South Downs Odyssey
Odýssey n. a long, wandering and eventful journey!

South Downs Way legs

Leg 14
to Beeding  
4.5 miles

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!

Towards the Downs, from where we walked today

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Winchester to Cheesefoot Head

Sun 21 Sep 2014

3.5 miles


Cheesefoot Head to Beauworth

Sun 31 Aug 2014

5.5 miles


Beauworth to Exton

Sat 2 Aug 2014

4 miles


Exton to Old Winchester Hill

Mon 28 Jul 2014

3.125 miles


Old Winchester Hill to East Meon

Mon 5 May 2014

5 miles


East Meon to Petersfield

Sat 12 Apr 2014

4.5 miles


Q.E. Park to Harting Hill

Thu 10 Apr 2014

5.5 miles


Harting Hill to Cocking

Thu 17 Apr 2014

7 miles


Cocking to Duncton

Thu 15 May 2014

5.25 miles


Duncton to Bury Hill

Sat 23 Aug 2014

5 miles


Bury Hill to Storrington

Sat 23 May 2015

6 miles


Storrington to Washington

Fri 11 Sep 2015

4 miles


Washington to beyond Chanctonbury Ring

Sun 6 Sep 2015

2.75 miles


Chanctonbury Ring to Beeding

Sun 20 Sep 2015

4.5 miles


Beeding to Devil’s Dyke

Sun 4 Oct 2015

5.25 miles


Devil’s Dyke to Ditchling Beacon

Sun 5 Jun 2016

6 miles


Ditchling Beacon to Housedean Farm

Tue 21 Jun 2016

5 miles


Housedean farm to Southease

Sun 31 Jul 2016

7 miles


Southease to Alfriston

Tue 6 Sep 2016

7 miles


Alfriston to Cuckmere River

Mon 26 Sep

3 miles


Cuckmere River to Birling Gap

Fri 7 Oct

5 miles


Birling Gap to Eastbourne

Mon 10 Oct

5 miles