Despite all the gloomy predictions about our train journey Victoria to Brighton, Annie’s insistence that we get on the train early and grab our seats paid off. We were sitting there smugly when the lemmings arrived en masse 5 minutes before the train left.
The five of us had a lovely and varied walk: Annie (leader), Claire, Miriam, Liz, and Angela who joined us at Brighton. After a mile on the Vanguard Way through open fields from Berwick Station we needed orange juice at the Cricketers Arms in Berwick Village ; another mile and a picnic lunch with view of downs from a churchyard ; another mile then teapot tea at The Badgers, Alfriston and one of us had elderflower and gooseberry cake (see pic). Finally we started walking in earnest by the Cuckmere River . It was hot but there was a soft breeze and the climbing stairs up the hill bits came in shady woods. At the top the view – Cuckmere River meandering to estuary and the sea. As it was getting late we called it a day at Exceat (7 miles) and took the bus to Brighton where beach barbecues were starting up every few yards.
We agreed that the South Downs, even if they take a bit of time on the train, are incomparable in this part of England.