We got off to an early start thanks to Veronica, Alastair and Liz who ferried walkers to the car park at Ditchling Beacon.
It was a bit hazy with mention of thunderstorms and rain warnings in the forecast. But in fact it proved to be a fabulous day with sunshine and a light cooling breeze.
The gentle stroll along the ridge from Ditchling Beacon to Pycombe was accomplished in about an hour.
And from there we crossed the noisy A23 London to Brighton Road by bridge and were soon climbing up Newtimber Hill.
This is the steepest climb of of what was otherwise a relatively easy day.
But we were urged on by the thought of the the farmyard at Saddlescombe a mere mile ahead where the excellent Hiker’s Rest cafe awaited.
Fueled by tea, cakes and light lunches, we stormed up to the Dyke and on over the ridge past Poynings. We paused to refresh and regroup at the top of the Fulking Escarpment. But with a bus due to whisk us home in just under an hour’s time at Upper Beeding (and the prospect of an hour’s wait for the next if we missed it) we pressed on past Truleigh Hill and down into the Adur Valley – with excellent views of what lies in store for us next week stretching out before us.
We all arrived at the Upper Beeding bus stop with minutes to spare though four people decided they hadn’t yet had enough and walked along the Downslink Trail into Shoreham-by-Sea for a cup of tea, adding a further 3 miles to the ten walked by everyone else.
That is East Sussex finished with – and over a third of the South Downs Way completed. Next week we walk deep into West Sussex and reach the halfway point.
Walk Details: Distance walked 10.02 miles, height climbed 983 feet
Next week – Walk 4 Upper Beeding to Amberley