Bottoms and Dykes and the South Downs Way

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Lowland and Hill Walks
Jan 19

24 people attending

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11.5 miles, one steep climb, one milder climb, river valley flat

This is a nice bracing walk which starts by following the river Ouse south of the town for a while, then leaves it via the villages of Rodmell and Southease to join the South Downs Way in Cricketing Bottom. The word bottom, in South Downs parlance, means valley. Cross dykes are prehistoric earth works found on some hills, so perhaps not what you were thinking, but in some places, doubtless, the term may have other meanings!

From here we climb steeply up onto Mill Hill and then gradually work our way up at a fairly gentle gradient to Swanborough Hill, from where we should get some nice views including to Seaford Head and the sea. We will also cross the global Meridian line as we pass from the Eastern to the Western hemisphere.

Once we are up on the hill, totally exposed to whatever the weather might throw at us, it could lead to a combination of being windswept, sunburned and pretty wet all at the same time! Chuck in a bit of snow and we could experience all the extremes of global travel all in one place all at once which is apt since the walk technically includes both sides of the world.

We will leave the Downs to descend into Kingston, where the weather and ground conditions will dictate which return route we follow back into Lewes. Either via the Cockshut (I'm not making these names up!) and the ruins of Lewes Priory, or a rather scary high road crossing over the A27 and thence to Southover Street. We may have a drink in either the village pub in Kingston, or in Lewes, or both or neither!


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