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West Kent – Rodmell and the South Downs

Event Details

Restarting Events

Our Groups are up and running with their activities.   While there is generally no fixed maximum number of participants on an event, an event may have a limit in place based on it's risk assessment.   All events still require every participant to pre-book via the website.

General information

A downland walk from the village of Rodmell, remembered as the home of Leonard and Virginia Woolf. Once on the South Downs Way, we follow the ridge to the north west for some three miles, enjoying good views to the sea on one side and the Weald on the other. We then turn into Jug’s Road (track) and descend into the hollow of Falmer Bottom, following a delightful path beside the Castle Hill Nature Reserve. Continuing through open downland to the south-east, we return to Mill Hill by way of the Breaky Bottom Vineyard, and thence to our starting point. OS Explorer OL11.

BOOKING: Advance booking is required. For Covid contact tracing purposes, all attendees must be either full GOC members or have a free trial online membership. The event is of course free of charge. You can book on behalf of others as well as yourself. If you have difficulty booking then please contact the West Kent Group Coordinator at [email protected] to do it for you. You will only be permitted to attend a GOC event if you have registered in advance via the website. Thank you !

Some facts about Virginia & Leonard Woolf.

Encouraged by her father, Virginia Woolf began writing professionally in 1900. Her father's death in 1904 caused her to have a mental breakdown. Following his death, the Stephen family moved from Kensington to the more bohemian Bloomsbury, where they adopted a free-spirited lifestyle. It was in Bloomsbury where, in conjunction with the brothers' intellectual friends, they formed the artistic and literary Bloomsbury Group. In 1912, she married Leonard Woolf, and in 1917 the couple founded the Hogarth Press, which published much of her work.  Throughout her life, Woolf was troubled by mental illness. She was institutionalised several times and attempted suicide at least twice. Her illness may have been bipolar disorder, for which there was no effective intervention during her lifetime.  In 1919, the Woolfs purchased the Round House in Pipe Passage, Lewes. The same year they discovered Monk's House in nearby Rodmell, which both she and Leonard favoured because of its orchard and garden. Subsequently, they then bought Monk's House and sold the Round House. In 1941, at age 59, Woolf died by drowning herself in the River Ouse at Lewes. Leonard Woolf died in 1969, his ashes were buried alongside his wife's beneath an elm tree in his beloved garden at Monk's House in Rodmell. The tree subsequently blew down and his remains have since been marked by a bronze bust.


Terrain / Difficulty

As in the nature of downland walking in the South Downs, this is a hilly walk. Please only attempt this walk if you are happy with steep uphill and downhill inclines.

Approximate Distance

10 miles

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