Holiday Part III – Walking

From the Tuesday until Thursday I was (supposed to be) on the walking holiday from the same location – Abingworth Hall in Sussex.

The walk on Tuesday took us first to the viewpoint at the Devil’s Dyke…….

The view point
The view point

……where we enjoyed the (slightly misty) views.

The view
The view

Those of us on the easier walk then got back on the coach, which took us to the “Jack and Jill Inn” in Clayton village.  Here we first admired the railway tunnel where there was apparently a train accident in the 19th Century.

Railway tunnel
Railway tunnel

I am not sure that I would fancy a house above the line like that, but apparently someone does!

We then went to look at……

.....the church of St John the Baptist.....
…..the church of St John the Baptist…..

….because it had wall paintings on three walls inside.  These were rather unusual as they were painted in a style with men wearing a fez, which we could just about make out in some of the pictures.  They were not in very good condition, but it was possible to make out some details.

Part of the wall paintings
Part of the wall paintings

From the church we walked up to the Jack and Jill windmills (Jill is white and in good condition, Jack is black and has no top) where we had elevenses.

Jack and Jill windmills
Jack and Jill windmills

The walk continued…..

......along the South Downs Way....
……along the South Downs Way….

……which we left after passing Ditchling Beacon.  We stopped for lunch on a bank beside the downwards path which had……

The view
…….a view……

………and was full of flowers, including orchids.

Where we had lunch
Flowers where we had lunch

The walk continued down to the roads and……

......passing this site....
……passing this site….

…..into Ditchling, where there was time for a pot of tea and a toasted tea cake before we got the coach back to Abingworth Hall.

Sign in Ditchling
Old sign in Ditchling

 

On Wednesday’s walk the easier group were dropped at the wrong place and had a fairly long road walk to reach the  place where we headed into some woods.  We were fortunate enough to see a fallow deer run off as we went along the path.  We then found the route along a field edge, with difficulty and followed a not very clear path through very long, wet grass.  This was quite hard for some people, especially as part of it was down a quite steep hill.  We did eventually reach the village of Singleton, which was quite attractive.

House in Singlrton
Thatched building in Singleton

We had drinks in a cafe and then had lunch by the church.

Church at Singleton
Church at Singleton

As we were supposed to be visiting some gardens at the end and had been very slow through the previous part of the walk, our leader suggested a “short cut”, which turned out to be mostly road walking and I don’t think was much shorter.  It led us up to a point where we had views over the Goodwood Estate.

View over Goodwood Estate
View over Goodwood Estate

From there we walked down to the Lavant valley and followed the Lavant stream for a bit.

Bridge over Lavant stream
Bridge over Lavant stream

We then headed for the West Dean gardens, which turned out to be much further than described and involved more road walking.  Having got there we then had to pay if we wanted to go in – and that was quite expensive for about an hour, even with the reduced rates organised by our leader.

West Dean gardens map and ticket
West Dean gardens map and ticket

We were also not happy to find the middle group had got there first, especially the people who had chosen the easier walk so they would have more time in the gardens!  I went to have a look round the walled garden…..

Part of the walled garden
Part of the walled garden

……and the Victorian glass houses, which were quite pleasant.

Inside one of the glass houses with air plants etc
Inside one of the glass houses with air plants and succulents

Being tired and also longing for a cup of tea I made for the cafe and sat down and had a pot of tea.  I decided there was just time to have a look at the sunken garden and pergola, if I hurried.  On reaching the sunken garden the first thing I heard and then saw was…..

.....a wren....
…..a wren….

……singing it’s heart out.  The sunken garden was also attractive…..

Part of the sunken garden
Part of the sunken garden

…….as was the pergola.

The pergola
The pergola from the sunken garden

I walked through the pergola……

Part of the pergola
Part of the pergola

……which had a good variety of climbing plants on the pillars.  I think the gardens would have been enjoyable if we had half a day there to explore them.  It was then time to go and get the coach, which took longer than expected, as I got a bit lost.  I need not have worried – we had to wait 20 minutes before it arrived.

In the evening it was the hf quiz, and though our group didn’t win we weren’t last either.

The next day was the Seven Sisters walk, which I have done before.  The Seven Sisters bit is quite nice, but the part at the end wasn’t and as the weather forecast was for heavy rain and thunder later, I opted out and decided to go to the Amberley Museum instead.

Museum leaflet and ticket
Museum leaflet and ticket

The museum contains buildings rescued from the local area and is really about the local industry and work.  There are apparently some craftsmen there each day, but the ones who were there were packing up by the time I found them, except the printers, who I found near the start.  A volunteer there explained the old ways of printing newspapers and showed the machines used.

Ticket produced in the printing workshop
Ticket produced in the printing workshop

There were various buildings, including lime kilns with explanations of their working, one about electricity including a fascinating display of electrical appliances through the decades, one on road building, one on communication and several others.

Do you remember the old phone boxes?
Do you remember the old phone boxes?

Other exhibits included an…..

......hardware shop....
…..ironmomgers shop….

…..and a bus garage with old buses some of which gave rides.

Bus the children went on with a garage in the rear
Bus the children went on, with the village garage on the left and bus garage to the right

 

There was also a village garage and cycle shop with petrol pump and old cars inside, a cafe moved from elsewhere (but only used when the museum was busy), a fire station, a wheelwrights’ yard and other fascinating places.

I took a ride on the narrow gauge railway.

The train
The train

One gets issued with a real ticket…….

The ticket for the train
The ticket for the train

…….although it is actually free (but there was a box for donations).  This was similar for the bus ride which I took…..

.....on this bus....
…..on this bus….

……being given…..

.....this ticket.
…..this ticket.

It was an interesting place to go and there was a lot to see and do.  An added advantage was that there were very few children there, except for one school party, so I got a chance to press all the buttons and try the telephones etc. myself, instead of watching children play!  I left about 3.30 or thereabouts, when it started to rain quite heavily.

The walkers had only got wet at the end, but there had been problems as the cafe and information centre both shut before their coach came.

So did I enjoy this part of the holiday?  The first walk was quite good, but the second was terrible (except for seeing the deer and the wren) and the museum was fascinating.  That makes it a bit of a mixed bag!

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