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Sussex Scrapbook ~ Nature walks in Sussex throughout the year
Green Man
Saturday 25th July 2009
Rye - Pett Level - Cliff End - Pett - Icklesham - Winchelsea - Rye
15 miles

The bike got its new MOT yesterday from Beakie's and was declared roadworthy and sound. The engine's also running really well and the handling is great, so the 60 mile ride down to the eastern edge of the county, in the beaming summer sunshine, was a true pleasure.
This weeks walk started at the Bittern watch point at the north of Rye Harbour Nature Reserve and meandered its way past Camber Castle through to Winchelsea. The amount of birdlife on this section is overwhelming and in addition to Sand Martins, Common Terns, a Sparrowhawk and a kestrel, we twice had views of Marsh Harriers floating over the reed beds.
At Winchelsea we took the path alongside the Royal Military Canal all the way down to the coast, from where we headed north through Pett village and on to Icklesham. From the church there we picked up the 1066 Country walk back to Winchelsea and then retraced our steps through Rye reserve as the sun went down.
Painted Ladies seemed to be on every bush, shrub and plant today: we were near enough walking on them all day long. A huge butterfly convention seemed to be going on in fact, with Clouded Yellows, Peacocks, Red Admirals, Common Blues, Commas,. Small Tortoishell, Coppers and Skippers all in abundance. Today was extremely hot as well, the only sunny day in a week of rain and we had very little shade to hide in.

Greylag Geese in the long grass.

Camber Castle, surrounded by very sleepy sheep.

At Winchelsea we took the Saxon Shore Way along the Royal Military Canal

The Pipewell Gate, the Northern entrance to the hill town of Winchelsea.

At Pett village there was a flower show on and all manner of amusements.

An 18th century gravestone in Pett graveyard (or is it Pet cemetery?).

As far as we can tell, only the long distance footpaths are signposted in Kent and the eastern part of East Sussex.
None of the other public footpaths have any form of signage whatsoever.

For example, which way is the footpath here?
Wrong - it's through the holly bush on the left. The signpost is completely invisible.

When we did find the footpaths they were all beautiful but unused (unsurprisingly).
This one wound its way through the large orchards of Manor Farm, Icklesham...

...past the windmill on top of the hill...

...to the bench of the month, overlooking the whole of Pett Levels.

Quite a few permissive paths about, which seems to be in contrast to the attitude to footpaths in the area.

New Gate, the old, southern entrance to Winchelsea.

St. Thomas' Winchelsea and the ruins of the old priory.

Pipewell Gate, Winchelsea

Camber Castle close to sunset, where we saw two Barn Owls hunting.

This area is very flat, so the sky seems very big!