A Weekend in Sussex

Having had my holiday on “Waterways of Wales” cancelled, I found it very hard to find anything else to book as it was then getting quite late. The best I could manage was 2 weekends away – the first being in Sussex.

This was an hf “self-guided walking”. As they say they want to do thorough cleaning, we were not allowed to book in before 4.0 p.m. so I decided to stop at Fishbourne Roman Palace on the way, to make the weekend a bit longer. I got there without any problems as it is hardly any detour from my route but actually found it a little disappointing. The display of artefacts was a bit formal and rather a lot of words for the amount of stuff. it was also a bit dark. As the Palace had actually burnt down (in about AD230, I think!) there is not all that much left. There are several part mosaic floors….

Part mosaic floor

…..one could see parts of the underfloor heating…..

Part of the underfloor heating

and there was one complete mosaic floor.

Complete mosaic floor

The last was pretty good. They had also re-created some of the formal gardens outside – as much as they could guess – and that was quite pleasant, too.

Part of the recreation of the formal gardens

The cafĂ© was shut so I didn’t get the cake/biscuit I was hoping for to finish my lunch.

I then went on and checked in at the hotel and discovered that they had given us a “welcome” piece of banana bread! That was good – until I discovered that my kettle didn’t work, but when I went to the reception the manager found me another kettle, so I got my cup of tea and cake.

I went to look at the “discovery point” which provides suggested routes for walking and took the couple I liked the look of back to my room and then headed for dinner – only to discover that I had a nosebleed! It took about 20 minutes to get that to stop and so by the time I got to the dining room I was quite late. I decided it was easiest to skip the first course so that I was at the same place as everyone else on my table and 2 courses was certainly adequate!

The next day I set out to walk to Storrington as there was supposed to be a little museum there which I thought looked quite fun.

Start of the walk to Storrington

Unfortunately I mis-read the route card and ended up quite lost, even though I asked a couple who were quite helpful. I think I actually got to the outskirts of Storrington, but not so I knew where I was. The easiest thing to do at that stage was to turn round and go back the way I had come. During this time it rained very heavily but fortunately I found some bushes where I could shelter which provided enough protection. By the time I got back to the place where I had taken the wrong turning it started to thunder so I went back to the hotel and had my packed lunch there, a coffee and a bit of a rest. By then it had stopped thundering or raining so I followed another route to the neighbouring village of Thakeham, and did that walk successfully!

Thakeham Church – under repair – apparently for at least the last 2 years!

It was quite a pleasant walk and the village was OK too – nothing very special.

View on the way back from Thakeham

On the following day I decided to go to the RSPB nature reserve at Pulborough Brooks. I drove there – it wasn’t very far – but found the entry a bit chaotic. They didn’t ask for my money, so I could have got in free if I hadn’t gone back to pay. Apparently it is possible to hire binoculars too, but I didn’t see any sign of that. They only had a little tent for the entry. The grounds were lovely with plenty of wild flowers….

Wild flowers

….. and butterflies but the birds seemed a bit limited – except near the bird-feeders. With binoculars I might have seen more.

One place I might have seen more with binoculars

I enjoyed watching the gliders from the nearby flying field being towed by aeroplanes to launch them and then watching for the point of release. The visit made for a pleasant and fairly gentle walk.

When I got back I still had plenty of time so went for a walk in the hotel grounds – and discovered….

Actually when I looked at the hives only one seemed really busy, but on enquiry I was told that they “got moth” last year??!

The hives

At the top of the garden I found there was now a way out – I thought it had always been closed before but as many walks have been going from the house during the pandemic I guess they have added extra routes by opening it up.

View from the top of the garden

That was the last day so it was home after that and “only” a 40 minute queue to get back into Salisbury!

So? Not exactly the best holiday I have had but it made a break.

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