Sunday, August 24, 2008

Lewes to Ditchling

Distance: 12.1 Miles

The Royal Oak - Barcombe Cross, The Winning Post - Plumpton Green, The Bull Hotel - Ditchling

Walkers: Timmeh, Susi, Ben, Piran, Loreta. (Loz and Kate joined us at The Bull.)

Terrain: Corn fields, wheat fields, river bank, pasture, some woodland.

Weather: Started drizzly and overcast, but quickly turned quite sunny and warm.

Notes: Despite what I said on the last walk, today the food at the Bull was rubbish and overpriced. Beer was excellent though. 12 miles is too long after such a break; need more training for the next "big one"

1 comment:

Alice said...

The weather had been miserable all morning, but we'd resolved to go ahead anyway, armed with waterproofs and sticks to help navigate the mud; as it turned out, the rain stopped pretty much on the way to the station, so by the time we got to Lewes for 1pm it had mostly all cleared up. Which was nice.

The only thing resembling a hill on the walk was on the way out of Lewes, but the rest was almost entirely flat - just as well, considering the length, don't think we'd have made it if there had also been uphill bits. Heading out of Lewes, Sansa for some reason tried to jump over a 7-foot wall, but bounced off about 6 inches from the top and picked herself up looking rather sheepish, then went back to chasing the pigeons.

The countryside wasn't looking particularly autumnal yet, but there were plenty of blackberries in the hedges which Loreta particularly enjoyed. The temperature was very pleasant for walking, and not too muddy underfoot either, though we all got rather soggy after walking through a maize field and brushing past the drenghed weeds by the path.

First pub was pleasant if rather unspectacular; they'd run out of the Olympia(?) beer so Tim n Piran got the last 2 pints of it, and there was a lot of dogshit in the beer garden, but they also did nice pots of cashew nuts, mm. Second pub didn't allow dogs in the bar area, but they had quite a nice garden to the side, and the beer was nice (anyone remember what beer they did there?).

Attempted to stop at a pub called the Swan, only to find it was actually a house now. We thought about demanding beer from them anyway, but decided to press on to the final pub instead. (or was that supposed to be the second pub?). Must remember to cross these ex-pubs off the map! As the afternoon wore on, we had a short break in a meadow instead and ate some Kendal mint cake.

By about the 10-mile mark we were all getting quite broken. The final pub was supposed to be the Greyhound, but Loz rang ahead and found out that a) you had to book if you wanted food, b) there was a private party on so not much space and c) also a live band on so noisy. We decided instead to go for the Bull, who stopped serving food at 8 (Greyhound did food till 9), so we had to really get a move on. Luckily, we made it with about 5 minutes to spare, though the food was expensive and not that great. Couple of pints and then Loz drove us back - Piran & Loreta either walked or taxi'd to Hassocks station, which we'd originally intended to be the walk's end point. Very broken the next day!

Not much wildlife spotted - only things of note were:

- Some regimental ducks
- Baby cows & horses
- A couple of bunnies
- Two kestrels
- A couple of fox cubs mucking about in a field
- A herd of bullocks that threatened to stampede us (a bit scary actually)
- A free-range chicken farm