It was unfortunate but I had forgotten my original map, but a new one was procured in Lewes and I was able to set off in glorious ignorance to the mistake that would cost me more than the Â£7 for a new map.
As I started to walk up out of the valley of the River Ouse I was quite glad that the wind had dropped overnight. It was still from the south west, and it was warm with a blue sky and fluffy white clouds. To the north I could see the town of Lewes, with the castle on the horizon, much clearer than the day before.
There was also signs of life, with a farmer working on the fields – preparing the soil for a new crop to be planted.
This part of the walk along the Downs is my favourite, with the steep escarpment to the north and fine views of the Weald. It is also one of the highest parts of the walk and crosses Ditchling Beacon.
The Downs drop slightly after the Beacon at Ditchling, but not by much and it must often be windy along this stretch with the number of windmills that can be seen. The most famous of which at Jack and Jill at Clayton.
The South Downs Way drops down to cross the A23 after the Clayton Windmills, but then climbs again to reach the top of Devil’s Dyke. This is where my mistake became apparent – looking at the map there were 3 possible car parks to have chosen that were closer to the finish, I passed each one of them as I walked south for 2 miles. It was quite a detour at the end of a very long day.
The actual Devil’s Dyke is not the most beautiful of places, but impressive enough when looking down into it. Because of my detour south to find the car I missed the most stunning of views to the north, something to savour tomorrow in the morning light.View the map in Google Maps, or here is the Google Earth KML file.