Sunday, 22 May 2011

Amberley (Circular) – (West Sussex) – 16/05/11 – 8.1 Miles – Helen

The first walk of our West Sussex vacation (oh alright then, week in a caravan at Bognor Regis) was taken from one of those Country Walking magazine’s cut outs that I do so enjoy (when I am not usually getting lost with them). So for those of you who would like to retrace our steps (yea right), it was taken from the June 2010 edition.

Anyway things didn’t start well when the (limited) free car parking at Amberley station didn’t have any spare places. So a parking diversion to a road called High Titten found us adding to the walk length. Still no problem and after retracing back to the station and then crossing the River Arun on a very narrow bridge, we made a gentle start walking on the top of a floodbank.

It wasn’t long however before we began climbing up towards the South Downs, and where Helen was the first one of us to pick up the sound of a Cuckoo. Thus having passed some old boy with parked bicycle admiring the view, we decided to do likewise and have our lunch. Helen expressed a preference for sitting on grass for this, whilst I preferred the dryer and firmer chalky bits (you pays your money and you takes your choice). Thus with the rolling landscape in front of us, she was then able to spot Arundel castle in the very far distance. Anyway my scotch egg and sausage roll went down nicely with the other crispy stuff.

Back on our way again and after a certain amount of confusion over how many bars constitute a six bar gate, we noticed some gliders being towed up by a propellor driven plane. I then subsequently made a pit stop behind a bush (which is not to be confused with me posing as a flower, or me just posing for a photograph in general), which was no doubt caused by the hazy view of the sea behind and to the left of us. So saying no more about the photography incident we found our way to a Tumulus, with a fantastic view to the far off North Downs, and gave us a vantage point that I had previously visited with IVC. Suddenly and out of nowhere a yellow prop driven plane buzzed over us (presumably on his way to pick up another glider). Yet if that wasn’t enough we then had some sort of feathery bird thing picking up on the theme, and also looking to buzz us (presumably it thought we were out to grab one of its chicks).

Undeterred we then began a descent from the Downs with some gorgeous views in front of us, until we made our way into Amberley village. There we found a lovely little tea shop, staffed by two rescue dogs (amongst others), and where I enjoyed a hot chocolate with marshmallows and slice of sponge cake (Helen had something similar, but slightly more sensible). Having finished that we carried on through the village admiring the chocolate box cottages, and quaint little church, before finding ourselves facing the walls of what is apparently a 900 year old castle (or hotel).

Crossing the railway line we were once again on top of the floodbank of the river Arun with views of the Downs where we had previously come down from. However wouldn’t you know it, someone had been letting cows loose in the countryside again, and as it their usual trick, they had to be hanging around the stile where we had no option but to go straight through them. Fortunately I was on hand to protect Helen should they give us any bother, which on this occasion they thought better of. From there it was through a mobile home site, past the station and back to High Titten and the car. A perfect day’s walking in perfect walking weather.

Walks since last blog entry:

1 x 7 miles – Osterley Park/Grand Union

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