29th June and rain predicted by noon so Jerry and I set out early, well 9am. Across the race course and behind west Woodingdean before heading down into Castle Hill National Nature Reserve. Downland grassy banks with orchids, meadowsweet, a yellow vetch and loads of delicate grasses.
A little further on several vipers bugloss plants, the native version of the 15 feet high echium in my back garden. Then a cereal crop with poppies.
Masses of small spiky black caterpillars on nettles. Turns out they will descend to the ground to pupate and emerge as peacock butterflies before the summer is over. Then they will seek a dry place to overwinter. Perhaps your shed, or even the folds in your sitting room curtains.
As we climbed out of the valley system there was a pleasing view down to the 1930s water pumping station, which brings us clean drinking water from deep within the chalk.
Two miles along the undercliff walk between surf and white cliffs got us to Brighton Marina in time for a few pints of Wetherspoons best beers and a cheap lunch. My favourite was brewed by a New York brewer at an English brewery.
Second best was Brighton Bier’s West Pier. Then the rain came so we finished the walk getting wet outside – twelve miles, 4 pints and ham eggs and chips. Excellent.