I had been given a copy of a short circular walk (that goes right past the house) when I got the Ouse Valley Way Walk from Per-rambulations. I had been keen to do the walk and when Tim and Helen came down to Sussex for the weekend it was the perfect excuse for a leisurely ramble.
The walk takes in 3 villages (Piltdown, Fletching and Newick) and passes 6 pubs – perhaps I should have chosen a ‘dryer’ walk as it could take a while with Tim and Helen around…
With almost clear blue skies, and after most of the thick overnight frost had gone, David and I headed off into Wiltshire for a bit of a walk. We headed towards Charlton Down and the steep northern escarpment which overlooks the valley of the River Nadder. At this point little did we know that the area was famous for more than the spectacular views.
Tim invited me along to another walking trip with the NIMR hill walking club, this time to the Brecon Beacons.
It was late on friday night when we passed over the River Severn and paid our Â£5.10 to get into Wales. Why is it Â£5.10 and not an even Â£5 which would be so much easier? What was the need for all those 10p pieces? are the Welsh trying to undermine the GBPÂ£ by hording all the 10p coins??
We continued on, passing Merthyr Tydfil and up into the Brecon Beacons – and it started to rain. We caught up with the minibus from NIMR and spent a little while in sunken lanes looking for the bunkhouse…
The morning was overcast, and the cloud was getting lower as breakfast was eaten and discussions continued about the walking options. Eventually we all started to head off to Pen-y-Fan, the highest point in South Wales.
Opened in 2005, the Sussex Ouse Valley Way meanders along the valley of the River Ouse in Sussex, from close to its source (near Lower Beeding) to the sea (at Seaford Bay). It is 42 miles long, and I hoped to complete it in 2 days – making the best of what the weather forecasters are suggesting would be the last days of summer weather for this year.
Having managed a short walk the day before, I decided to stretch my legs a little further over Ashdown Forest. On the list of places to visit were the North Pole, Eeyore’s Gloomy Place, Galleons Leap, The Enchanted Place, Sandypit and Poohsticks Bridge.
With the weather forecast better on the coast than further inland, Tim, Ruth and Keshni came down for an afternoon walk along the Sussex coast. It worked out nicely, with glorious views of the Downs and sea, bathed in warm sunshine and a gently cooling sea breeze.
Parking at Exceat Bridge car park we headed south along the river to Cuckmere Haven, where the tide was just out far enough to allow some good views along the coast. The walk up the first of the Seven Sisters kept us honest by stretching out our calf muscles for the first time on this walk. The view back along the beach was worth it though, and the views to the east were most enticing.
I gatecrashed a long weekend of walking arranged by the walking club at NIMR – National Institute for Medical Research at Mill Hill – where Tim used to work. It was a great gang of really friendly people, and a good weekend was had – despite the not so great weather.
Having arrived late afternoon on Thursday we had time to acquaint ourselves with the hut, and get our bearings – the Traveller’s rest was almost due south along the A591. It was in walking distance, though running back up the hill after a few pints was probably not to be recommended or attempted.