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

This is definitely the right way …

trust me!

For this leg we hit on the slightly odd idea of taking just the one car and walking a few miles, then turning back and retracing our steps to the car. At the time it seemed a good idea, but we realised that it would take a ridiculous amount of time to complete the South Downs Way if we did this for every leg!

After the obligatory uncertainty of which way to go, we (Liz) worked it out and off we went. The South Downs Way signposts were not very frequent today, and when we found one, there was quite often a “temporary alternative” one as well, which was somewhat confusing. We had quite a steep downhill (and at the front of our minds was the fact that on our return it would be quite a steep uphill) which led into fields of wheat which looked ready for harvest.  

South Downs Way legs

Leg 4

Exton to Old Winchester Hill
3.125 miles

Chalkhill-blue butterfly

Where to park ...

that is the question!

Parking certainly wasn’t a problem today as we had the entire car park to ourselves!

After a detour round the field Liz dived through a hedge shouting “this way” and yet again she was right, Allison has   obviously been very wrong to doubt her navigational skills. To make Allison feel better, Liz said that Allison’s navigational skills come into their own in Marks & Spencer!

We eventually reached the old railway line and after a short walk here, the point where we would turn round for today. We found a bench for lunch as we contemplated the return journey. Setting off again it quickly became clear that the sun was extremely hot; however, the views were magnificent.

The star navigator led us back along shady paths wherever possible and a real bonus on the climb back up to the top was a different hill, which was part shady, and probably not so steep.

With the clear skies and cotton wool clouds, the views were just wonderful, and a really striking feature today was the amazing wild flower fields with numerous species of butterflies, including the chalk hill blue (we are fairly sure about this).


We then did a recce of the next leg, so it will be all systems go, before stopping at Warnford at the George and Dragon for a Diet Coke and crisps. And then it started to rain heavily, weren’t we lucky!


And the best thing about today is that there were no bloody cows!!!!!

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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