Just over a week to before we head out to take on the South Downs Way and we thought we should see what it’s like to walk a long way two days consecutively.  25+ miles and a couple of blisters later and we are feeling it!

But it was so worth it. We walked a long route to Graffham via Burton Mill Pond and then took a steep set of steps, a path, more steep steps and more path to the top of the Downs through cool beech woodland. Then we saw the unmistakeable chalky white stripe of a path undulating ahead of us through fields and meadows. The South Downs Way.

The views form the top westwards to Bignor and way beyond are stunning. We could see Chanctonbury Ring, Ditching and beyond to Devil’s Dyke near Brighton. The photo doesn’t do it justice.

We came across some other mammals en route – a stoat and a roe deer and enjoyed  bullfinches, buzzards, yellow hammers, great spotted and green woodpeckers and the sound of skylarks, butterflies were everywhere from a chalk blue to large and smaller bright orange ones that I have yet to look up.

A great taster for the real thing – let’s see how we feel tomorrow about getting up on the Downs – this time the loop from Washington to Chanctonbury, Cissbury Ring and back.

Up steep slope out of Graffham

En route to Graffham

Day two of Double-Header:

Blisters plastered up and off we went up form Washington to Chanctonbury and then on to Cissbury. It was hot and hard going but we just about made it. Lots of lessons learnt for the real thing about supplies, insect bites and socks!

Today’s excitement from nature included fields full with wildflowers as well as spotting of red kites, corn bunting, white throats and field mice.

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