Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Lewes to Brighton Walk 6th July 2015


My self and Dan left for Lewes in East Sussex on 6th July 2015. We arrived after about an hour and a half drive and park up in a car park near Lewes Priory and Lewes Football Club. We paid £3.70 to park for the day.
Lewes strategic position, enclosed within the South Downs and set beside the navigable River Ouse, made the town a useful and well protected port. William de Warenne established his stronghold at Lewes following the Norman invasion of England in 1066. For centuries Lewes was the judicial and administrative centre for all Sussex until the establishment of East and West, whereon it became County Town of East Sussex

Lewes FC also known as The Rooks are in the Ryman League, and with the doors open due to some building work being done, I was able to have a sneaky look at the ground (The Dripping Pan).

We headed out to the corner of the car park and climbed up a steep mound to the top where we had views across Lewes and the Priory.

Lewes Priory was built on a scale rivalling Chichester Cathedral with buildings covering thirty acres and with further holdings of around 20,000 acres across Sussex. When Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries it was an obvious target and demolished in 1538. Although large quantities of stone were used in other town buildings, some ruins remain and guided tours are available in summer. During excavations for the railway in 1845, the tombs of William and his wife Gundrada were uncovered and removed to the South Chapel at nearby St John the Baptist Church.

We walked back out onto the road and past the railway station where I stopped briefly to draw out some cash and purchase a drink and a packet of crisps. As we crossed the bridge over the rails I got views down to Harveys Brewery
Harveys of Lewes is the oldest independent brewery in Sussex and is still in the Harvey family after eight generations.

The history of brewing at Harveys dates back over 200 years and the impressive Victorian Gothic tower is a Lewes landmark which has been adapted over the past 150 years to house a modern brewing plant whilst still producing beer made in the traditional way.
Harveys is still very much a local brewery – our hops come from Sussex, Kent and Surrey and the ‘Spent Hops’ find their way back to the land as fertiliser. Harveys ‘Spent Grains’ are fed to the dairy herd at nearby Plumpton Agricultural College.
Spring water for brewing is drawn via an artesian well 60 feet below our premises. This and our yeast strain, used for half a century, combine to produce a range of beers encompassing every style from Porter to Light Milds.

We made our way up a steep hill and stopped off to look in a record shop, I miss these hardly any exist now days.


At the top of the hill we turn left and then right across the street towards the castle.

We now reach Lewes Castle.

Lewes Castle was built in 1069 by William de Warenne, 1st Earl of Surrey, the son-in-law of [William the Conqueror].. When the last of the Warennes John, the 7th Earl died without issue in 1347, he was buried in Lewes Priory. His title passed to his nephew Richard Fitzalan who was also Earl of Arundel.










Parked up just by the castle was a Morris Traveller and a Morris Minor and worthy of some photos.



We walked on down the hill and through the town, trying to work out where we were on the OS map that has no street names.




We stopped in the Lewes Flea Market and had a fleeting nose about before moving on.



We again cross the River Ouse and another view of the Brewery.

We stop and study a map on a post and still werent sure of our location, a old veteran on a mobilty scooter tried to help and gave directions alas the wrong way.

We pass the Harvey Brewery Shop, it would be rude to just pass by so we pop in and I exit with a bottle of Bloomsbury Brown. Unfortunately a brewery shop that has no bottle opener I leave with a closed bottle. Dan somehow opend the bottle with his teeth and we share the bottle as we walk.

Bloomsbury Brown was brewed to commemorate the company’s long association with Charleston, where the ‘Bloomsbury Group’ used as a meeting place during the first half of the twentieth century. Harveys delivered beer to Duncan Grant over many years and a bottle is still occasionally featured in his still life compositions.
Tasting note: A traditional Brown Ale. Sweet and dark with a nutty palate and discreet bitterness. A refreshing drink which may be served with a wide variety of foods or enjoyed in its own right. Formally known at Nut Brown Ale.

We made our way out of town and find ourselves on the A26 and walk along a busy road alongside The Ouse on our right.


Almost at the top of the round we take a footpath alongside the river, I ask a water authority bloke where the path leads and it goes to Newhaven not the direction we wanted to go in. So we walk back to the A26 and then onto the A27 a busy fast road. Not what we had in mind we are on the wrong side of town for the paths were wanted and had no choice but to do this horrible walk along the road.

After a fair bit of walking on the A27 we reach the bridge we needed to cross to get to the paths. But there was no way up to the bridge. We were left with two choices try and run the gaunlet across the A27 or clamber up the steep embankment to the bridge.After fighting through the undergrowth we are up on the bridge and back on track.

We walk alongside the Kingston Road until we reach Farm Park where we take a footpath past a kids farm and out into some fields.


We leave the fields and are now in Kingston Near Lewes.

The village is small and situated at the base of the South Downs. Features include the primary school, village hall, riding stables, and the local pub The Juggs, which is housed in a 14th-century cottage and now leased to the Kentish brewer Shepherd Neame. The pub and Juggs Lane (a road used as a public path which runs by it), are named after the fish-carrying baskets used by Brighton fishwives on their way through Kingston to the market at Lewes. The path may still be traversed by foot, but is unsuitable for vehicles (though legal for them), and continues almost to Brighton.

We continue up the road and take another path through fields and a farm and exit out by Swanborough Manor.It is located on Swanborough Drove in Iford, East Sussex.
It was built in about 1200. However, it was extended in the 15th century, with an additional ceiling.Indeed, the gateway, the great chimney breast, a quatrefoil peephole, and parts of a screen with arched blank panelling all date back to the 15th century.
It was listed as Grade I by English Heritage in 1952.
It previously belonged to Henry VIII of England (1491-1547), followed by Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658).


We take another slight wrong turn and walk through a field of barley and then back onto the road and onto the correct path that nows heads uphill and into the South Downs.


A view back to Lewes and its Castle.

We stop for a breather and a drink and I consult my map, as I thought we had gone too far and had missed a path that I intended to use. We walk back a short way and a horse rider confirms the right path and said its the easier of the two.
We walk up the concrete path up a steep hill with great views of the Downs.



We stopped a few times to have a rest, this was STEEP and it was very HOT!! I'm sure the horse rider rode off laughing, easier path!! Really??



Views to Seaford and the Seven Sisters.

We reach the top and have a well deserved rest, a group of young men on the Duke Of Edinburgh award march past unfazed by the hills!



We set off now along The South Downs way and pass a cross made of stones, I assume someone had died here but have been unable to find any information on this.





I find the path I'd been looking for that takes us through Woodingdean and  towards Rottingdean.








We pass Balsdean Farm and head off down a road.


We eventually arrive in Rottingdean. 

It developed as a small community around the pond in Saxon times and its name means 'the village of Rota's people'. The domesday book records that the land was given to William de Warrenne the Lord of Lewes as a reward for his support at the Battle of Hastings. For centuries it remained an isolated rural farming settlement and only became accessible as the coastal road from Brighton improved.

Towards the end of the 19th century it offered seclusion and inspiration for many artists, writers and public figures, factors which influence both residents and visitors to this day.The main attractions in the town are Kipling's Garden, Rottingdean Windmill, St. Margaret's Church with its beautiful stained glass windows and some traditional old inns which were once frequented by smugglers in the area.




Rudyard Kiplings House in Rottingdean.
The writer and poet lived at The Elms, in Rottingdean, near Brighton, between 1897 and 1902.
During their time there, Kipling added The White Man's Burden and Stalky & Co to his burgeoning body of works.

But the family moved away from their seaside haven after one of the children died from pneumonia, settling more than 20 miles away at Bateman's, in the heart of the East Sussex countryside.
The Elms, a grade II listed four-storey detached house, has five bedrooms and two bathrooms, as well as a modern kitchen and linked dining room, a study and reception rooms.
The highly regarded gardens in which the house once stood were bought by Rottingdean Preservation Society in the 1980s and handed to Brighton and Hove City Council for public use.

We walk round to Kiplings gardens for a look about.


Kiplings Gardens were once part of The Elms, where Rudyard Kipling lived from 1897 to 1902. Kipling rented the house for 3 guineas a week and it was here that he wrote Stalky & Co, Kim and some of his famous Just So Stories.
The gardens later became derelict for many years under private ownership and eventually permission to build on them was sought. Fortunately, this was refused on appeal and the land was bought by The Preservation Society, who then restored the gardens creating the present Kipling Gardens. The gardens are considered a fine example of 'horticultural excellence' and have been frequent holders of the prestigious Green Flag, which is awarded to the best parks and green spaces in England and Wales.
The gardens were opened in 1986, when they were formally handed over to Brighton & Hove Council for the long term benefit of residents and visitors, who can relax in quietness and seclusion within the beautiful surroundings.
Highlights in the garden include the walled Rose Garden, a Herb Garden and a Wild Garden. The Wild Garden can be used for picnics and the playing of croquet can be seen during the summer.







We down leave the gardens behind and down down to the beach.




We made our way along the promenade towards Brighton, our end goal.


It was really hot by now so a quick stop for a lolly and a can of coke before we continue.
The water looked so tempting,wish I had my shorts on for a swim to cool off.
A long walk later we reach Brighton Marina, a lot further from Rottingdean than the map suggests!

Concepted almost 40 years ago, Brighton Marina has become the largest Marina complex in Europe.

1970's: In 1971 huge reinforced concrete cassions each weighing 600 tonnes were fabricated on site and put into place by a giant 600 tonne crane constucted on site. In 1973 the final cassions of the West Breakwater were laid. By 1977 the infrastructure of the Marina was completed and the yacht berths were in the process of instalation.

With Land areas below sea level at high tide a sea wall was built for protection. A lock provided access to the inner harbour- this is one of the largest non-commercial locks in Europe. In 1978 the Marina was opened to boats. HM The Queen opened the Marina after a tour with HRH The Dule of Edinburgh.

1980's: Construction costs far exceeded the original budget. Backers were reluctant to give further funding so the development stopped. In 1985 the Marina taken over by Brent Walker and led by flamboyant boxer turned businessman George Walker. He immediately brought in a superstore operator and developed a village square with shops and restaurants, followed by flats and houses built on promonitories overlooking the inner harbour. A 1600 space multistory car park and cinema complex was completed in 1988.

2000 ONWARDS: Brunswick developments put plans into place that would transform Brighton Marina. Experts concentrated on individual areas. A residential development of 800 homes was undertaken by Barrat.

The Marina was leased to Premier Marinas who operated five of the UK's largest Marinas. The commercial estate was developed by Parkridge for retail and leisure which produced the "Waterfront" opened for business in 2002 this boasted retail units, a hotel and reastaurants with spectacular views over the Marina. In 2007 the commercial estate was sold for £64 million to X-Leisure. This was the UK's fastest growing premier leisure brand and to date boasts a total 16 leisure destinations nationwide.

One of many Mullet in the Marina.


Expensive looking properties and yachts
We leave the marina past Asdas and a grotty looking skate park.

We are now strolling towards Brighton.

The ancient settlement of "Brighthelmstone" dates from before Domesday Book (1086). It developed in popularity as a health resort featuring sea bathing during the 18th century, and was used as a seaside getaway by the Prince Regent. After the railway reached the town in 1841, it became a popular destination for day-trippers from London.





We reach the pier and its new addition the Brighton Big Wheel, well new to me anyway, not sure how long its been here.






We now are looking for a fish and chip supper, a tradition when Dan and I finish a walk on the coast. Dan didn't fancy the Harry ramsden shop so we looked elsewhere. It was now about 6 oclock, shops by the beach were closed so we headed intown. You'd think finding fish n chips by the sea would be easy but there seemed to be no end of Italian,Turkish or Mexican restuarants but no Chips.

We passed the Royal Pavillion.

The Royal Pavilion is a former royal residence located in Brighton, England, United Kingdom. It was built in three stages, beginning in 1787, as a seaside retreat for George, Prince of Wales, who became the Prince Regent in 1811. It is often referred to as the Brighton Pavilion. It is built in the Indo-Saracenic style prevalent in India for most of the 19th century. The current appearance of the Pavilion, with its domes and minarets, is the work of architect John Nash, who extended the building starting in 1815


We didn't have time to look about and continued the hunt for Fish n chips!

We headed back to the seafront and found a chip shop. Not the best, fish was okay not outstanding batter, but it was dinner.



We then made our way to the station to catch the train back to Lewes. A great walk of 15 miles.