We had a great day out in London on Thursday with afternoon tea at the Library Lounge at County Hall on the Southbank, followed by an evening of Sinatra and Swing at the Cadogan Hall. Here we were in our usual seats in the gallery which meant 72 steps to climb…..and thus we were able to tick off training for the South Downs Way!
Before leaving Petersfield today we phoned 7 taxi firms, only one answered and he had no cars available this morning; do all taxi drivers in West Sussex have a lie in on Sundays or are they all incredibly busy? So we had to take both cars, which meant that Allison was spared having to listen to the Archers and was able to concentrate on the gardening programme on local radio. Sadly, there were no questions today on great plants for small balconies, but there were reminders of all the things Liz should be getting on with in her garden.
Leaving Petersfield and all the way to Rogate we had to share the road with cyclists taking part in the Petersfield Trialathon, and bikes continued to be out in force today, luckily there were fewer cars than last week with the Goodwood traffic. We left one car in the layby on the A283 between Steyning and Shoreham and then headed to the Steyning Bowl and where to park the car? Our choice turned out to be less than perfect! A bossy lady on a horse (surely the local W.I’s President, the rider that is, not the horse) told us that we couldn’t park there as there were grain lorries going to and fro and did we want our bumper ripped off. Moreover had we not seen the sign saying no parking? (Actually yes we had, but it wasn’t difficult to say no we hadn’t) Anyway we thanked her and moved the car thinking “nah, it’s Sunday, there won’t be any lorries” ……
Finally we were able to start walking and first had to head back west towards Chanctonbury Ring to complete that leg.
A short incline but otherwise easy walking and we reached our previous lunch stop before turning round. It was good to finish this section but even better to cross the road to be faced with the awesome Steyning Bowl, which is not the latest addition to the local leisure facilities but the most magnificent amphitheatre with outstanding views. We had our lunch looking out across rolling downland and across to Steyning, Bramber and Beeding.
The rest of today’s walk was downhill, most of it fairly gentle. As well as the stunning views, we walked past a massive pig farm and a field of Steyning cows, which thanks to the Agricultural Adviser turned into bullocks.
And always in sight in the distance was the Shoreham Cement Works
Then at the bottom of the hill, across the River Adur which gives its name to the Adur district of West Sussex. The river was formerly navigable for large vessels up as far as Steyning, where there was a large port, but over time the river valley became silted up and the port moved down to the deeper waters nearer the mouth in Shoreham-by-Sea.
We clocked up 6 miles today of which 4.5 adds to our cumulative total. The weather was fabulous, we had a great day out, and finished up in the garden centre at Pulborough for tea and cake, and the purchase of 2 shocking pink rain hats that were a bargain!