Following in the footsteps of fishwives

Apologies for the recent absence of posts, but the endless colds of an eight-month old and the endless, endless rain of late have kept me safely indoors (and dry, at least). Today, for once, the sun was shining. Remember the sun? Remember the clear blue sky? Remember being able to leave the house without the unwelcome addition of a sweaty cagoule? Today was the day, and it was a perfect day for a morning trip over the Juggs.

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Juggs Road forms the downland path between Lewes and the small village of Kingston, and is part of an ancient route that cuts across the hills from Brighton to Lewes. If, like me, you like to avoid walks that see you creeping along main roads, lungs choking on exhaust fumes, then you’ll probably like this walk. It’s ideal for a Sunday morning, hilly enough that your legs get a work out, but short enough that you can be back in Lewes in time for your Sunday roast, and with views that will make you pause mid-stride, just to breathe it all in.

We cut across Lewes via the beautiful gardens of Southover Grange (a handy stones throw from the station), and turned onto Juggs Road just behind the Swann Inn, on Southover High Street.

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Juggs road takes it’s name from the baskets and earthenware jugs used by fishwives to carry their haul, as they made their way from Brighton to Lewes to sell their wares at market. Jugg (or Jug) was also a nickname for Brighton fishermen. Neolithic and Roman finds have also been recorded along the ancient ridgeway. Today the path is busy with ramblers, joggers, dog walkers, and desperate parents who have prised their young away from the computer screen. But don’t let that put you off, for despite the company, it’s still an extremely peaceful walk.

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The well-worn path straddles sheep-filled farmland, and all around us the last bursts of Autumn fade to Winter.

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The views as the path breaks into open-farmland are pretty spectacular, a panorama of green fields and soggy flood plains.

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The path leads you into Kingston village, and delivers you to the door of The Juggs. We turned around and took the path back to Lewes and home, and all in under two hours.

It was all too much for one member of the group.

It was all too much for one member of the group.

Happy New Year!

We captured the castle

We rubbed our eyes in disbelief when we awoke, for the gloom had lifted, the wind had blown the dark clouds clean away and the sun shone down from the sky, it’s rays bouncing off every surface in the garden. It was a perfect day to step into the tapestry of colour and changing life that has so excited me of late, as one season bursts forth from another.

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We took a trip to Bodiam Castle in East Sussex. The castle looks as if it has been drawn from a child’s fantastical imagination, all sweeping turrets and arrow-slit breaks in the weathered stone. The visit allowed me to continue to explore my love of the world around me at it’s transformative best.

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Within the walls of the castle I found such varied textures and colour.

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If you are in the area and in need of a day-trip, I would definitely recommend the castle. Aside from the fact that it’s super value for money (and you get to support the National Trust in the process), the staff are really friendly and keen to engage with young children about the history of castle, and the scenery surrounding the ruins is beautiful (especially viewed from the battlements).

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“Days decrease, And autumn grows, autumn in everything.”

I might have mentioned once or twice or a dozen times that Autumn is my favourite of all seasons. Not for me the blossoming explosions of light and colour of Spring, no for me, Autumn is the beginning, even if it is the beginning of the end. I managed to escape into the woods in a pause between torrents of rain, and thought I would share some photographs of my surroundings as nature’s palate transforms from the luscious technicolor of Summer to the burnt russets and golds and ochres of Autumn.

I’d love it if you would share your own thoughts or images in the comments.

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