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West Kent – Rodmell and the South Downs – 5th September, 2021

A small but intimate group of six met at Rodmell, near Lewes, East Sussex, for this month's 10-mile walk.  It was a hot day, probably not the ideal day to be walking up steep slopes in the South Downs, although the views over the undulating countryside certainly made-up for the sticky heat.  Chris Dance expertly led the walk and kept us well-informed throughout.

Our picnic lunch-stop was under a group of trees providing welcome shade for not only us but a flock of sheep.  Nearby was the deserted hamlet of Balsdean.  It was taken over by the military in 1942 and subsequently all its buildings, which included two farm-houses and some labourers’ cottages, were demolished. Also destroyed, were the remains of a Norman chapel, which had been deconsecrated and turned into a farm building.

Following lunch, we continued onwards and upwards; the heat was relentless. On reaching the ridge, we all gladly stopped for a break before our route joined the South Downs Way. Now overlooking Kingston and Lewes, in a north-easterly direction.  We continued on the South Downs Way until we reached the path that we had taken in the morning, re-tracing our steps back down into Rodmell.  At the end of the walk, we were all so glad to quench our thirsts and cool-off in the garden at the Abergavenny Arms in the village.

Many thanks go to Chris for leading this wonderful walk.

Colin Turner.

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