Boxing Day Walk.

8 reasons the Boxing Day walk is the best walk of the year according to CountryLiving magazine… number 6 is my favourite:

6. You get to wear all your new winter woolies

The Boxing Day walk is just the occasion to showcase all the new gear you were given for Christmas – a new cashmere scarf, pair of angora gloves, wooly coat or Christmas jumper all make for excellent walking attire.

https://www.countryliving.com/uk/wildlife/countryside/a1131/boxing-day-walk-best/

Our Boxing Day walk was at Friston Forest in East Sussex: https://www.forestryengland.uk/friston-forest

Climb Only Mountain (Cheeky Walks in Brighton & Sussex).

Saturday night was spent searching through The Cheeky Book again, which meant that Sunday morning saw us climbing Sussex’s very own mountain, Mount Caburn- old Iron Age territory – near Lewes in East Sussex.

Starting at Lewes Golf Club we crossed fields and valleys before the ascent up Caburn, where according to local legend a Giant by the name of Gil is said to have walked the slopes, hurling his hammer from the summit. Happily fellow walkers we met on the climb were a lot more sociable!

This was followed by the descent into Glynde village for a packed lunch and flask of tea stop. We then began the climb up and back towards Lewes.

The skylarks flew above in clear blue skies, the air was crisp and cold and all was good with the world on the seven mile round trip.

Winchelsea, East Sussex.

Today’s walk involved a mini road trip down to Winchelsea in East Sussex, about twenty miles up the coast from my home town in Eastbourne.

The ancient town of Winchelsea, about one and a half miles inland from Winchelsea Beach was once a busy harbour-part of the Cinque-Port alliance. The old town was destroyed by floods in the 13th century, and today the sea has receded some distance from the town.

Parking by the recreation ground we followed an adjacent path to the seafront, taking in quirky homes and proper English countryside. The geese flew over, as did lots of small bi-planes- we were close to Lid airport- and the cuckoo sang loud and long:

What do you do?

In April, I open my bill
In May, I sing night and day
In June, I change my tune
In July, far off I fly
In August, away
I must…

Sang to me as a child in the 1970s by my mother.

Lewes Racecourse.

Lewes racecourse, South Downs.

A gorgeous sunny walk up on Lewes racecourse on the South Downs in East Sussex on the first warm day in May.

Lewes Racecourse shut its doors for the final time in 1964, bringing an end to more than 200 years of history. However it is still an active training centre today and pedestrians and cyclists need to be mindful of racing horses.

The ‘pop up’ Paddock Bar was an unexpected treat and a real pleasure. A bar in a horse box with straw bales for seats. A pint of Sussex cider in the sunshine on the South Downs was a very pleasant way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Hire a mountain bike from Blackcap Bikes: https://www.blackcapbikes.co.uk/

Blackcap Mountain Bike tours and bike hire.

Check out the National Trust walking trail in the Racecourse area; A secluded gem with sunken bostals, a hidden woodland, views over the Weald and fascinating history: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/blackcap/trails/a-walk-at-blackcap

Finally have a look at the The Old Racecourse Facebook page: https://m.facebook.com/theoldracecourse/ to keep up to date with the area.

Check out also the Lewes Racecourse History Group’s videos of the racecourse on their YouTube channel:

The views were amazing and the warm weather and lambs made it feel like Spring had truly arrived. It is definitely a hidden gem and my new favourite place in East Sussex.

Hellingly, East Sussex.

This Sunday’s walk was part of the Wealdway walk around the Wealden village of Hellingly in East Sussex.

First point of interest was Horse Lunges Manor. This moated manor house, built in 1450 AD was the former home of Led Zeppelin manager Peter Grant. He is buried in nearby Hellingly cemetery.

Horse Lunges Manor.

Next up was Horsebridge flour milk, once a thriving, working mill, but now derelict.

This Grade Two Listed old flour mill was built circa 1900, but its history is sketchy, there was a fire between 1908 and 1910, when the mill was rebuilt as a large roller mill. McDougall’s (the flour company)had interests in it at some point.

We also passed a Bow Bells Milestone.

Bow Bells Milestone.

The milestone is one of a series stretching along the A22 and on the A26 giving the distance of miles to Bow Bells Church, in the City of London- erected by Turnpike Trusts that were formed in the 18th Century to improve roads.

It was a beautiful Wealden village walk in the spring sunshine. I had to include a picture of this abandoned outbuilding. It looked like it should be on a film set.