No we didn’t walk the length of the South Downs but these are two walks in very different areas; one on the chalky Downs of the east and the other in the more wooded heathland area to the west. Alison is lucky enough to live in the South Downs National Park so, as part of a series of NKHC day walks replacing our usual weekend meets to hillier areas of the UK, and meeting the Covid restrictions at the time, was glad to show her fellow clubmates a couple of my favourite places for walks. She writes –
Seaford Head to Alfriston and back
On a very hot and sunny August day, six of us met at the Martello Tower at the bottom of Seaford Head. It was uphill from the start, although we bypassed the very top as that was on our return route. We headed north past Chyngton Farm towards Cradle Hill. From there we entered the Rathfinny Estate with fields of grape vines, stopping wherever we could in the shade, and made our way to Alfriston. A lovely village but always very busy. From there we followed the Cuckmere River back south towards Seaford Head. It meanders quite a bit and, with the heat, it seemed to take forever! The end of the walk had a sting in the tail as we climbed Seaford Head. It was worth it for the views, including the iconic Seven Sisters, but we were glad to see the end of the walk in sight below us. Luckily the small refreshment kiosk was still open and the ice creams were very welcome!