Saturday, 5 March 2016

Fulking about at Fulking and Steyning.

After what seemed like an eternity of hiding in the house, Friday was a nice day; crisp and bright. I wasn't too ill and so we went out - down onto the Brighton road and heading for the South Downs.

First of all we stopped at Devils Dyke;

Which is a dramatic valley cut into The Downs by melt waters when this area was covered in permafrost millions of years ago.

It's hard to see it now but in the 19th century this was one of the biggest tourist attractions - one Whitsun bank holiday saw 30 000 people here. There was (at different times) a funicular railway, a railway and a cable car, funfairs, restaurants and music.

All gone now and I didn't feel able to walk up the valley - a bit too much up and down for me these days!

Then we drove to Fulking which hides at the foot of The Downs, the sun playing with the shadows and light;

In "The Meaning of Liff"  the comic writers  Douglas Adams and John Lloyd defined "Fulking" as "pretending not to be in when the carol singers come round."

We drove on and passed a medieval farm with a large flint barn;

And stopped off at Steyning, a little market town;

And then we went back to Fulking, late in the afternoon, because it seemed such a shame not to have clambered up to the top of the hill;

This is Robyn's photo of where we were heading - the notch by the side of the pylon.

Oh dear, it looks further than it did earlier on;

We did make it up to the top, the hill carved by 'Drove Roads', sunken paths worn down into the chalk by centuries of sheep being driven along the South Downs way to market; 

As usual up on The Downs, you can see for ever, as far as The Surrey Hills;

Can you spot my little car, the only one on the road? 

The view along the ridge is just a dream;

The wind charges over the ridge from the sea and any trees that survive are ground down by it;

Robyn took this one - I actually made it!

A splendid lung clearing day and when it was over we headed down to Littlehampton for Fred's Fish and Chips, the second best fish and chips I've ever had.

Rather optimistically we took home a loyalty card!

It's quite a long drive for a meal.

Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)
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