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Jun
17

Sussex Downland and pretty villages (36744)

Event Overview

A somewhat longer walk than I usually lead, with some hills too.  This is a linear walk from Polegate to Lewes.

A beautiful walk amongst the green fields at the foot of the South Downs.  From Polegate, north of Eastbourne to Lewes, through the villages of Folkington, Wilmington, Firle and Glynde. Passing the Long Man of Wilmington, Charleston Farmhouse and Firle Place and ending the walk with a climb to 146m on Mount Caburn, before descending to the county town of Lewes.

A somewhat longer walk than I usually lead, with some hills too.  This is a linear walk from Polegate to Lewes.

A beautiful walk amongst the green fields at the foot of the South Downs.  From Polegate, north of Eastbourne to Lewes, through the villages of Folkington, Wilmington, Firle and Glynde. Passing the Long Man of Wilmington, Charleston Farmhouse and Firle Place and ending the walk with a climb to 146m on Mount Caburn, before descending to the county town of Lewes.

The Long Man of Wilmington: a hill figure on the steep slopes of Windover Hill. The Long Man stands 69.2 meters (227 feet) tall and is designed to look in proportion when viewed from below. It was formerly thought to originate from the Iron Age or even the Neolithic period, but more recent archaeological work has shown that the figure may have been cut in the 16th or 17th century AD.

Charleston Farmhouse: In 1916 the artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant moved to Charleston Farmhouse and over the following half century Charleston became the country meeting place for the group of artists, writers and intellectuals known as the Bloomsbury Set.

Firle Estate: Firle derives from the Anglo-Saxon word ‘Fierol’ meaning ‘oak covered land’. The Estate sits on ancient downland chalk landscapes, spread across four villages at the foot of The Firle Beacon.  The main house and Estate are owned by the Gage family.

Mount Caburn: a 146m hill, one of the highest landmarks in East Sussex, about a mile east of Lewes overlooking the village of Glynde. It is an isolated part of the South Downs, separated by Glynde Reach, a tributary of the River Ouse.  It commands magnificent views over the surrounding countryside and is a popular launching point for hang-gliders.

Lewes: the county town of East Sussex (and historically of the whole of Sussex). A popular market town, with many antique shops and pubs.  The town was the site of the Battle of Lewes in 1264, and landmarks include Lewes Castle, Lewes Priory and Anne of Cleves House.

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What to bring

For your comfort and safety please be prepared for the anticipated weather and the terrain of the walk - keep in mind the following:

Boots:  Hiking boots  that  are both waterproof and breathable, and provide good ankle support, are important as soon as you encounter any mud. Cross trainers may suffice in good weather and flat routes.

Socks:  Proper walking socks keep your feet dry, and help prevent blisters.

Walking Trousers:  (ideally water resistant) will be more comfortable than Jeans which are heavy and cold when wet.  From April to October shorts are usually a better bet.

Waterproof Over-Trousers:  essential in any significant rainfall.  Breathable ones are best.

Layered clothing: allows you to quickly adapt to changes in the weather as well as body temperature. E.g. a base layer or a cotton T-Shirt; a mid layer like a micro fleece, or a rugby type thick shirt,  and in cooler weather an outer layer consisting of a windproof jacket or a thick fleece. 

Waterproof Jacket: essential when hiking in all but the calmest of weather.  You get what you pay for with these. Breathable fabrics are advisable.

Hat: essential both in mid winter to preserve heat and in summer to prevent sunburn and heatstroke. 

Gloves: essential in frosty weather.

Small Rucksack: One that is comfortable to wear is essential so that you can use your arms freely. Place valuables in water proof bags inside.

Sunglassses: April- Sept: comfortable sunglasses enhance your pleasure and keep insects out of the eye

Water: even in winter one can loose a litre or more of fluid by perspiration. If you fail to make this up you'll get dehydrated which can lead to headaches and other problems. A hydration bladder is easier to use than bottled water, but higher maintenance.

Food: a packed lunch will be required unless otherwise stated. In addition carry energy bars or similar to counter 'sugar lows'.

Medicines: If you have allergies, are diabetic, or have minor ailments don't forget these!

Food & Drink

Please bring a packed lunch and plenty of water.  There is a Co-Op shop by Polegate station to buy drinks and snacks. There are tea rooms at Charleston Farmhouse and Firle House, which we may be able to stop at, if time allows.  There are lots of restaurants and pubs at the end of the walk, in Lewes.

Meeting & Times

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Useful information

To book a place on this event: Log in and click the 'Book Now' button.  If you are unsure if you can make it, please use the ‘Interested’ button instead. 

Event limits and Waiting Lists: 1) Limits on numbers are set to satisfy our insurers, and by popular consent. 2) If the event is full when you register, you will appear on the 'waiting list'. 3) Places often become available and are filled on a first-registered, first-served basis. 4) The waiting lists do not move up correctly due to a fault with the website. Therefore, if you can see there are enough spaces available on this walk for everyone, please, just turn up on the day. Many day walk events do have space when the day comes along.

Changes of plan: Please make sure you are able to go. If circumstances have changed please be courteous and un-register quickly! This will free up a space for someone else.

Is this event for me? The walk difficulty indicator gives an idea of how fit you need to be and has 20 positions on an underlying national scale; most walks in the SE are in the moderate category. A walk graded near the green end will suit almost everyone, whereas a walk near the orange end will be faster paced, longer or hillier and require more stamina. If you are unsure, contact the leader in advance for advice.

What about the weather? Outdoorlads events usually go ahead whatever the weather. If you are properly kitted out then rain, cold, or wind won't bother you. If there’s a severe weather warning and we do postpone, the event page will alter to clearly show this at least 12 hours prior, and the leader will send you a private message. In case of doubt, always check the website before setting off.

If you can't make it and it is too late to un-register: Please send a message through the website, so that the walk leader knows that you will not be attending.

Travel and lifts: If you can offer a lift or need one, please use the event forum below. NB The anticipated end time cannot be guaranteed so if buying pre-timed tickets for return travel allow plenty of margin.

If you are late: The group will normally set off at the advertised time.  Latecomers keep everyone else standing about, and upset the event timing meaning people miss trains home etc.  However, sometimes we can advise a place you can meet us further along the route, so if you are delayed, try to contact the leader at the starting time.

During the event: Please keep with the group. People who go on ahead or lag behind can create problems for the leader and others taking part. If you have a problem do tell the leader straight away; if you need to drop out there may be a place you can wait for a lift, or even catch a bus back. If you need to stop briefly please tell someone, so you are not left behind.

Route plans: Please note the leader may modify the route on the day due to various factors. Please do not try to rendezvous with us, as we cannot guarantee we will be anywhere at a particular place or time.

Dogs: It is essential your dog has good recall or is kept on a lead to avoid worrying wildlife and farm animals, which we almost always encounter. Please ensure it can keep pace with the group and not cause delays or annoyance to other members, some of whom may not be used to dogs. NB You may need to carry it across an obstacle.

If it's your first event: Don't worry! Outdoorlads members come from all walks of life and are as varied as our events. You will meet some nice mates and have a great time. The Event Leader will ensure you are made welcome and introduced to others. Do feel free to message the leader and ask to meet beforehand if you wish.

Afterwards: Why not send the leader your best photo, and he may put it on the event page to share with others. If you have ideas for other walks, please share them with the leader or area coordinator. You can of course also message people you made friends with, using the links on the 'who's going' tab.


Event Reference No:
36744