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Saturday 26th January 2008
Ford - Arundel - Amberley
10 miles

We had to get up very early this morning so that we could do our Big Garden Birdwatch for the RSPB at daybreak. We managed to see 17 species in Goff's Park, including a sparrowhawk but not including the two rats we also saw, one of which was killed by a small terrier. Immediately afterwards we dashed to catch the train to Ford to start our days walk.
Last week's floods had subsided so we were able to walk the 2 miles along the River Arun from Ford to Arundel, where we visited the cathedral. We then continued on the Monarch's Way through the Duke of Norfolk's land at Arundel Park, where we were nearly run over by loads of the Duke's race horses. His beautiful estate consists of rolling downland with many plantations of mixed woodland. The footpath took us over a large hill with  views all the way to the sea at Littlehampton. From there we dropped down to the river again and sploshed through loads of mud all the way to the utterly gorgeous village of Amberley. After a cider in the pub there, we carried on along the east bank as far as Bury before turning back to Amberley via the castle and church. Again, there were lots of pheasant shooters going about their business of making lots of noise, but fortunately the season ends on Feb 1st.
Instead of taking the road back to the train station, we decided instead to climb halfway up to Amberley Mount to watch the  blood-red sunset and then take the scenic route back to the station.
Today was very warm but breezy and as such we were cold one minute and hot the next, so we spent a lot of time today putting on and taking off layers of clothing. Apart from that today went perfectly and at the end we were tired but extremely satisfied. We enjoyed it so much that we may treat our friends and family to a rerun of the walk in the spring.

This is where we met the River Arun at Ford

Arundel Castle in the distance with the cathedral on the far left

This Kingfisher was in a brook running alongside the river.
We followed it along for about half a mile and we saw it diving into the water for fish.

The Bishop of Arundel's huge organ!

Several of the trees in Arundel park have these huge witches brooms in them.
This is caused by an infection and we think that this was probably introduced when the trees were pollarded many years ago.

North Stoke, where we were last week, seen from the heights of Arundel park

Back down to the river into an ocean of mud. That always puts a smile on Gill's face!

The footpath took us round behind Amberley Castle where a lot of white doves are using the outside walls as a nesting colony

An amazing sunset gave us a perfect end to a perfect day