Lewes to Hassocks
21st August 2015 and ready for the off from Lewes Station on a bright and warm August day. Mike and Martin travelled up from Hampshire to join the group for the first time on Final Journey and hope to walk more of the final sections to Bosham next year.
Up to High Street and the war memorial with views across to the Martyrs obelisk on Cliffe Hill and then to look at the tablet on the front wall of the Town Hall, formerly the Star Inn before walking towards the Castle and through the Castle Gate. The bowling greens on the right hand side were once the site of the Castle Tilting Ground but since 1640 has seen more peaceful battles.
Away from the Castle is a more peaceful Lewes as we descend towards The Pells and the River Ouse for the idyllic river walk to Hamsey and then across the harvested fields to Barcombe.
Our first stop was in Barcombe Churchyard and although the benches were already taken it was still an opportunity to look back at Cliffe Hill and remember that it is one ‘Marilyn’ that can be ticked off in our little walking books.
For the definition of a Marilyn, visit: http://www.hill-bagging.co.uk/Marilyns.php
And now for one of the highlights of this section, 6 miles of old Roman road that starts close to Barcombe and will continue all the way to Ditchling. This old road starts unassumingly but soon becomes recognisable as a green lane and bridleway on a small ridge in the lea of and parallel to the South Downs.
After skirting Plumpton Racecourse, we stopped at the story board about Plumpton Cross and the memorial to the Battle of Lewes across the valley on the South Downs, being pointed out here by Martin. And then on to Streat to admire the wonderful 17th century Streat Place seen through the gates where our admiring glances were all caught on CCTV.
I had kept the party going with tales of Bedlam Ales and the Bull at Ditchling and in a break with tradition, walk stickers were awarded early at this superb watering hole. With just a 1½ to go to Hassocks and its station there would be no delay for people with trains to catch.
Just 30 mins left to continue along the Roman road which we left just before Keymar where it veers to the north as we continue past the restored windmill to the finish at Hassocks Station.