Arlington Reservoir and Nature Reserve
The Arlington reservoir near Polegate in East Sussex is one of the reservoirs owned by South East Water which supplies Eastbourne and the surrounding area with a constant supply of water. It also acts as a nature reserve for many species from large birds such as herons to micro-organisms. It's popular with local anglers due to it's trout population. However, I think it's just a nice place to go for a walk on a warm summer day. The views across the water from the dam wall path are splendid.
There is a well signposted circular walk around the reservoir and through the wooded area of the nature reserve called the Osprey walk. It should only take about an hour for a person walking at average speed and is a nice easy-going walk, so nothing very strenuous.
East Sussex County Council have a suggested walk starting at Berwick train station with options for a longer walk around the surrounding countryside which you can download as a pdf.
You could easily adapt this to take a quick diversion into Arlington Village which has a pretty church (St Pancras) and a great pub (The Yew Tree).Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
Alpacas near Alfriston
Yes, you are not mistaken... this is a tip about East Sussex...not Peru. Hidden deep in the the depths of the Sussex countryside near Alfriston are these little alpacas bred for their beautiful wool. I was so surprised to see them on the drive along the A22 from Lewes to Eastbourne but it seems them are becoming a more commonplace sight in the southern counties these days.Related to:
- Road Trip
Alexandra Park, Hastings
This is a particularly lovely town park, in my view. It is long (2.8 km) and fairly narrow, filling a valley between two attractive residential streets (one, St Helen’s Road, the main route into the town; the other, Lower Park Road, much quieter).
Alexandra Park is a classic of Victorian park design and recognised as such through its grade 2 designation in the “Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest”. It was originally laid out by Robert Marnock, a renowned landscape gardener, in 1878, and formally opened by the Prince and Princess of Wales on 26th June 1882. Indeed the park is named after this princess, Princess Alexandra.
So far we have only had a chance to explore its lower end, where features include an attractive duck pond and a boating lake. There is more water higher up, and at the northern end the park narrows to form Old Roar Gill & Coronation Wood, a Local Nature Reserve open to the public. A “gill” is small, steep-side valley, the word originating from the Norse and used more commonly in northern England. This wooded valley is apparently a wonderful habitat for a wide range of birds, including spotted flycatcher, kingfisher, grey wagtail and lesser spotted woodpecker. We have driven past many times and one day must certainly stop to explore properly.
Between these two areas are tennis courts, a traditional bandstand, rose garden and miniature railway, as well as many winding paths to explore and an abundance of wildlife rarely seen in an urban park. In addition to the birds mentioned above, you may spot herons and buzzards, while on summer evenings Daubenton’s bats can be seen flying over Shornden Reservoir, as can Noctule and Pipistrelle ones. Several varieties of wild orchids grow on the grassy banks around the park. The park is also home to a tree collection of national importance.
Directions: From Hastings town centre walk (15mins) or drive (5 mins) away from the sea along Queen’s Road. After going under a viaduct you will see the park ahead of you beyond a small roundabout. There is limited on street parking on St Helen’s Road, the continuation of Queen’s Road. Buses also serve this route.
Church of St George, Brede
The small village of Brede lies about five miles (eight km) north west of Hastings. We stopped here for a drink at the village pub, and sitting outside our eyes were drawn to the attractive old church on the other side of the road, so when we had finished our drinks we crossed over for a closer look. It was the Church of St George, originally Norman but with considerable additions over the centuries. It sits in a picturesque churchyard with wonderful views on one side over the Brede River Valley (see photo 4). We spent some time strolling around looking at the old gravestones and enjoying the peaceful atmosphere. I found lots of details that appealed to the photographer in me – see photos 2 and 3 for examples.
Inside the church retains some of its Norman features, including a window (at the west end of the north aisle) and the pillars of the south arcade. It is worth a quick look, but for me it was the exterior and churchyard that made this such a lovely spot.
Directions: On the A28 north of Hastings – the church is on the west side of the road in the village centre.
More Seaside Spring Flora
One the most abundant little plants growing at this time of year (Apr-May) on this stretch of the chalky Downs is the pretty little (20-30cm) purple Thrift. It grows in clumps and seems to be distasteful to the multitude of rabbits that live in the honeycombe of warrens under your feet ( Is it any wonder the cliffs are falling into the sea really??).Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
- Road Trip
Seaford Head to Cuckmere Haven
This walk is a section of the South Downs Way which takes in the magnificent views of the Seven Sisters (seven chalk cliffs). Looking west you can see the neighbouring port of Newhaven.
The footpath runs adjacent to a busy golf course, so when you are spending hours over a photo of a sea view, there might just be a golfer waiting to take his next shot right next to you!
This isn't a difficult section of the South Downs Way, and it will take you down to Cuckmere Haven. From there, you can get refreshments at The Golden Galleon Pub or the Tea Rooms at Exceat.Related to:
- Road Trip
- Hiking and Walking
Yellow Horned Poppy
The Yellow Horned Poppy grows in the shingle all along the Sussex coast line and flowers during early August. Please don't pick them as it is an offence to gather or collect any wildflowers growing in their natural habitat.
The "Long Man" is a giant carving on the north side of Windover Hill near Wilmington. He is 226 foot high. The origin of this giant remains a mystery. Another hill figure in East Sussex is the White Horse at Litlington (see intro pic).
The Long Man is signposted from the A27 and lies south of Wilmington (connecting street between A27 and A259). Also the White Horse can be found in the same street.Related to:
- Road Trip
The Sussex Downs - Approaching Lewes on a train
The Sussex Downs, is a beautiful area for hiking and there are dozens of routes, footpaths etc for the novice and the more experienced walkers and those just wanting to enjoy a day out in the country side.Related to:
Enjoy a nice cold drink in a lovely Sussex country pub on a hot July day... there's nothing nicer! This is in the cottage garden of the 18th Century Harvey's Pub - The Cricketer's Arms, set at the foot of the South Downs in Berwick. Half a pint of shandy will cost you 1.50 GBP. There's a great food and wine list here as well as cask ales - it gets very busy in the summer as it is sooo popular so it might be an idea to book before you turn up!
The Cricketers Arms
There is nothing lovelier on a summer's day than to sip a nice cold shandy in a pub garden with friend in a ancient Sussex country pub.
The Cricketers Arms is one such pub just off the A27 in Berwick, just before Polegate, it is set in an idyllic location at the foot of the South Downs away from the hustle and bustle. With low ceilings, cask ales, a cottage garden and great menu and wine list , this place is very popular and you may need to book at weekends.
Sussex coast spring flora
Not sure of the name of these "succulent" type plants found at Galley Hill cliffs in Bexhill during an early spring walk. If anyone knows what they are, please let me know :)Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Hiking and Walking
A load of bullocks
Just by the the Star Inn in Pevensey Bay are fields full of cows... we parked up and they started running!Related to:
- Family Travel
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