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Sussex Scrapbook ~ Nature walks throughout the year
Green Man

Saturday 24th May 2008
Hassocks -Wolstonbury Hill - Pyecombe - Ditchling Beacon - East Chiltington - Streat - Ditchling - Hassocks
14 miles

The first part of our walk saw us climbing up Wolstonbury Hill via the direct (and extremely steep) route from the north. This hill is the first part of the South Downs that you pass when you drive from London to Brighton on the A23. The view from the 206 m summit is near enough panoramic and definitely worth all the pain and sweating it takes to see it.
From there we dropped down to Pyecombe, which again, although surrounded by main roads, still remains a peaceful, quiet, picturesque village. From Pyecombe we followed the top of the Downs over Ditchling beacon and dropped down to Plumpton and Novington Manor, where a large wedding was taking place. The bride and groom came past us on a decorated tractor on their way from the church to the manor. There was another wedding celebration going on at Ditchling and it seemed to have taken over the whole village!
Not much birdlife around today, only a few buzzards, a kestrel and some of the more common farmland birds, but we did see a fox carrying a freshly killed rabbit back to the den for its cubs.
The Brighton Festival is on at the moment and that gives you the chance to visit many of the houses in the area to look at art. We took advantage of this to visit the Streat Place Barn gallery to look at their jewellery, to look at the beautiful converted barn, and to quaff loads of strong tea and chocolate cake. It gave us the inner strength we sorely needed to finish off this walk.


The view from up on Wolstonbury Hill looking towards Hurstpierpoint

Jack & Gill and Ditchling Beacon in the distance seen from Wolstonbury Hill

The lead font at Pycombe Church was made in 1170.
 It was painted white during the civil war to hide it and to prevent it from being made into musket shot.

There are so many churches along this walk that we can't remember which one this embroidery came from.

Keymer Windmill

Back into Hassocks via Keymer cricket ground