our return route took us across fields, down a fairly steep descent to Cow Bottom and the impressive flint animal enclosure, Cowbottom Hovel, then up a steep footpath to the top of Lancing Hill. And very soon we were back at the car park.
We all agreed that we were so lucky to have been out in this splendid landscape on what was very likely to be the last warm day of the year. The walk was led by Vivien.
17 strollers set out on a short walk from “The Laughing Fish” pub at Isfield. As we started from the village, it was a beautiful sunny morning with frost still on the ground. The highlight of our walk was following the River Ouse through water meadows until we reached the Anchor Inn. The riverside pub, so busy on summer afternoons, had no other customers for a scenic winter morning coffee break.
Afterwards, we made our way across the water meadows, walking parallel to the disused railway until we came out onto the Lewes Road leading into Isfield. Once back at the pub, a few of us had a drink there and others went on to the Farm Shop further down the road. The short stroll was led by Margaret and Mike.
Our leader, Robert, took the Group into a part of West Sussex they had not explored before. Starting at Clapham Church, the party went through some woodland and parkland to arrive at the top of the scarp slope above Long Furlong. Beautiful views of the Weald were obtained as it was a sunny day. After a coffee break, the party made their way to the crest of the A 280 near Tolmare Farm. The return route to Clapham was along the Monarchs Way and Longfurlong Lane before we crossed the A 280 again and went back through the wood to Clapham Church.
REPORTS for 2017
· Wild Flower Walk – Sunday 11 June 2017
· Lewes Loop Three – Tuesday 6 June 2017
· The Downs above Firle – Sunday May 28, 2017
· Pycombe Stroll – Wednesday 24 May 2017
· The Medway in Sussex – Sunday 14 May 2017
· Lewes Loop 2 – Sunday 30 April 2017
· Upper Dicker and Arlington – Wednesday 26 April 2017
· Lewes Loop One B – Tuesday 18 April 2017
· Scandalous Eastbourne – Tuesday 11 April 2017
· Lewes Loop One – Sunday 2 April 2017
· Seaford Head – Sunday 26 March 2017
· Newick to Little Horsted – Wednesday 8 March 2017
· Mark Cross – Sunday 26 February
· Lewes Stroll – Tuesday 21 February 2017
· Ashdown Forest - Sunday 12 February 2017
· Moulescoomb to Falmer - Sunday 29 January 2017
· Kingston Stroll – Wednesday 25 January 2017
· Firle – Sunday 15 January 2017
· New Year Lunch – Wednesday 11 January 2017
· Wilmington – Monday 2 January 2017
WALK REPORTS for 2016
· Boreham Street – Sunday 18 December 2016
· Sunrise Stroll – Wednesday 13 December 2016
· Southease –Sunday 4 December 2016
· Housedean to Lewes – Wednesday 30 Nov 2016
· Polegate Circular – Sunday 20 November 2016
· Lancing - Tuesday 15 Nov 2016
· Isfield – Tuesday 8 Nov 2016
· Clapham – Wednesday 2 Nov 2016
· Hurstpierpoint – Sunday 23 October 2016
· Crow and Gate to Five Ashdown– Tuesday 18 October 2016
· Chelwood Vachery - Wednesday 12 Oct 2016
· Peacehaven Circular – Sunday 9 Oct 2016
· High Hurstwood – Wednesday 28 September 2016
· Newick to North Chailey to Isfield – Tuesday 20 September 2016
· Stroll Cuckmere Haven – Wednesday 14 September 2016
· Evening walk with Supper Fulking – Wednesday 7 September 2016
· Barcombe. Favourite Walk 9 – Monday 29 August 2016
· Goring by Sea (Change from Binstead Woods) – Tuesday 23 August 2016
· Firle - Alciston Favourite Walk 5– Sunday 14 August 2016
· Laughton Circular – Tuesday 26 July 2016
· Ripe – Wednesday 20 July 2016
· Pyecombe – Sunday 17 July 2016
· Ightham Mote Coach Trip – Wednesday 13 July 2016
· Breakfast Walk Newmarket to Spring Barn – Saturday 9 July
· Stonegate – Sunday 3 July
· Bexhill to Hastings – Tuesday 28 June 2016
· Rushlake Green - Sunday 19 June 2016
· Castle Hill Nature Reserve - 12 June 2016
· Danehill Stroll - 8 June 2016
· Pevensey – Sunday 5 June 2016
· Ashdown Forest Spring Hill – Sunday 22 May 2016
· Mystery Evening Walk with Supper – Wednesday 18 May 2016
· Southease to Lewes Stroll – Wednesday 11 May 2016
· Uckfield Rocks & Rivers - Sunday 24 April 2016
· Cuckoo Trail Stroll –Wednesday 20 April 2016
· Polegate – Sunday 10 April 2016
· Balsdean Valley – Easter Sunday 27 March 2016
· Newick to Sheffield Park - Tuesday 22 March 2016
· Stroll Newhaven to Seaford – Tuesday 15 March 2016
· Punnetts Town – Sunday 13 March 2016
· East Dean Circular - Sunday 28 February 2016
· Stroll in Stanmer Park – Tuesday 16 February 2016
· Wilmington Circular via Alfriston - Wednesday 10 February 2016
· Plumpton Sunday - 26 January 2016
· Portslade - Sunday 31 January 2016
· Ashdown Forest (Changed to Lewes Walk) - Sunday 17 January 2016
WALK REPORTS for 2015
· Seaford Slater Trail – Sunday 20 December 2015
· Lancing – 6 December 2015
· Plumpton – Sunday 22 November 2015
· Alciston – Sunday 8 November 2015
· Upper Beeding & Bramber Down – Sunday 25 October 2015
· Lewes to Stanmer – Tuesday 20 October 2015
· Jevington – Sunday 11 October 2015
· Berwick Selmeston Ripe Chalvington – Tuesday 22 September 2015
· Littleworth – Wednesday 9 September 2015
· Seven Sisters & Friston Forest – Monday 31 August 2015
· Rodmell Stroll – Tuesday 25 August 2015
· Fulking - Wednesday 12 August 2015
· Offham Combe – Sunday 2 August 2015
· Hastings - Tuesday 28 July 2015
· Ringmer to Barcombe – Saturday 18 July 2015
· Stroll at Barcombe – Wednesday 8 July 2015
· Hassocks - Sunday 5 July 2015
· Arlington – Wednesday 1 July 2015
· Crowborough – Sunday 21 June 2015
· Breakfast Walk Glynde to YHA South Downs – Saturday 6 June 2015
· Battle – Wednesday 3 June 2015
· Peacehaven to Lewes – Sunday 31 May 2015
· Falmer to Lewes – Tuesday 19 May 2015
· Fishersgate to Shoreham to Lancing - Sunday 10 May 2015
· Bolney – Sunday 26 April 2015
· Chiddingly- Monday 6 April 2015
· Fletching – Wednesday 18 March 2015
· Littlehampton Circular – Tuesday 3 March 2015
· Bishopstone to Southease Youth Hostel – Sunday 8 March 2015
· Around Clayton – Sunday 22 February 2015
· Folkington to Jevington - Wednesday 18 February 2015
· Stroll Newhaven to Seaford – Wednesday 11 February 2015
· Plumpton – Sunday 8 February 2015
· Steyning – Tuesday 3 February 2015
· East Dean Circular – Sunday 25 January 2015
· Pre-prandial Stroll. Buxted – Wednesday 14 January 2015
· Downs North of Lewes – Sunday 11 January 2015
WALK REPORTS for 2014
· St Leonards – Tuesday 16 December 2014
· Firle to Charleston – Wednesday 10 December 2014
· Coleman’s Hatch - Sunday 7 December 2014
· Lewes Racecourse & Mount Harry – Tuesday 25 November 2014
· Balsdean Valley – Tuesday 18 November 2014
· Blackboys – Sunday 9 November
· Ardingly Reservoir – Sunday 26 October
· Plumpton – Tuesday 21 October 2014
· Arundel to Goring - Wednesday 15 October 2014
· North Chailey - Tuesday 16 September 2014
· Fletching - Sunday 7 September 2014
· Bishopstone to Alfriston - Tuesday 2 September 2014
· Glynde - Sunday 24 August 2014
· Ditchling Stroll - Tuesday 19 August 2014
· Lewes to Spain (aka Saltdean) - Tuesday 19 August 2014
· 50th Anniversary Walks - Tuesday 12 August 2014
· Ardingly - Wednesday 6 August 2014
· Polesden Lacey - Wednesday 23 July 2014
· Plumpton - Sunday 13 July 2014
· Rodmell - Sunday 9 July 2014
· Burgess Hill - Sunday 29 June 2014
· Ovingdean & Undercliffe - Tuesday 24 June 2014
· Stroll - Tuesday 17 June 2014
· High Hurstwood - Sunday 15 June 2014
· Horsted Keynes - Tuesday 27 May 2014
· Battle of Lewes Celebration - Saturday 10 May 2014
· 1st Stroll Bramber - Tuesday 22 April 2014
· Polegate to Berwick Station - Wednesday 16 April 2014
· Ringmer to Barcombe Circular - Sunday 23 March 2014
· Uckfield to Little Horstead - Wednesday 19 March 2014
· Hadlow Down - Sunday 9 March 2014
· Plumpton Green - Tuesday 4 March 2014
· Horam - Sunday 23 February 2014
· Ashdown Forest - Wednesday 19 February 2014
· Fletching - Tuesday 4 February 2014
· Chailey Common - Sunday 26 January 2014
· Shortgate - Wednesday 22 January 2014
· Pre-Prandial Stroll Stanmer - Wednesday 15 January 2014
· Housedean to Lewes - Tuesday 7 January 2014
· Falmer - Wednesday 1 January 2014
WALK REPORTS for 2013
· A Seaford Stroll - Sunday 15 December 2013
· Rodmell Iford South Downs Way - Sunday 1 December 2013
· Ashurst Wood - Tuesday 26 November 2013
· Crowlink - Sunday 17 November 2013
· Cooksbridge to Chailey - Wednesday 13 November 2013
· Chiddingly - Sunday 3 November 2013
· Rushlake Green - Tuesday 29 October 2013
· Ipswich, Suffolk - 4 to 7 October 2013
· High Hurstwood - Tuesday 1 October 2013
· Lewes Circular Sunday 22 September 2013
· Woodmancote - Wednesday 18 September 2013
· Puttenham or Shalford to Shere - Sunday 8 September 2013
· South Chailey to Isfield or lewes - Tuesday 3 September 2013
· Fletching - Monday 26 August 2013
· Rushlake Green, Warbleton, Vines Cross - Tuesday 20 August 2013
· Rottingdean - Wednesday 11 August 2013
· East Hoathly - Wednesday 7 August 2013
· Jevington and Lullington Heath - Sunday 28 July 2013
· Arundel - Wednesday 24 July 2013
· Bury Hill or Slindon Common to East Dean - Wednesday 10 July 2013
· Hassocks - Sunday 30 June 2013
· Patcham to Lewes - Wednesday 26 June 2013
· Evening Walk Lewes & Kingston - Saturday 15 June 2013
· Buxted - Monday 27 May 2013
· Five ash Down and Little Horsted - Sunday 19 May 2013
· Newhaven & Piddinghoe - Wednesday 1 May 2013
· Burwash - Monday 21 April 2013
· Blackboys - Monday 1 April 2013
· Lewes to Glynde or Berwick Station - Sunday 24 March 2013
· Springtime at Wakehurst - Tuesday 19 March 2013
· Holtye - Sunday 10 March 2013
· Cuckfield - Wednesday 6 March 2013
· Rushlake Green - Sunday 24 February 2013
· Cuckmere Valley - Tuesday 19 February 2013
· Firle - Sunday 10 February 2013
· Lewes - Wednesday 6 February 2013
· Ashdown Forest - Sunday 27 January 2013
· Stanmer Park - Tuesday 16 January 2013
· Brighton-Rottingdean-Lewes - Sunday 13 January 2013
· Withyham - Wednesday 9 January 2013
WALK REPORTS for 2012
· Malling Hill & The Combe - Wednesday 26 December 2012
· Ardingly & Balcombe - Wednesday 12 December 2012
· Laughton - Sunday 2 December 2012
· Chelwood Gate - Wednesday 27 November 2012
· Ditchling - Wednesday 18 November 2012
· Findon and Chanctonbury Ring - Wednesday 14 November 2012
· Hartfield & Pooh Bridge - Sunday 4 November 2012
· Waldron - Sunday 21 October 2012
· Alfriston & Wilmington - Sunday 7 October 2012
· The Weald around Newick - Tuesday 2 October 2012
· Lewes to A27, Housedean - Sunday 23 September 2012
· Broad Oak, Heathfield - Wednesday 19 September 2012
· Sandwich to St Margaret's Bay and Walmer Castle - Sunday 9 September 2012
· Bishopstone - Tuesday 4 September 2012
· Firle - Monday 27 August 2012
· The Plumpton Path - Wednesday 22 August 2012
· East Hoathly - Sunday 19 August 2012
· Evening Walk Arlington Resevoir & Supper - Tuesday 7 August 2012
· Ditchling Beacon - Sunday 29 July 2012
· Three Oaks to Winchelsea - Wednesday 25 July 2012
· Around Beachy Head - Sunday 14 July 2012
· Sissinghurst Castle - Tuesday 10 July 2012
· Figure of 8: Steyning am Bramber pm - Sunday 1 July 2012
· Evening Walk Lewes to Mount Caburn to Lewes - Tuesday 26 June 2012
· Eridge - Sunday 17 June 2012
· Amberley - Wednesday 13 June 2012
· Chailey Breakfast Walk - Saturday 2 June 2012
· Devils Dyke - Sunday 20 May 2012
· Gun Hill - Wednesday 16 May 2012
· Isfield - Monday 7 May 2012
· Pevensey Castle & Rickney - Tuesday 1 May 2012
· Hadlow Down - Sunday 22 April 2012
· Upper Dicker - Wednesday 18 April 2012
· Horndean to East or West Meon - Sunday 15 April 2012
· Wivelsfield Green - Monday 9 April 2012
· Falmer to Rottingdean - Tuesday 3 April 2012
· Vines Cross - Sunday 25 March 2012
· Crowborough to Eridge Station - Wednesday 21 March 2012
· Berwick Figure of Eight - Sunday 11 March 2012
· Alfriston - Tuesday 6 March 2012
· Hellingly - Sunday 26 February 2012
· Newhaven to Peacehaven to Piddinghoe to Newhaven - Wednesday 22 February 2012
· Horam - Sunday 12 February 2012
· Crosspost/Bolney - Tuesday 7 February 2012
· Balsdean (Walk 4) - Sunday 29 January 2012
· Horstead Keynes - Sunday 15 January 2012
· Around Ditchling Beacon - Sunday 1 January 2012
WALK REPORTS for 2011
· Plumpton - Wednesday 7 December 2011
· Steyning - Sunday 27 November 2011
· Berwick to Polegate (Changed to Southease) - Tuesday 22 November 2011
· Kingston - Sunday 13 November 2011
· Fletching - Wednesday 18 November 2011
· Fulking - Sunday 30 October 2011
· Wicklands, Shortgate, Roes Hill, Isfield - Tuesday 25 October 2011
· Harvest Moon Walk - Saturday 15 October 2011
· Christ's Hospital and Itchingfield - Wednesday 12 October 2011
· Nutley & Sheffield Forest - Sunday 2 October 2011
· Newhaven to Alfriston - Wednesday 28 September 2011
· Wivelsfield - Sunday 18 September 2011
· Groombridge - Tuesday 13 September 2011
· Cranbrook & Iden Green to Tenterden - Sunday 4 September 2011
· Etchingham - Monday 29 August 2011
· Ashdown Forest - Sunday 21 August 2011
· Pulborough to Amberley - Tuesday 16 August 2011
· Laughton - Sunday 7 August 2011
· Litlington - Wednesday 3 August 2011
· Barcombe - Tuesday 19 July 2011
· Petworth and Canal Cruise - Wednesday 13 July 2011
· Berwick - Saturday 9 July 2011
· West St Leonards to Crowhurst - Wednesday 6 July 2011
· Chailey Common with Supper - Tuesday 21 June 2011
· West Hoathly - Sunday 12 June 2011
· Early Morning Walk Around Ditchling - Wednesday 8 June 2011
· Magham Down and Pevensey Levels - Wednesday 25 May 2011
· Danehill - Sunday 15 May 2011
· Patching - Tuesday 10 May 2011
· Clayton - Monday 2 May 2011
· Rodmell, Northease & Southese - Sunday 22 April 2011
· Holmbury St Mary to Winkworth - Sunday 17 April 2011
· Barcombe Cross, South Chailey Circular - Tuesday 12 April 2011
· Gun Hill, Chiddingly - Sunday 3 April 2011
· Bramber & Steyning - Wednesday 30 March 2011
· Wineham - Sunday 20 March 2011
· Hever to Cowden - Tuesday 15 March 2011
· Newick to Isfield Half Way House - Wednesday 2 March 2011
· Ringmer to Lewes - Sunday 20 February 2011
· Ouse Valley Viaduct - Tuesday 15 February 2011
· Asdown Forest - Sunday 6 February 2011
· Jevington - Sunday 23 January 2011
· Plumpton - Tuesday 18 January 2011
· Crowlink - Sunday 9 January 2011
· Wintry Walks - Christmas to New Year
WALK REPORTS for 2010
· Lewes to Ringmer in the Snow - Tuesday 21 December 2010
· Around Ditchling - Wednesday 8 December 2010
· Devil's Dyke - Sunday 28 November 2010
· South Chailey to Ditchling - Tuesday 23 November 2010
· East of Alfriston - Sunday 14 November 2010
· Firle Beacon - Wednesday 10 November 2010
· Waldron Woodland Wander - Sunday 31 October 2010
· Horsham Riverside Walk - Tuesday 26 October 2010
· Going Cuckoo in Hailsham - Sunday 17 October 2010
· North of Mile Oak - Wednesday 13 October 2010
· Folkington - Tuesday 28 September 2010
· Uckfield - Sunday 19 September 2010
· Norman's Bay - Wednesday 15 September 2010
· Titchfield to Swanwick and Sarisbury - Sunday 5 September 2010
· Ripe - Wednesday 18 August 2010
· Lancing - Sunday 8 August 2010
· Hellingly - Tueday 3 August 2010
· Lanes & Twittens of Lewes - Sunday 25 July 2010
· Around Rye - Tuesday 20 July 2010
· Ditchling Common - Saturday 10 July 2010
· Kingston - Wednesday 27 June 2010
· Lewes to Stanmer Park - Wednesday 23 June 2010
· Clayton - Sunday 13 June 2010
· Mount Harry Circular and Supper - Tueday 8 June 2010
· Breakfast Walk - Saturday 29 May 2010
· Fletching - Sunday 16 May 2010
· Charleston Circular - Tuesday 11 May 2010
· Caterham to Limpsfield Chart and Crockham Hill - Sunday 18 April 2010
· East Hoathly - Tuesday 13 April 2010
· Low Weald between Burgess Hill and Hassocks - Easter Monday 5 April 2010
· Jevington to Wannock Circular - Wednesday 24 March 2010
· Fernhurst (All Day) - Sunday 21 March 2010
· Alfriston - Wednesday 10 March 2010
· Weir Wood Reservoir - Sunday 7 March 2010
· Barcombe Cross - Wednesday 24 February 2010
· Warninglid - Sunday 21 February 2010
· Newhaven - Tuesday 9 February 2010
· Arlington Reservoir - Wednesday 27 January 2010
· Shoreham - Sunday 24 January 2010
· Lewes - Wednesday 13 January 2010
WALK REPORTS for 2009
· River & Downs North of Lewes - Saturday 26 December 2009
· Ashdown Forest - Sunday 13 December 2009
· Seaford to Exceat - Tuesday 8 December 2009
· Kingston - Sunday 29 November 2009
· Tidebrook, Mayfield - Wednesday 25 November 2009
· Catsfield and Battle - Sunday 15 November 2009
· East of Nutley - Wednesday 11 November 2009
· Balcombe to Haywards Heath - Tuesday 27 October 2009
· Crowlink and Belle Toute - Sunday 18 October 2009
· Autumn Tints: Burwash Common - Wednesday 14 October 2009
· Harvest Moon Walk: Housedean to Black Cap to Lewes - Sunday 3 October 2009
· Lewes, Ashcombe, and Blackcap - Sunday 20 September 2009
· River Thames Marlow and Maidenhead to Windsor - Sunday 6 September 2009
· Horstead to Five Ash Down - Sunday 23 August 2009
· Devil's Dyke to Mile Oak - Wednesday 19 August 2009
· Ansty - Sunday 9 August 2009
· Barcombe Walk & Supper - Tuesday 4 August 2009
· Berwick to Glynde - Sunday 26 July 2009
· Fairwarp - Wednesday 22 July 2009
· Coach Outing Cartwell & Emmetts Garden - Wednesday 8 July 2009
· Stonegate - Wednesday 24 June 2009
· Breakfast Walk: Housedean to Lewes - Saturday 13 June 2009
· Nutley to Sheffield Forest - Monday 25 May 2009
· Waldron - Sunday 17 May 2009
· Chailey to Isfield - Wednesday 13 May 2009
· Stour Valley Walks - Sunday 3 May 2009
· Blackboys - Sunday 19 April 2009
· Plumpton - Sunday 5 April 2009
· Balcombe to Haywards Heath AKA: Lewes, Southease, South Downs, Glynde - Tuesday 31 March 2009
· Hadlow Down - Woods and Pastures - Sunday 22 March 2009
· Pycombe - Wednesday 18 March 2009
· High Hurstwood - Sunday 8 March 2009
· Around Cuckfield - Sunday 22 February 2009
· Uckfield to Newick - Wednesday 18 February 2009
· Lewes and Kingston Circular: Walk 5 - Sunday 25 January 2009
· Devils Dyke - Wednesday 21 January 2009
· Ashdown Forest followed by New Year Lunch - Wednesday 14 January 2009
· Ringmer to Mt Caburn back to Lewes - Sunday 11 January 2009
WALK REPORTS for 2008
· Around Henfield - Sunday 14 December 2008
· Autumn Tints Woolbeding - Sunday 2 November 2008
· Wivelsfield to Plumpton Green - Tuesday 28th October 2008
· Horstead Keynes - Sunday 19 October 2008
· Chiddingly - Wednesday 15 October 2008
· Around Scaynes Hill - Wednesday 17 September 2008
· Test Valley Coach Ounting - Sunday 7 September 2008
· Rodmell Bank Hoiliday - Monday 25 August 2008
· Arlington Including Reservoir - Wednesday 20 August 2008
· Ashdown Forest - Sunday 10 August 2008
· Balsdean Valley - Tuesday 5 August July 2008
· Firle Evening Walk - Saturday 26 July 2008
· Forest Row to Hartfield - Wednesday 23 July 2008
· Wiston - Sunday 13 July 2008
· Alfriston - Sunday 29 June 2008
· The Breakfast Walk - Wednesday 25 June 2008
· Bolney - Sunday 15 June 2008
· Kings Standing and Ashdown Forest - Sunday 1 June 2008
· Bishopstone to Lewes - Sunday 18 May 2008
· Small Dole and Fulking - Wednesday 14 May 2008
· Medway Valley - Sunday 4 May 2008
· Ringmer Circular - Wednesday 30 April 2008
· Partridge Green - Sunday 20 April 2008
· Lewes to Falmer - Wednesday 16 April 2008
· Greenwich Meridian Trail. - 6th to 12th April, 2008
· Ditchling and Lower Standean - Tuesday 1 April 2008
· West of Steyning - Monday 24 March 2008
· Albourne Meander - Sunday 9 March 2008
· Newick Circular - Tuesday 4 March 2008
· Tilgate Forest - Wednesday 20 February 2008
· Chiddingley - Wednesday 23 January 2008
· Ditchling - wednesday 16 January 2008
WALK REPORTS for 2007 and before
· Stanmer - Wednesday 26 December 2007
· Rodmell - Wednesday 12 December 2007
· Kingston - Tuesday 27 November 2007
· Walks in 2007 and before. Individual reports are not indexed.
ARCHIVED WALK REPORTS of major walks.
· Ouse Valley in 2006.
· Vanguard Way from Croydon to Newhaven in 2005.
· South Downs Way from Eastbourne to Winchester in 2003 and 2004
©Lewes Footpaths Group