The Easter hols 2015: Kent and East Sussex- Part 6, The final chapter 

Bluebell the motorhome is safely tucked up back at home, emptied and cleaned out, having completed her 440 mile tour of Kent and East Sussex. We’ve had a blast! 

We had a wonderful day relaxing on site yesterday, we managed some time outside the van and cooked a delicious roast lamb dinner. 

   

 

The view from the site was lovely, although if I’m honest I don’t think it’s one we would rush back to. The good points were the price; at £10 a night with electric and hard standing it was a bargain, there’s no question about it. The views were lovely, and there was a nice walk down to the owners lake house. 

 

  

  

  

 There were lots of birds – we heard owls every night and I also spotted a yellow woodpecker and an owl last night. It was very quiet and the owners left you alone. But sadly it was let down (in our opinion) by the total lack of refuse points. There wasnt a single bin onsite, instead the owners had opted for 4 (overflowing) recycling bins- one for newspaper, one for wine bottles, one for plastic bottles (not food packaging) and one for food tins (baked bean tins not the fosters kind!). Don’t get me wrong, we are happy to recycle, but by not having a general waste bin we had nowhere to dispose of the other waste that you acquire. The owner had instead decided to leave posters on every pitch saying we had to take our own rubbish to the tip down the road. Again, happy to abide apart from a) it’s bank holiday weekend and the tip isn’t open and b) driving a motorhome to a tip in an area that we don’t live in isn’t as easy as it sounds (plus isn’t that kinda what you DONT wanna do on holiday?!) We were also told we had to take our dog poo bags to the council bins in town (which we spent a LONG time looking for on Saturday). In the end we left this morning with 4 bags of rubbish in our bathroom which by the time we found some bins were really starting to stink!

So, before we headed home we had planned to do a walk from nearby Hassocks along the South Downs Way. We were in for a real treat, the weather gods were on our side! We parked up at Hassocks Railway station and absolutely loved the 5 mile walk from Hassocks up to the Jack and Jill windmills (a couple of 19th Century corn mills- Jill is open to visitors, Jack isn’t due to being privately owned) along the South Downs Way, and back down again in the beautiful sunshine!  

 

   

      

 

      

The views from the South Downs path was sensational! I don’t know what I was expecting, but it literally took my breath away, and was another reminder of what a wonderful country we live in! 

We couldn’t have asked for a nicer way to finish the holiday, and although we were sad that it was over, we had a brilliant break, recharged our batteries, and travelled home feeling refreshed and looking forward to the next trip!

Until next time 

Lx 

 

The Easter hols 2015: Kent and East Sussex- Part 5, Battle and The Cuckoo Trail 

Thursday arrived and we had an early start- we were heading to Battle. Before we left the campsite on Romney Marsh, we got chatting to our neighbour in a caravan- who was travelling with his wife and his two birds of prey!! 

Keith had visited Battle a couple of times before, so we decided against visiting the actual Abbey and Battlefield (Battle of Hastings 1066), instead opting for the town trail and a pub lunch which was absolutely sensational (I’m really not exaggerating!!!) at The Chequers Inn.    

 

  

  

History states that the Abbey at Battle was built by the Normans on the site of the battle to give thanks to God for their victory against the Saxons. However a couple of years ago, the Time Team TV programme had a documentary on a new theory that the site of the battlefield was 200 yards away on what is now the site of a mini roundabout. After doing the complete town walk and visiting the mini roundabout (pictured above) (and the pub!!) Keith has a new theory….. The mini roundabout is at the left end of the ridge of high ground that the town of Battle was built upon. The monastery and main battlefield is 200 yards to the right of the ridge of high ground. Historians know that the Normans were attacking uphill (as seen on the Bayeux Tapestry) The mini roundabout is on the main road that runs through Battle, which has been the ancient route from Hastings to London since Roman times. It makes sense that the Saxons would have been guarding this route on the high ground to prevent the Normans advancing. Historians know that there would have been at least 15,000 men fighting so it makes sense that the battle took place over a large area that would have included the mini roundabout AND where the Abbey stands as it is all part of the same high ridge of high ground. The high alter of the Abbey was supposedly built where the Saxon king, King Harold was killed at the end of the battle. This would make sense as it is slightly higher than the mini roundabout area, and he would have been in this position for strategic purposes. (Paragraph above courtesy of my guest writer, Keith!!) 

 

 After a day exploring and investigating, and a marvellous lunch- consisting of a beef, melted cheese and gherkin sandwich for K, a smoked chicken, egg and bacon sandwich for me, leek, potato and Stilton soup and a portion of chips, that altogether hands down wins the best sandwich EVER award, at the Chequers, we headed to our first Brit Stop stay of the trip, number 136, a vineyard near to Battle. Being wine fans, we always enjoy a stop at a vineyard and this one was no exception. 

   

 We parked up right next to the vines and wasted no time heading into the shop for a very generous tasting of their selection of English whites,  sparkling and cherry liquor. It was all delicious, and we opted for a bottle of their 1066 dry white and a cherry wine. There was a nice little trail that you can take leading you round the perimeter of their vineyards and by now the sunshine had appeared- it felt like we were in France! 

  

  

Friday was a washout- the weather was terrible so we made the most of a long lie in, a big breakfast, then hit the nearest supermarket to stock up on supplies for the Easter Weekend, before heading to our next stop, a CC certified location campsite on the outskirts of Heathfield, which we were booked on for 3 nights. We had a good chill and around 4pm when the rain stopped, Keith suggested a walk to to an old pub he had spotted in the good pub guide. It ended up being almost a 6 mile round trip but it was worth it. The Star Inn in Old Heathfield was a wonderfully atmospheric 14th Century coaching inn, with a huge cosy inglenook fireplace complete with benches you could snuggle down into. It was really lovely there and totally worth the long walk to get there! 

  

Saturday arrived and the weather hadn’t improved massively, however it wasn’t going to stop us- we’d planned to cycle the Cuckoo Trail, another disused railway converted into cycle/foot path. As it turned out, it wasn’t just the weather against us- my bike wheel decided to buckle about a mile into our ride, throwing me off in the process. Luckily, I escaped with a few scrapes and nothing major, but we had to say a sad farewell to my trusty bike- a hand me down off Freecycle 5 years ago! Luckily Jazz’s basket was riding on Keith’s handlebars, so he was ok. We decided to leave Keith’s old bike with mine, (he’s been riding a bike too small and with one brake broken!) – I was adamant it wasn’t going to stop us seeing the cuckoo trail, so we rescued the baskets off our bike and carried on by foot! 10 miles later and we got back to Bluebell tired, muddy but totally satisfied. The cuckoo trail is lovely, and we passed some beautiful countryside vistas,  a lovely display of old railway gates and signs, and an old station at Horam. We didn’t manage the whole trail as we were on foot but will definately return when we get some new bikes! 

   

      

 

  

It’s now Easter Sunday, and we have declared a day of rest. We are enjoying listening to Classic Fm with our views of the countryside, and have a leg of lamb for dinner tonight. 

 

Tomorrow we are heading towards Hassocks, where we are going to do the the Jack and Jill walk, which sounds nice 🙂

Wherever you are, and whatever you are doing, we wish you a Happy Easter. 

Until Next time 

Lx