Rowena took me to her school in Angmering this morning. We left the house at 7am. Its dark at 7am – just thought I’d share that with you. But the forecast promised a dry sunny but cold day. After what seems like weeks of miserable rain the promise of sunshine made a walk inevitable. This was to be 7 miles along the beach/coastal path with stops to look at Rustington on Sea (Google that place with Flanders and Swann to find it mentioned in “I’m a gnu”) and an Art Deco petrol station. The walking was planned to stop at the Anchored at Worthing micropub, then buses to Old Star micropub at Shoreham and Watchmakers micropub in Hove. A good plan.
Rustington on Sea contains a big housing estate which does not encourage visitors, but I braved it, and no-one challenged me. In fact lots of dogwalkers said ‘good morning’. Lots of small bungaloids with patches of bigger pretentions such as The Spires – nice 1930s garden village style – but completely lacking spires.
Soon the sun snuck above the rooflines and made photographing an Art Deco petrol station (now converted to apartments, but planning permission demanded the retention of the pumps) really rather difficult.
Down to the beach and to the famous (I’d never heard of it but 2 people I mentioned it to immediately extolled its virtues – for me its being open just before 9am was a big draw). I should apologise for failing to add the ‘finger for scale’ in the photo, but I did open the sandwich to let you revel in the eggy bacon-ness of it.
The sunshine was glorious, and the pounding of the (modest) waves as the tide gradually forced me away from firm sand up onto loose shingle or very muddy grass (not an easy choice – I tried alternating) made for an exhilarating experience. On the upside, the wind was at my back. Watching people pushing into the wind as they approached me made me feel comfortably smug.
Soon I reached a very rare bit of coast – no buildings between the beach and the downs – well OK, some buildings but none near the sea, so there is an open view from shingle to downs. There was also a flooded arable field which had attracted wildfowl, which had attracted birders.
Further on I encountered many interesting scenes, but I don’t want to push your boredom thresholds to much. Just one shot of some fishing boats drawn up on the shingle near a shack selling fresh fish.
I think I passed three of them all along the beach before reaching cenral Worthing and the Anchored – which was shut for a week, starting yesterday.
So it was a bus to Shoreham and a pint of a naturally hazy US hopped Brighton Beer Freshman before heading to the Neptune for a pint of Harveys best, and a walk to the Watchmakers – which was closing at 2pm, and I just missed getting a drink there. But a number 7 quickly carried me to Brighton station and more particularly the Evening Star for a pint of Saltaire New World Red ale. Then a walk home for a little rest. Passed some hard landscaping going in at the nearly completed southern end of the green walking route from station northwards. Gabions might be the name of big wire baskets of rock – check it out.