Tag Archives: Sussex

New Year’s Day Walk

It was good to get out for a long walk this morning after the festivities of New Year’s Eve. The sun shone and I grabbed my camera, heading out to the Bedelands in Burgess Hill, West Sussex near my home. It was early and aside from a few early bird dog walkers, I had the forest and fields pretty much to myself.

 

 

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Boxing Day in Sussex

After days of rain, the sun came out and the sky over southern England was blue. A fresh breeze rippled through the woods and fields, and we felt the call to head out into the rolling hills of the Sussex countryside for lunch at the Jolly Sportsman Pub http://www.thejollysportsman.com/ in East Chiltington. We headed down country lanes, through fields turned golden with the midday sunshine, past the red telephone box at the end of the lane (seemingly in the middle of nowhere), and turned into the drive of the pub, parking up next to the horse pasture. It’s innocuous, hidden behind a Sussex hedge… the kind of place you wouldn’t know was there, unless you knew it was there. No sign. No fanfare. A gem of a place. We couldn’t have chosen a better place to spend Boxing Day lunch.

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We settled down in the sun-filled conservatory and chose from a menu full of very tempting things…

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…and I chose the game and goose terrine with pear chutney…

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…followed by roast guinea fowl.

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…accompanied by fresh and apply La Croix Gratoit Picpoul de Pinet wine and great companionship in Tootsie, Wineguy and Hankenstein.

After lunch we headed out to the Devil’s Dyke in the South Downs for a walk in the waning afternoon sun. We had views from Brighton and the English Channel on one side to Surrey on the other.

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Kite flyers and walkers were out enjoying the fresh winter and walking off their Christmas dinners.

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The sun began its descent, streaking the sky with fingers of pink and gold…

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…and we headed back, stopping into the Devil’s Dyke Pub for a cup of steaming hot chocolate before heading home.

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Autumn in Sussex

I was down in Sussex for the weekend at Tootsie‘s to celebrate a belated Canadian Thanksgiving. It was all about Jamie Oliver‘s roast chicken, roast potatoes, lots of veg and super delicious home-made pumpkin pie with whipped cream (my favourite!!). We’d worked up an appetite with a walk in the Sussex woods, and I took my Nikon along to practice my landscape photography.

The colours weren’t quite the vibrant mix of Canadian reds, yellows and oranges, but it was a beautiful day with a clear blue sky and a touch of chill in the air. On days like this, autumn is my favourite season.

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A Day in Worthing

Yesterday the sun shone, the sky was every shade of the brightest blue, and the thunk of tennis balls on grass could be heard on tellys through the open windows of avid Wimbledon watchers (and this year everyone in Britain is an avid Wimbledon watcher). I decided to take the train down to the seaside town of Worthing to have a wander, put my feet in the sea and take some photos.

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Worthing is a small town along the south coast west of Brighton. It struck me, as I walked around, as a town in a state of gentle decay — the once beautiful Regency, Victorian and Art Deco buildings quietly succumbing to the wind and salt blowing in off the sea.

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I headed down the pedestrianized Montague Street which has, unfortunately, been colonized by high street chain stores. Oh, how it would come to life with some quirky cafes, chef-owned bistros and funky shops! Worthing could benefit from taking a leaf out of Brighton’s North Lanes policy of only letting the shops to private owners.

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I amused myself by taking photographs of the buskers…

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…whose music contributed to the holiday spirit of this beautiful summery day. Then my eye was caught by a cat lady…

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…who was publicizing the “Kitty in the City” Cat Rescue Brighton www.kittyinthecity.org.uk , and organisation of volunteers which rescues and cares for abandoned cats.

I headed down a side-street, tempted by some signs…

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…and did find a few wonderful shops…

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…and then I dodged the bicycles, baby strollers and pensioners training for Formula One in their automated buggies and headed past the flower-filled front gardens of beachfront houses…

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…to the beach.

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Rocky, yes. But virtually deserted. And quite beautiful.

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I wandered along the sidewalk…

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past the Lido with its fairground attractions…

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…past the ice cream stands…

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…and the sweet shops…

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…and walked past the Pavilion (where old school entertainers and Latin Dancing still find a home)…

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…and headed onto the Pier…

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…admiring the Art Deco buildings gleaming in the sunshine.

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There were some boys fishing…

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…and some lovers pondering…

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…and sun worshippers sun worshipping.

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The only sounds were the waves rushing over the rocky beach and the gulls crying out for food. I stood on the boardwalk and took in the beauty of the day.

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A Churchyard in Sussex

The weather in England had been remarkable lately — the kind of English summer you read about in books and see in the movies, and which really rarely happens. I’m ensconced in the loft of  my sister Tootsie’s cottage in West Sussex for another couple of weeks until I move up to North London, and I’m making the most of the Sussex countryside and romantic villages while I’m here.

The other day I found myself in Cuckfield, a lovely village 34 miles south of London, with one of the oldest schools in England (established in 1512), several Elizabethan manors, and near where the first iguanodon fossils were found by Gideon Mantell in 1825.

It was a quite Sunday afternoon, and I enjoy an undisturbed mosey around the town.

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The late afternoon sun began to wane just as I reached the churchyard. I had a view over the green hills of the South Downs…

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…and the sound of birds was the only thing I heard as I walked around the old churchyard.

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Ambling in Lewes

The thunk of tennis balls on tellys, the smell of fresh strawberries in punnets on farmer’s stalls, the puffs of cottony clouds in the pale blue sky…. summer has finally arrived in England. And one of the best places to be in an English June, when the weather behaves, is Sussex (East or West — I won’t discriminate), with its rolling green hills, sheep-dotted meadows, and equestrians clopping along the sides of the country lanes.

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I headed into the town of Lewes yesterday, with no goal other than to mooch about, poke around flea markets and food markets, have a coffee, and soak up the summery atmosphere. On a sunny Saturday in June, Lewes is the perfect place to do all these things.

Market traders were setting up their produce in the main square when I arrived…

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… and the cherry seller offered me a few of his sweet cherries to taste…

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…the bread still exuded a warm yeasty scent…

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…and those newly-picked English strawberries drew the city folks like bees around honey.

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Flowers were everywhere…

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…and I wished I had a garden to plant (maybe next year).

I mooched and wandered…

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…dipping into the antiques shops…

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…stopping to listen to a street busker…

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…admiring the Victorian architecture…

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…and a cat who would be king…

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…who understood what a lazy summer day was all about.