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Sussex Scrapbook ~ Nature walks throughout the year
Green Man
Sunday 3rd August 2008
Bramber - Botolphs - Coombes - Cross Dykes - Bramber
8 miles

It was pouring down all day yesterday and this morning was no better, but Gill decided she wanted to see the church at Coombes and we thought we might as well do a short walk as well, so out into the deluge we went. As usual the moment we left Crawley the rain stopped!
We parked at St Peter's church in Bramber and walked a couple of miles down the river Adur to the ancient (950 AD) church of St. Botolph's which has a small window known as a leper's squint. This was used by lepers to watch the service without disturbing the other parishioners.
From there we went to Coombes, but unfortunately the church is shut for renovation until December.
Then it was time to go up onto the South Downs towards Cross Dyke and then northwards to Steyning Bowl. On the way we sighted lots of people with fishing rods on the top of the downs. There is nowhere to fish up there, so we were somewhat confused as to what they were doing. It turns out that they were some of the top people in the country at long-distance casting with some of them reaching over 270 metres.
On our return to Bramber we took a look at the ruins of the Norman castle. It must have been huge in its day and was perfectly sited to keep a wary eye on the whole district.
Not too much wildlife about today, although we did see a fox, Little Egrets, Swifts, Swallows, House Martins, Kestrels, Buzzards, Sandpipers and Cormorants. In keeping with our normal good luck, we only got rained on while we were riding home, but it was warm so we didn't really care.

St Peter's church at Bramber

A view of the Adur from between Botolphs and Coombes

St Boltoph's Church

A carving on St Boltoph's door from 1630

Coombes church with Gill peeking in

Long-distance casters on the downs near Steyning Bowl

Long distance casting

Steyning Bowl is an impressive natural feature which is appreciated by hikers and paragliders alike

Bramber Castle isn't in the best of conditions