Last week I managed to escape London for East Sussex, walking from Lewes to Brighton on the bank holiday Monday.
First things first: I was super annoyed with myself last weekend. I managed to remember to bring my camera with a memory card, but left the battery at home in its charger. So sadly I didn’t take any photos along the way. All of the photos in this post are courtesy of Stephen Rutt, who (like a normal person) managed to remember a whole camera.
I have to say that I started the walk in a pretty foul mood. I won’t go into it too much, but it involved missing breakfast to catch a train to then wander aimlessly around Lewes in search of non-existent breakfast. This was followed by heading off in the wrong direction because somebody insisted that my compass must be wrong and his sense of direction was right. And on top of this, the weather was bleak.
This all changed when I remembered that I had a packet of oreos in my rucksack, followed by eating half of lunch to restore calm. We then properly got on our way, heading south of Lewes towards Iford.
However, we have a feeling we accidentally trespassed this part of the walk, following a farm track rather than a footpath. I think once we thought that we had got out bearings, we became complacent, following a road rather than looking out for a track.
Nevertheless, we eventually got to Iford, where we followed a path across a very muddy field towards the South Downs Way. We finally bumped into some other people along this path, including a group of ramblers. We gave our best cheery hellos, despite the miserable weather and lack of decent breakfast situation.
I did love the rolling hills though – a completely different form of countryside compared to the flatness of Suffolk that I’m used to.
By the time we had got to Rottingdean morale was low. Expecting a tacky seaside town from what we saw in the distance, we were pleasantly surprised by the quaintness of the place as we walked through. Luckily we passed the Plough Inn which had a lovely atmosphere. They make a wonderful cup of tea and the apple and blackberry crumble with cinnamon custard was divine. (Yes, I did just order desert and a cup of tea.)
Dried off and fed, we set off on our way again. From Rottingdean we walked along the bottom of the cliffs to Brighton. The views were pretty samey – bleak looking rocky beach that lead into a cold sea, topped with a grey sky.
The view changed when we got to Brighton Marina, from shoreline to boats, houses and eventually an Asda. This was one of the low points of the walk as the views were poor and I was starting to get cold. My top half was fantastically dry (I had been giving my new waterproof its first outing) but I had fallen back into bad habits concerning my bottom half. I always forget to put on the waterproof trousers until it is too late. Also my hands were frozen – I didn’t bring gloves because it was nearly summer. Mistake.
I’d never been to Brighton before, but I can’t say that I was overly impressed. Firstly, it seemed to go on forever – we were pretty relieved when we arrived, but the walk from the marina to the train station seemed endless. Also, the fish and chips were overpriced. I’m sure on a warmer day it might have been nicer. But at the moment, I have no desire to go back. (Well maybe to see the pavilion because we missed that out.) Personally, I prefer Blackpool.
Overall I definitely enjoyed the first half of the walk to the second, but still had a lovely day out overall. It was great to get away from London and uni, and just go for a walk in the countryside. I hope to be going walking a lot more frequently in the future.
You can take a peek at our intended route here.