Continuing our south coastal journey, this time we walked from Shoreham to Lancing.
Shoreham-by-Sea is a coastal town and port in West Sussex, England. The town is bordered to its north by the South Downs, to its west by the Adur Valley and to its south the River Adur and Shoreham Beach on the English Channel.
There is a boardwalk which runs roughly from the end of the port and along Shoreham beach, then a footpath takes you down to Lancing. The beach is a nature reserve and we spotted lots of wildlife on the way, as well some fabulous houses lining the beach.
Lancing has a beautiful College- an independent boarding and day school. It looked magnificent in the distance.
Next stage of our coastal pathway will be Lancing down to Worthing, West Sussex.?
This weekend’s walk was the stretch of coastline between Peacehaven and Newhaven.
Newhaven is a working port town, as opposed to a seaside town like Eastbourne and Seaford, with a regular ferry passenger service to Dieppe in France. It’s West Beach, French owned, was closed in 2008 because of safety concerns about the crumbling sea-defence walls and harbour steps. but there is an ongoing local campaign and negotiations to reopen the beach.
The coastline was barren and exposed but beautiful. We passed the coastguard watch tower and the old fort, which dates from the Neolithic age, through the Bronze and Iron Age and was then occupied by the Romans. Today there are the remains of various Second World War buildings.
During the Second World War the port, along with a large stretch of the South Coast, was a German bombing target. To protect Newhaven Port, the nearby river Cuckmere acted as a night-time decoy. The valley would be lit up like the port during bombing raids in an attempt to draw bombers off course and minimise the barrage of the town.
It was a fabulous walk, steeped in history and a totally different landscape from the Eastbourne South Downs where we commenced our coastline walk.
Followers of my blog will know that I’m a bit of a football fan. They will also know that I like local football grounds. Lockdown has meant that instead of international travel we’ve been rediscovering our local area over the past year. Today took us over to Newhaven in East Sussex- another stretch of the coastline that I’ll cover in another blog.
Today’s picnic stop was by Newhaven Football Club grounds.
Newhaven FC is one of the oldest clubs in Sussex, and was formed by the Towner family who were brewers in the town during the latter 19th century, plus some of their enthusiastic friends. A meeting took place at the Bridge Hotel in December 1887 when it decided to form the Club and 20 members signed up on the day.
Last Sunday saw us walking another stretch of the South Downs from the Cuckmere Valley to Birling Gap.
Cuckmere Valley is a civil parish in the Wealden District of East Sussex, England. As its name suggests, the parish consists of a number of small settlements in the lower reaches of the River Cuckmere.
Birling Gap is an idyllic coastal hamlet nestled between the Seven Sisters and Beachy Head. It is famous for its Coastguard Cottages and Cliff Falls.
It was a tough but exhilarating walk across four of the Seven Sisters, helped along with a flask of sweet tea and a Mars Bar in a sheltered spot.
A Sunday morning walk around Pevensey Castle this morning. Pevensey in East Sussex played a role in some of the most important events in history from the Norman invasion and ‘the Anarchy’ to the Peasants Revolt and the Second World War.
A Roman fort it was built in the 290s, sacked by raiders in 471 and left abandoned for a century, then re-inhabited in the 6th century. The Normans built a castle in the Roman fort and over the next few centuries it was held by Royal favourites. It then again fell into ruin, but was used by soldiers in World War 2, when Sussex prepared for invasion.
Currently the Castle is closed due to the pandemic, but opens again late spring. Check out the English Heritage website for more information:
I walked a National Trust section of the South Downs this morning, from Went Hill to Brass Point.
Walking, my mind was full of mariners tales, coastguards, forgotten villages and smugglers- all fighting to survive in the rugged and wild conditions.
I will never tire of this landscape and its rich history!
A Smuggler’s Song.
If you wake at midnight, and hear a horse’s feet, Don’t go drawing back the blind, or looking in the street; Them that ask no questions isn’t told a lie. Watch the wall, my darling, while the Gentlemen go by!
Five and twenty ponies, Trotting through the dark — Brandy for the Parson, Baccy for the Clerk; Laces for a lady, letters for a spy, And watch the wall, my darling, While the Gentlemen go by!
Running round the woodlump if you chance to find Little barrels, roped and tarred, all full of brandy-wine, Don’t you shout to come and look, nor use ’em for your play. Put the brishwood back again — and they’ll be gone next day!
If you see the stable-door setting open wide; If you see a tired horse lying down inside; If your mother mends a coat cut about and tore; If the lining’s wet and warm — don’t you ask no more!
If you meet King George’s men, dressed in blue and red, You be careful what you say, and mindful what is said. If they call you “pretty maid,” and chuck you ‘neath the chin, Don’t you tell where no one is, nor yet where no one’s been!
Knocks and footsteps round the house — whistles after dark — You’ve no call for running out till the house-dogs bark. Trusty’s here, and Pincher’s here, and see how dumb they lie — They don’t fret to follow when the Gentlemen go by!
If you do as you’ve been told, ‘likely there’s a chance, You’ll be given a dainty doll, all the way from France, With a cap of Valenciennes, and a velvet hood — A present from the Gentlemen, along o’ being good!
Five and twenty ponies, Trotting through the dark — Brandy for the Parson, ‘Baccy for the Clerk; Them that asks no questions isn’t told a lie — Watch the wall, my darling, While the Gentlemen go by!
‘Boxing Day field sports are traditional in rural Sussex, as elsewhere and as often or not a meet of the hunt or a pheasant shoot would provide some incident which becomes in the retelling a story to be enjoyed in the tap-room of some out of the way village pub years after.’