SATURDAY 8 JULY: LEWES (CIRCULAR)

This was pretty much the perfect walk, nearly 15 miles & neatly divided into 3 parts. We left Lewes via a lovely walled garden where children rehearsed for what appeared to be a mediaeval pageant or perhaps, being Lewes something more alternative, & an unusually easy-going cat allowed itself to be played with by a small child & then seemed to join its family on a blanket for a picnic. We then flew – well, something like that – up the first mighty incline onto the South Downs Way & our first glimpse of the sea. The path curved around several deep natural bowls & at 12.30 we came down to Rodmell for lunch at the Abergavenny Arms.

The second part took us over the Ouse & up a very steep hill back onto the ridge. Cooled by a pleasant breeze we kept up a good pace. The tea shop in Glynde closes at 4 so it hadn’t seemed possible for us to make it in time but, encouraged by our fleet-footedness, the leader set off at a run down the hill & through the village to secure a cream tea at the Little Cottage Tea Rooms. They did us proud & we had certainly earned it.

The third part started with another mighty climb back up to the Downs which must have helped work off some of the tea & the beautiful early evening light was a reward for our efforts. With some reluctance – at least in my case – we descended into Lewes again & indulged in a well-earned pint before getting the train back to London.

Harriet