A longer walk along the South Downs Way awaited today. With the tune from the old 1953 film “Genevieve” playing in my head I set off from the village of Pycombe. Although surrounded by main roads this pretty village swaddled like a babe protected by the kindly looking Downs still retains charm. The stretch of road which runs parallel alongside the busy A23 London Road must have been the stretch of road along which the “Old Crocks Race” which I had sometimes been taken to watch as a child travelled along. I had recently come across an article “100 Things to do in England – Your RV Lifestyle“, detailing all the “must do” places to visit in England and I felt that this area of the South Downs Way captured this quintessentially English feeling. Leaving the nostalgia behind I crossed another busy road, the A 273 and climbed and climbed up to Pycombe Golf Course.
What a fit bunch of golfers these must be!! T often mentions the “hill” at Tilsworth Golf Club – um – methinks it has nothing on what these linksmen (or indeed “women”) endure for their sport! The Lady Captain and Members had kindly provided a seat and picnic bench for other lovers of the South Downs. What a lovely gesture!
The views from the golf course were of the same spectacular standard that I was now almost coming to take for granted as I ambled further and further along the Way. Soon I reached the area of the Clayton Windmills – the afore-mentioned Jack and Jill, set just slightly off the path.
I passed several sets of stables and gallops – this is clearly a very “horsey” area and is, of course, not far from Brighton Racecourse. My heart always beats just a little faster to the rhythm of a “rumpetty, rumpetty, rumpetty rump” as I see horses gallop past.
I reached the keypost at Keymer, reminding me that I was walking in the right direction and found myself alone for several miles. I slipped into a reverie, dreaming of more innocent childish times and pleasures. Nursery rhymes and lullabies replaced the Genevieve theme in my head.
The feeling of serenity was enhanced when just past Coombe Bottom I reached the first of two dew ponds – used to provide drinking water for sheep in the days before piped water.
I bided a while here. Why would I ever want to leave?
Eventually, however, continuing my way along the top of the downland path I entered back into reality as I reached Ditchling Beacon – there is a public car park here and many others had driven up to enjoy the fine views.
Brighton was drawing ever closer. The i 360 Observation Tower appeared on the skyline and inward the views as always stretched across to the distant North Downs.
The patchwork nature of the rolling countryside continued as I stoically climbed hill after hill, descending between each one to face another climb up.
The futuristic , free form, expansive playhouse the Amex Stadium, home of Brighton and Hove FC, was safely cradled on the lower downland slopes.
Eventually the long climb down the stony path began into Kingston upon Lewes where I was to spend the night.
Excellent refreshments were available at “The Juggs” in the village.
A longer, slightly more tiring walk today but the further East I get the more dramatic the scenery becomes.