A busy few weeks … where did the summer go?
We bit the bullet and decided to do a small trip to East Sussex during the summer holidays but soon realised that finding campsites was going to be more complicated than expected so we cut it short and were only away for a week.
We set off down to Rye on Friday 6th August and it is fair to say that travelling on the M25 on a Friday during summer holidays is not a good idea… now we have done it twice, we won’t be repeating it, even though it was the morning!
We had decided to go down to Sussex to do the 1066 walk – 30+ miles of beautiful trail that runs from Rye through to Pevensey Bay… however we couldn’t find anywhere to stay near Pevensey Bay so only managed to cover some of the route, which to be fair was pretty beautiful.
After travelling through North, Central and South America with my parents in a motorhome in the 1980’s we came back and settled in St Leonards on Sea, Sussex – so I know the area pretty well…. although it has been 30 years since I left! Keith however, hadn’t been to Battle or Rye…. or if he had it was playing hockey and he didn’t remember any of it!
Rye was therefore our first stop and the CL – The Old Dairy, Playden, Rye (£20 p/n inc. elect) was situated a couple of miles outside Rye itself and had stunning views out over the rolling hills.
We set off to explore Rye itself on Friday afternoon as I know it used to get really busy with tourists over the weekend and to be fair it seemed pretty quiet – not like a remembered it from 30 + years ago. It is still a really pretty town but mostly taken over by holiday lets and holiday type shops rather than the boutiques and artisanial type places I remembered which is a shame – although still well kept.
It wasn’t all about the town though… more about the walking for us and despite the very temperamental weather we managed to get some good walking in over the next couple of days.
We decided to do two different long circular walks – the first out towards Battle, dropping down to Winchelsea and then back along the coast which was brought back lots of childhood memories of the Flamingo’s that settled in the area at certain times of the year…
and the second along the river with long grass in torrential rain and strong winds…. not particularly photogenic, very, very wet but still quite nice at the end!! We even managed to find a sheltered stile to sit on for lunch in a wooded area, protecting us from the worst of the elements… and thankfully it had started to dry out after lunch so we avoided the soggy aftermath in the motorhome!
We left Rye on the Monday and did a short wiggle, cross country to arrive at Battle…. another CL out the back of a garden centre (£16 per night inc. elec.)
I used to catch the bus out to Battle to go to secondary school so once settled in, we set off for a little walk to see what had changed in the 30 years since I left! The answer being not much apart from the fact that they are knocking down the school to build a new one!
We had a lovely few days despite everything being quite soggy under foot when we arrived, it soon dried out. We managed to catch up with our washing and do several really lovely walks – through the forest, then down the 1066 Bexhil branch, then out on the main 1066 Rye branch and then finally to a place called ‘Brown Bread Street’ on the 1066 towards Pevensey Bay.
All in all a lovely relaxing few days away and definately worth more of a visit as i’d like to get back to St Leonards and Hastings as well – if nothing else to revisit the fishing port where I remember buying dover sole direct from the boats in my childhood.
We settled back into Holyport and catching up with friends for the rest of August and even ventured to the Fi-Fest on Bank Holiday weekend which was conveniently being held on the farm… just a few fields over!! The first festival in a long time but it was pretty good – very safe and a good choice of bands… just a shame that the Lightening Seeds didn’t quite come up to scratch as the closing act…. everyone else was excellent!
A bit of a last minute decision…. and it really was last minute – we decided to book a Eurotunnel ticket and go to Dusseldorf to visit the motorhome exhibition. Despite not planning to go to Europe at all this year, we figured that if we wanted to have a look at what options were available over the next couple of years, the only way to do it was to head to Dusseldorf as no-one has any stock and won’t have for the forseeable future.
Covid Tests in hand, a clear out of all fruit and veg, wine and sprits (dont worry we didn’t waste anything) – the meat part wasn’t too difficult – we drove down to Folkestone on Tuesday and were parked up romantically nestled in between two other beautiful Concordes on the bank of the Rhine by Wednesday night… I am sure the camera plays tricks on the eye as we aren’t that small !!
It was an eventful few days and we still didn’t get to see the full exhibition … but it is fair to say that we are happy and have come away a little lighter on the wallet… so watch this space – although it’ll be a long time coming!
We didn’t get to explore the area much but we did find a beautiful pumpkin farm just round the corner from the campsite we were staying at … can’t get better than these