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

South Downs Way legs

Leg 9

Cocking Hill Barn
to Duncton
Littleton Farm
 
5.25 miles

Our walk today started with quite a long and steady climb up to the top of the ridge, which actually wasn’t as bad as we had thought it was going to be when viewed from the end of the last leg. We didn’t have any spectacular views today as the path was mostly quite enclosed, but what was really special was just how quiet it was. Liz passed her aural test by noting four sounds in a minute (sheep baa-ing, sheep munching, a pheasant and the leaves in the trees rustling in the wind … or was that Allison communing with nature in the bushes).


And in this amazing silence we heard the call of a tawny owl, sadly this clip is not our own, but worth a listen. The Tawny Owl is nocturnal but during the breeding season in the early spring, the male tawny owls can be seen hunting during the day as well as at night. We were fortunate to hear him!


The sheep were less camera-shy today, and thankfully there were no fields of cows where we had to put our lives on the line.





Today’s walk could well have been called the “where the hell are we going?” leg, and this was even before we started the business of actually walking. Being an ex-pat from Petworth, Liz knew a great shortcut to our starting point which involved driving well off-piste through the lanes to the south of Midhurst. But the countryside was looking fabulous, with wild rhododendrons (wow, just spell checked that and I was right!!) coming into bloom. We left one car at Littleton Farm (between Upwaltham and Duncton) and drove back to Hill Barn at Cocking through the chocolate box village of Singleton.

Looking back to previous leg (to Cocking)

Cowdrey Estate Land!

Wild garlic everywhere!

 One nasty moment was a Beware of the Bull sign, which even gave the bull’s name ‘Hillfield Expo 3rd’ with a little note saying how friendly he was (no way Allison was going to believe that!) Fortunately, he had had a better offer and was nowhere to be seen.

Our map identified part of our route as the West Sussex Literary Trail and we didn’t know what this was but we can now reveal that it is a walking trail linking Horsham with Chichester Cathedral along a 55 mile route. There is of course a book, which “will bring the walk alive with stories of dozens of literary connections along the way”.

The end of today’s walk took us across a field then down a sharp hill to Littleton Farm.

Towards next stage, Bignor Hill

Another leg in the bag!

News Flash - Dail Mail Saturday 17th May

<Previous leg

Next leg>

1

Winchester to Cheesefoot Head

Sun 21 Sep 2014

3.5 miles

2

Cheesefoot Head to Beauworth

Sun 31 Aug 2014

5.5 miles

3

Beauworth to Exton

Sat 2 Aug 2014

4 miles

4

Exton to Old Winchester Hill

Mon 28 Jul 2014

3.125 miles

5

Old Winchester Hill to East Meon

Mon 5 May 2014

5 miles

6

East Meon to Petersfield

Sat 12 Apr 2014

4.5 miles

7

Q.E. Park to Harting Hill

Thu 10 Apr 2014

5.5 miles

8

Harting Hill to Cocking

Thu 17 Apr 2014

7 miles

9

Cocking to Duncton

Thu 15 May 2014

5.25 miles

10

Duncton to Bury Hill

Sat 23 Aug 2014

5 miles

11

Bury Hill to Storrington

Sat 23 May 2015

6 miles

12

Storrington to Washington

Fri 11 Sep 2015

4 miles

13

Washington to beyond Chanctonbury Ring

Sun 6 Sep 2015

2.75 miles

14

Chanctonbury Ring to Beeding

Sun 20 Sep 2015

4.5 miles

15

Beeding to Devil’s Dyke

Sun 4 Oct 2015

5.25 miles

16

Devil’s Dyke to Ditchling Beacon

Sun 5 Jun 2016

6 miles

17

Ditchling Beacon to Housedean Farm

Tue 21 Jun 2016

5 miles

18

Housedean farm to Southease

Sun 31 Jul 2016

7 miles

19

Southease to Alfriston

Tue 6 Sep 2016

7 miles

20

Alfriston to Cuckmere River

Mon 26 Sep
2016

3 miles

21

Cuckmere River to Birling Gap

Fri 7 Oct
2016

5 miles

22

Birling Gap to Eastbourne

Mon 10 Oct
2016

5 miles