DAY 7: Upper Beeding to Pycombe
An early start again on another beautiful clear morning and yet again a hard climb up a hill – I am not sure I will ever “like” hills – but the climbs are always worth it. So I trudged up to the top of Beeding Hill full of joy and anticipation of the day ahead.
I could soon see the remains of Bramber Castle down below, take in the views across to the coast and follow the landscape round inland to the North Downs.
At the top of the first hill of the day I met a couple of horse riders who quickly passed by and galloped across the downs.
I loved the Youth Hostel’s words outside its centre at Truleigh Hill – “To help all especially young people of limited means to a greater knowledge, love and care of the countryside” and was impressed by the height of the mast shortly after.
Nestled in the foot of the downs below Edburton Hill was the tiny village of Fulking .
The heights of the Devil’s Dyke soon came within sight and the closer I got the more I could pick out the paragliders preparing their equipment.
After spending most the first two hours alone the walk got quite busy at this point with many people having parked their cars at the top of the Dyke stretching their legs for a short while. The landscape here is the result of folding of the chalk strata due to pressure building between the African and Eurasian plates.
The tranquillity soon returned, however, as I entered the area of Summer down and I was alone again, save birds, sheep and a bull.
I had breakfasted well so didn’t pop into the teashop close to Saddlescombe Farm but it looked a welcoming place.
A further climb awaited and on reaching the top of Newtimber Hill caught my first glimpse of the Jack and Jill Windmills. Built in around 1765 the names are said to originate from the 1920s when tourists first came to visit.
The walk continued in its usual fashion across the undulating Downs. I was now almost becoming used to the spectacular views which ever way I looked.
Once away from the few main “tourist” viewpoints, I found that most people did not bother to walk more than a few hundred yards and I selfishly enjoyed the solitary tranquility.
I am trying to identify the bird I spied during the steep climb down the hill into Pycombe – the end of my walk for this day.
My main memories of today will be of Persil clouds in a Wedgewood sky, taking in the refreshing air whilst ambling over the ever-rolling downland.
A hilly, but fairly speedy and spectacular 8 miles. Again, this is a day I could have maybe combined with the previous day’s walk. A longer walk awaits tomorrow; inspired by words found in the Church of the Transfiguration in Pyecombe – who knows what lies ahead.