Autumn in the South Downs - Truleigh Scrumptious!
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As autumn settles across the land, why not head South for a weekend high above the Sussex coast?
In the South Downs National Park, YHA Truleigh Hill is located behind Shoreham-by-Sea just a few miles to the West of the UK's gay capital - the City of Brighton & Hove. The hostel is purpose-built, was refurbished in 2015 and boasts spacious bedrooms and a large communal lounge. From that lounge and from several of the bedrooms it is possible to look across the coastal plain and beyond into the English Channel. On the Saturday evening, this could be an ideal vantage point to see fireworks lighting up the skies all around.
Our accommodation is just a stone's throw from Devil's Dyke, a historic beauty spot on the South Downs Way. During the daytime, we hope to offer a choice of walks exploring the South Downs with at least one walk taking in the Devil’s Dyke – a spectacular valley which according to legend was dug by the Devil to drown the parishioners of the Weald! Alternatively, scientists believe the largest "dry" valley in Britain was formed in the last ice age. Whatever your explanation of choice, it's hard to deny that Devil's Dyke is one of the wonders of South East England and a highlight of the South Downs National Park. Looking West from Devil's Dyke, you will see a classic South Downs landscape, where the gentle rolling hills descend dramatically onto the plain below before crashing over the chalk cliffs into the English Channel – and yet there are no cliffs to the West of Devil’s Dyke until you get to Dorset!
Nearby are picturesque villages such as Clayton, with its landmark Jack and Jill windmills, and historic Ditchling, a magnet for artists since the 1920s, and traditional country pubs serving great food and real ales.
What to bring
In addition to the below, you will need a towel, washing kit and clothes to wear about the hostel. If you are unsure about anything please message the Event Leader.
Boots: Hiking boots are arguably the most essential piece of kit when hiking just about anywhere. Walkers should make sure that their boots are both waterproof and breathable, and provide good ankle support. Boots should also be in good condition.
Socks: A good comfy pair of walking socks is essential really; they keep your feet warm and drier than normal socks.
Gaiters: Gaiters attach to the bottom of walking boots and extend to just under the knee. They provide waterproofing for the bottom half of the leg. They are not essential to have but you will feel the difference if you have them.
Walking Trousers: You should have a suitable pair of trousers for walking in, jeans are not suitable as they take on water when wet and will make you cold. The same goes for jogging pants/tracksuit clothing. You would be best advised to get a pair of comfy walking trousers from one of the many outdoor equipment outlets (Cotswold, Blacks etc)
Waterproof Trousers: Waterproof trousers are essential in case of wet weather. They are also good to be worn when it is not raining as they can act as a windproof barrier, which keeps the legs warm. Waterproof trousers should be breathable, so be sure to check that as when it’s raining on a warm day – you can get wet legs from sweat on the inside if they are not breathable.
Base Layer: A breathable base layer should be chosen in order to let sweat escape from the body. This should ideally consist of a breathable synthetic, specially designed fabric, though a cotton T-Shirt is sufficient.
Other Layers: On top of your base layer, you can have a variety of options such as a micro fleece, a fleece jacket or a rugby/sports top can sometimes be good. Having one or two additional layers gives you flexibility when the weather is changeable – the more layers, the more flexible you can be in adapting to the weather.
Waterproof Jacket: A good waterproof jacket is one of the most important pieces of kit you will require when hiking. Walkers should look for a jacket that is both waterproof and breathable in order for them to be protected from sweat. Materials such as Gore-tex are often the best choices but they can be expensive unless you shop sensibly, don’t forget your OutdoorLads discount for Full Members at Cotswold outlets.
Hat: As most heat is lost through the head a good hat is essential.
Gloves: Gloves are essential in the colder months, windproof or better still waterproof gloves are the best choice.
Rucksack: A good Rucksack that is comfortable to wear is essential, and required to carry both food and equipment. Day sacks should have a capacity of around 30 litres. As an option you could store your items in waterproof bags inside just in-case or ensure the bag has a waterproof bag to pull over the top.
Emergency Equipment: The leader of the group will normally carry some emergency items, but you are welcome to bring your own such as spare energy food, survival bag, personal first aid kit, head torch and a whistle. It is not essential that you bring all or any of these items but it will do no harm if you do bring.
Map & Compass: If you want to learn to be a leader or you just like to know where you are, then you can bring a map that covers the area. If you are not sure which map to bring, just message the leader. It is best to bring your map either in a map case or purchase maps which are waterproof.
Mobile Phone: If you choose to bring your phone, then you are well advised to buy a waterproof bag or if that is not possible a simple food/freezer bag will suffice.
Food & drink
Friday night: Please bring at least one item for the buffet.
Please don't go overboard. This should be to feed no more than 2 to 3 people.
Saturday breakfast: Included in the event cost.
Saturday lunch: Please bring a packed lunch.
Saturday dinner: Included in the event cost.
Sunday breakfast: Included in the event cost.
Tea & coffee: Included throughout the weekend.
Other drinks: Please bring your own.