Just experienced another brilliant jazz morning at the Ropetackle Arts Centre, Shoreham. Sunday 5th December 2021. Mike Hatchard’s “Jazz Breakfast”. Top musicians on brilliant form. Duncan Lamont saxophone and flute, Nils Solberg guitar, Paul Morgan double bass, Mike Hatchard, Keyboard. A scintillating morning.
Mike runs these events every month on the first Sunday of the month at 11 am. Doors open 10.30 am. See what’s coming up at this wonderful arts venue: https://ropetacklecentre.co.uk/whats-on/
Last Saturday (5 June 2021) I went to an exhibition of sculpture in stone, ceramics, wood, and metal by my friend, Brighton artist, Alison McGechie. The exhibition was at the Coachwerks workshop and gallery.
Her work is outstanding as you can see by the photographs on this page and more on Alison’s website. Link at bottom of this page.
Sculpture carved from Stone
Work in metal
Walking west along the South Downs Way just above the village of Fulking which is situated down below to the right of the picture and out of sight.
TO MAKE THE MAP WORK click on “plotaroute” at the bottom right. Then you can
- zoom in to see other paths, for example to the villages of Fulking and Poynings.
- view full screen by clicking the four headed arrow,
- view satellite or cyclable route etc views by clicking the down arrow next to the route type label (top right)
- show down hill sections in green, uphill in orange and steeper uphill in red by clicking DISPLAY, then “Hilliness”
- show current weather and for next days by clicking Menu, “Weather”
- print the map by clicking Menu, “Print”
- download the map by clicking Menu, “Download”
ABOUT THE WALK
This is a great walk with a feeling that you are walking on top of the world as you have wonderful views of the Sussex Weald to the north and views over farmland to the south towards Brighton and the sea. The view in front of you is of hills rolling away as far as the eye can see.
We walked on a chilly blue-sky Friday morning in early February. It was an exhilarating walk. Near the village of Fulking we saw two buzzards and heard one mewing. Further on we heard and saw skylarks. And near the barn at the end of our walk, looking south to the sea and the wind turbines out at sea there were flocks of starlings wheeling around and dozens of seagulls taking a great interest in the food being given to some cows on the far side of the field by the walk route.
Mud? There has been a very rainy start to the year here in Sussex 2021, so down at lower levels there is still quite a lot of mud about making many paths very unpleasant to walk on. However, when we did our Devils Dyke walk there had been two or three dry days and the only mud we saw was just a little near the first gateway.
One of the great benefits of walking on the Downs is that they are made of chalk and drain very readily so the route was dry and firm and a pleasure to walk on.
As the walk is a there-and-back walk you can make it any distance you want. We walked for two and a quarter miles and returned. The limit of our walk was the the barn and silo looking like a Byzantine church with the the aerial pylon beside it looking like a recently landed Martian spaceship. Most of the route is a section of the South Downs Way so it could be pursued West as far as Winchester.
Start by The Devil’s Dyke pub at the end of Devil’s Dyke Road which heads north from Brighton. You can get onto this road from the A281 and the Google Map at the end of this article will show you how to do this.
ALTERNATIVE STARTING POINTS
To access the route illustrated here you could start in the village of Poynings with a steep climb up to the car park for about 20 minutes to half an hour, or start at the village of Fulking by the Shepherd and Dog pub and take a track up onto the top of the Downs.
At the time of writing ( March 2021) the Devil’s Dyke pub is closed because of covid restrictions.
Car park – This is owned and operated by the National Trust so it is a paying car park but free for members of the National Trust.
The public toilet at the end of the pub is also closed, no doubt claiming covid as the reason for this. ( I think the National Trust could do far more with all the money collected from motorists to provide toilet facilities and maintain them.)
About half a mile west from the Devil’s Dyke pub you could take a track down to the village of Fulking where the very popular Shepherd and Dog pub serves real ale and good food. It is extremely popular in summer. (Currently closed because of covid.)
The route map I have used here was created using software I have not used before supplied by plotaroute.com. It should be interactive so I hope you have fun playing around with it.
Please feel free to add comments about your experience of this walk and this area. Please also share this post. Happy walking!
Note: About walking the Dyke itself – see my post on walking east from Devils Dyke pub/car park.
This is a bridleway, part of the South Downs Way. View east.
View back from the barn, looking north east over the track just walked.