|Ouse Valley and Lewes|
|Itford Hill View|
|Firle Beacon View|
The view north and west was less industrial and I could see Lewes Castle standing guard over the Ouse Valley, as it has done for the last 800 years or so. It’s sad that the castle is overshadowed by the 60s monstrosity of County Hall, but for how much longer? There are noises from East Sussex County Council suggesting that they may decamp to Polegate. Anyhow, the view across to Ditchling Beacon was quite clear and served as a reminder of how far I walked on the last leg.
|View to Cuckmere Haven|
I continued on the the summit of Firle Beacon, one of the most distinctively shaped hills on the whole route. At this point I was treated to a new view, with Lewes and the Ouse valley receding into the distance I now looked forward over the Cuckmere Valley, the next river to breach the chalk ridge. Particularly striking was the view of Windover Hill ahead, famous as being the host of the Long Man of Wilmington. It was another of those moments where I could see a very long way along the path ahead, which was a bit daunting.
|Heading Down Into Alfriston|
From Firle Beacon it was downhill all the way into Alfriston, a tourist honeypot of a village during the summer but utterly delightful today as it was devoid of people. On the way I passed a couple of farmers at Bo Peep who were ultra-scanning their sheep. This reminded me of Day 1 virtually a year ago when I encountered the same activity!
|Windover Hill View|
|Jevington Hill View|
From Jevington it was another climb out of the village up to Willingdon Hill. This would be the last climb for today and by the time I reached the top the conditions were surprisingly warm for January. This section of the Downs was thronged with people enjoying the winter sunshine and the views across Eastbourne. For me it was now a straightforward level walk along past the Golf Club and to the A259 where I used to finish my hiking competition all those years ago. Of course today it was broad daylight and devoid of people, in contrast to competition day when there would be a couple of other service teams and the checkpoint in operation in the middle of the night.
|View to Eastbourne|