Friday morning saw us leave The Secret Campsite at 4:45 AM to walk on The South Downs Way. Walking along the roads to join the South Downs Way at Offham, we saw the early morning sun rise and the world start to awake.
We joined the South Downs Way passing the old racecourse near Lewes, its surrounded by fields filled with springy new born lambs. Poppies and red campion peppered the path along with scarlet pimpernels.
Downlands views are huge. Massive skies with rolling green hills. Fields of wheat, barley and grazed land all form a verdant palette of green. Skylarks were a total treat to see and watch. Little birds who nest on the ground and who suddenly just pop up. Most skylarks sing whilst in flight. They are predominantly pale brown with dark streaks in subtle patterns. Sadly they move to quickly to capture a decent photo. Swallows proved to be camera shy too. Their forked tails help to identify them more quickly.
We made it over to Castle Hill Nature Reserve. This is a designated National Nature Reserve, with rich chalk downland. Castle Hill offers beautiful views from higher up the slopes towards Brighton and by the late Bronze age iron enclosure too.
Names of places along the South Downs Way are intriguing. Scabby Brow was definitely the best and Heathy Brow came a close second.
Walking along the South Downs Way is great. We completed it as a family a few years ago. Admittedly it took us a few half term trips (and piggybacks) to finish. It’s a truly beautiful path spanning 100 miles between Winchester to Eastbourne in East Sussex. The Secret Campsite is a great base to start exploring this ancient path and surrounding area.