23rd September

This is smugglers’ territory and you can see why. Hidden away in the Cuckmere Valley, Alfriston could be miles from anywhere. The sort of place to go if you don’t want to be spotted. As we drive through the village at 12 o’clock it’s clear the village is no longer a secret. The main street throngs with walkers and cyclists who’ve arrived in the village from a morning spent on the Downs, just in time for lunch. We’ll be back in the village…but much later. Our walk starts at the far side of the village, high up on the Downs overlooking the Cuckmere at High and Over (Hindover).

We’re starting later than normal but a morning spent cutting the grass at Hannah’s house has delayed our start.  We descend to the River and follow its lazy meanders as far as Litlington before climbing up onto the Downs through Friston Forest. Some great views from Windover Hill before descending into Alfriston and a mid afternoon snack at the George Inn. Local legend has it that King Alfred burnt cakes in a house that has since become one of the village pubs. Thankfully he’s not working in the kitchens today.

By the time we climb back onto the Downs, east of the village, the sun is low in the sky and the paths are empty. We’re back at the car just before dark and Hannah spots Jacqueline Wilson in the car park. No, me neither! Apparently, she wrote the Tracey Beaker books. In the car on the way home, Sue explains why she never liked the books. Teachers always have an opinion!

An enjoyable afternoon (12.3m) and some beautiful autumn weather.

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Alfriston picture gallery (more pictures on Flickr):

Distance: 12.35 miles ; Difficulty: Hard

Postcode for Satnav: BN25 3AB

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Alfriston walk profile

Alfriston walk profile

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