Of Beacons and Mud

Went for a walk for a birthday
All of us met at the Star
heading off to the Beacon
via Falmer so not all that far
Up through the woods over Stanmer
frolicking under the trees
rained a lot here so the mud was
quite frequently up to our knees

The sunshine made an appearance
and the rain kept away for the day
replaced with wind that was boisterous
and with us for most of the day
But we found our way to the Beacon
and took pictures there of the Weald
before heading downwards to Ditchling
down steep paths and more muddy yield

The Bull was packed and was heaving
but we found a table where we
could sit for a while with a pint and a laugh
by the window when it became free
And then it was all back to Shoreham
legs aching and needing a rest
safe in the knowledge that days like these
are always the absolute best

©Jemverse

My eldest daughter – Emily Rose (forefront right) – hosts a traditional walk every year for her birthday. This year we walked from Falmer to Ditchling via Stanmer Woods. Photo – Jempics

South Harting

8 of 8 in the Jemverse series ‘Circular Sussex’

Up on Harting Down
I saw the folly to the West
It’s lovely here this morning
in bright sunshine, just the best

Then I walked in woodland
sunlight filtered through the trees
Birdsong all around me
Blue sky between the leaves

Followed little byways
Down the hillside to South Harting
and the White Hart in the village
just as lunchtime it was starting

©Jemverse

Photo – The ruins of the ‘Vandalian Tower’ folly on Tower Hill, just west of Harting Down in West Sussex. The folly was built in 1774 to celebrate the founding of the American settlement of Vandalia, a proposed British colony that never grew beyond its initial founders. As a part of the American War of Independence, the small colony was hung out to dry and while they proposed becoming a state by the name of “Westsylvania,” the fresh American government scoffed at the idea and the territory was subsumed by the states now known as West Virginia and Kentucky.  – Jempics.

[Every year in May, my brother Dave and I go out for a week’s walking. This year we took in a series of circular walks based around our favourite long-distance trail – the South Downs Way through Hampshire and Sussex]

East Meon

6 of 8 in the Jemverse series ‘Circular Sussex’

We climbed back up old Butser Hill
East Meon in the valley
Went west along the hill line
and we didn’t dilly-dally

Walked along the South Downs Way
past ‘Dead Woman’s Gate’
I slowed down a little then
but Dave, he didn’t wait

Round Salt Hill and Welter Down
Coombe Cross, Halnaker Lane
Until we came full circle
back to East Meon again

©Jemverse

Photo – East Meon, Hampshire, UK – Jempics.

[Every year in May, my brother Dave and I go out for a week’s walking. This year we took in a series of circular walks based around our favourite long-distance trail – the South Downs Way through Hampshire and Sussex]

Itchen Abbas

4 of 8 in the Jemverse ‘Circular Sussex’ series

So we’ve walked in field of violets
and through hawthorn twitters long
to the Plough at Itchen Abbas
where Charles Kingsley wrote a song
“The Water Babies” was his opus
and he stayed here as he wrote
This village here in Hampshire
very quaint and quite remote

©Jemverse

Photo – violet fields above Itchen Abbas, Hampshire, UK – Jempics.

[Every year in May, my brother Dave and I go out for a week’s walking. This year we took in a series of circular walks based around our favourite long-distance trail – the South Downs Way through Hampshire and Sussex]

Charles Kingsley wrote the final manuscipt for “The Water Babies’ during a stay at ‘The Plough Inn’ at Itchen Abbas in 1862-63

The Bishop on the Bridge

2 of 8 in the Jemverse series ‘Circular Sussex’

The Bishop on the Bridge
in Winchester town
the Itchen flows swiftly by
And we sit with a beer
in the garden out back
my brother David and I

When we were here last
three years ago now
so expensive we thought was the beer
So returning again
we needed to come
and have another one here

©Jemverse

Photo – the river Itchen from the back of ‘The Bishop on the Bridge’ pub in Winchester – Jempics.

[Every year in May, my brother Dave and I go out for a week’s walking. This year we took in a series of circular walks based around our favourite long-distance trail – the South Downs Way through Hampshire and Sussex]

Circular Sussex

It’s that time of year
the bags are all packed
the walking boots firm on my feet
My brother and me
with hearts full of glee
are off for our annual treat

Winchester bound
and the start of the trail
we’ll walk and we’ll chat and have beer
And through valley and field
to the Sussex Weald
we’ll rejoice in the fact that we’re here

©Jemverse

Photo – Jempics

[Every year in May, my brother Dave and I go out for a week’s walking. Typically this’ll be on our favourite long-distance trail – the South Downs Way through Hampshire and Sussex]

Beacon

The day was full of sunshine
as we headed out, day three
of our walks on hills of Sussex
my brother Dave and me
This time to Ditchling Beacon
climbing chalky paths and hill
then into shady valleys
where the air was calm and still
The green of Sussex countryside
just took our breath away
and contributed to bring about
another lovely day.

©Jemverse

Photo – Ditchling Beacon, South Downs Way, East Sussex – Jempics

Every year in May, my brother Dave and I go for a week-long walk. We’ve been elsewhere but most times, the draw of the wonderful South Downs Way – out there on our doorstep – keeps us close to home. Day 4 took us just over 18 miles from Rodmell to Ditchling Beacon (and then down into Stanmer Woods).

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