Sunday, 23 January 2011

South Downs Way

Cocking → Queen Elizabeth Country Park

path.png Distance: 13.0 miles
Ascent: 454 metres
Duration: 4 hours 35 minutes

« Not walked | Not walked »

Two contrasting sounds accompanied us today, one from below and one from above.

During the morning every few minutes shots range out from the double-barreled guns of a hunting party in the woods below the escarpment. I imagine pheasant was their main target, but the local deer were taking no chances when we saw them again scurry out of the undergrowth.


Lunchtime brought a definite end to hostilities. And with it our second sound: the whispering whoosh of a glider as its pilot played with the thermals lifting from the edge of the hill.

At Harting Down the glider was joined by radio controlled planes from a local club and the downland filled with familes out for an afternoon stroll.


Beyond the car park we were soon on our own again, imagining other sounds. Recently the path had been closed here to allow tree felling to take place. Looking at the stunning patterns of the remaining stumps you could almost hear the tree's last breath.

And then once more came the families as we entered the Queen Elizabeth forest where we ended the walk: cries of joy from children running in the woods; cries of concern from a baby whose bicycle trailer was bumping about rather too much on the cobbles.

We had hoped to bump into Mum on the final mile but signposting in the forest wasn't in our favour so settled down at the visitor centre to wait for her while drinking a cup of tea. Here now were the familes at rest: exhausted after an afternoon's play. I'd not previously been aware of QECP, but would now highly recommend it for a peaceful (but noisy) day out.

Posted by pab at 17:20 | Comments will be back later in the year. Please email me instead!