A Walk to Rottingdean

On Thursday 31st January the sun came out so I abandoned other plans and went for a walk.  Up through Woodvale cemetery

The first daffodil I've seen out this season, and some primroses, at the cemetery.

  The first daffodil I’ve seen out this season, and some primroses, at the cemetery.

Snowdrops near the Bear Road exit of the Extra-mural cemetery

Snowdrops near the Bear Road exit of the Extra-mural cemetery

and over the rough grass at the top of Bear Road

Round Hill from the east, with themist-shrouded  South Downs beyond

Round Hill from the east, with the mist-shrouded South Downs beyond

and on to the race course where I walked parallel to it until I found the path slipping and sliding downhill to Ovingdean village.  It may have stopped raining but the ground was a long way from dry.  Staying upright was challenging enough – so no pics of this quiet valley.

A short walk through the village led to Beacon Hill – more long brown grass blown horizontal by the exposed location.

Beacon hill showing windmill, Rottingdean village and a giant blue skylark.

Beacon hill showing windmill, Rottingdean village and a giant blue skylark.

Up here there were Brighton’s sheep working hard on habitat improvement, as well as skylarks

Not a great picture but proof I saw at least one skylark.

Not a great picture but proof I saw at least one skylark.

in small flocks, springing up out of the grass just a dozen feet ahead of me.  I don’t think they leapt up out of fear of me, but because they thought, ‘If we don’t move that thing will walk all over us’.  Once they had risen to about three feet in the air they started to squabble – batting each other with their wings and shouting.  When I got to about five feet away they noticed me again and flew above my head to continue their arguing at a safe distance.

The windmill jumped up above the horizon whilst I was looking away, and was there when I turned to look south again.

Rottingdean windmill, with the tops of its sails just above the barely discernable seawater horizon.

Rottingdean windmill, with the tops of its sails just above the barely discernable seawater horizon.

To the east is Rottingdean, nestling in the valley.

Rottingdean, once home to Rudyard Kipling

Rottingdean, once home to Rudyard Kipling

Buses do visit from town, but most residents prefer their cars, or their horses – notice the way the fields above the village are divided into paddocks.  Someone created the word ‘horsiculture’ for this form of urban edge landuse.  The path down to the village was far too steep and muddy, so I walked south past the windmill and to the coast road for a bus back to Brighton.

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