East Sussex Part 2: Walking the Downs
From Rodmell village it is quite a short – though very steep!- walk up onto the South Down, and the bridle path joins at a sort of T-junction with the South Downs Way.
A slightly misty early morning cleared to beautiful sunshine, and I walked, and drew and took lots of photos.
Later that day I did a circular walk that takes in part of the South Downs Way – down through Rodmell Village, out across the water meadows until I reached the river Ouse, then right – South – along the bank of the Ouse until I reached Southease, where I stopped to look at and draw the church with its unusual Saxon round tower, and then across a field path back to the main Lewes-Newhaven road near the Rodmell crossroads. The young woman in the shop at Monks House told me about this walk, and I really enjoyed it. It takes about one and a quarter hours.
The South Downs Way begins (or ends??) just to the west of Eastbourne, with the cliffs of Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters down to Birling Gap. Later in the week I did two walks here on two separate days.
Firstly, I walked up to Beachy Head from the Eastbourne side, almost as far as the Belle Tout (disused) lighthouse. Very scary cliffs, and it was AMAZINGLY windy – I really could not stand up at one point, but had to crouch down to stop myself being blown over!!! But I did get a few photos of the iconic striped lighthouse.
The following day I started off at Birling Gap, where there is a useful National Trust café, and visitors centre, and steps on a sort of scaffold tower arrangement down the cliff to the beach. I loved the beach here, lots of interesting stones, and the sheer face of the first of the Seven Sisters rearing up behind, and a wonderful quality of light.
Then, after some lunch at the NT café – see above! – I walked to Beachy Head from the other direction, stopping to draw the view of the Seven Sisters as I went.
I walked on, up past Belle Tout, and down towards Beachy Head from the other side.
There were lovely views all the way back down to Birling Gap.
And by the time I got back I was more than ready to go back into the café for a cup of tea and a sit down!
Tomorrow, Part 3: Charleston Farmhouse, Berwick and Firle
Hope your week has got off to a good start.:)