19 August 2012: Berwick, Alfriston, Exceat

Five of us met at Victoria Station amongst the heaving masses heading off to Brighton for the day but we had left them well behind as we stepped off the train at Berwick.

This is such a great walk, straight off the train round the corner and you’re on the footpath. Meandering along through hedgerows,fields full of wheat and ancient meadows supporting a wonderful variety of late summer flora and in the distance the south downs looking just as Eric Ravillous and countless other artists painted them. A swift or not so swift stop at the ‘Cricketers’ In Berwick village  and on up to  the church  to see the Charleston painter’s murals. The church is always worth a visit because of the magnificent light coming in off the downs through the plain glass windows, who needs stain glass when you have a view like that. The sky clouded over and there was a little rain  a kind of light relief after the heat of London yesterday. Only the blokes were properly equipped with cagoules, the rest of us continued in our summery tops oblivious most ot the time to the wet, well actually it wasn’t that much.

Berwick Church. (Julian P Guffog) / CC BY-SA 2.0

We walked over the hills and into Alfriston for a quick picnic on the green and then picked up the South Downs Way along the bank of the Cuckmere river, which was bursting its banks rather surprisingly may be there was a particularly high tide or loads of rain from up above, so everything was lush and green. The path heads away from the river at Litlington up in to Friston Forest  and down in to West Dean, and then the final climb up to the highlight of the walk for me the wonderful escarpment looking down across the panorama of  Cuckmere Haven and its meanders heading out towards the sea  and the Seven Sisters and the Seaford cliffs dropping away in the distance. Well actually you can’t see either  but you know they are there.

A grassy slope, a relaxed cream tea or in Nigel’s case a tea cake and a timely bus back into Seaford and Home

The group was Helen,Evelyn, Nigel, Steve and me.


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