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On the road again - 11 - The South Downs, part 9 - Chanctonbury Ring

Updated: May 3

My next destination was not far away. I backed back up to the gate, then went back to the town and the roundabout, turning North to the next roundabout, where I turned right onto the Steyning road. Opposite the junction for the village of Wiston is a lane. I turned into it and followed it as far as I could.

The road ahead becomes deeply rutted as it climbs on. To the left is a farm. Just before that, on the right, a lane leads past a couple of houses. I used the lane to turn around. Opposite the houses is a very small car park with a height barrier. I obviously wasn’t going to get in there! I looked at the rutted road and thought that I could perhaps stick myself out the way. Unfortunately, the ground is too severely rutted. The caravan grounded. I pulled forward and decided that I would have to stick myself tight against the hedge. Once parked up and cats out, I checked the damage to my caravan. Not good! As I pulled forward, the ali skirt had caught and mangled the corner. All that nice work I’d done back at the chapel, ruined.*

The walk up the rutted road was arduous until it becomes a track as it continues up through the woods, still steeply. En route is a Beech. The roots of which are amazing. Owing to erosion, they have become exposed.

Coming out of the woods atop Chanctonbury Hill, an open expanse greets one. I turned right and followed the South Downs Way path to the hillfort. It’s a beautiful easy walk across the ridge. A copse of Beech stand on the hillfort.

I spent a few hours there, just sat taking in the breathtaking views, this time, looking North over the Sussex Weald, the lowland that is the valley separating the North and South Downs. The hills that can be seen in the distance are the North Downs.

I met and chatted to a number of people. I met an interesting older man who basically lived on the Downs, travelling back and forth along the South Downs Way. I must admit, a younger, fitter me would love to spend time traversing the South Downs. While we were chatting, a couple joined us and asked to be photographed with us.

*see entry Sanctuary, part 3 …

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