Take the A27 from Arundel to Worthing, before Hammerpot turn left into Dover Lane. Drive slowly to reach a car park in a copse. Walk north, find the bridleway through woods and descend into the gallops.
A mile long, soft surfaced, uphill, muscle building gallop for racehorses trained nearby. One day it would be wonderful to see them, but on this the fourth or fifth visit none appeared.
After the long gentle ascent, a five-way intersection of bridleway and footpath. A panorama, north to the South Downs Way from Kithurst Hill to the descent into Houghton. West, the far side of the Arun valley. East – Harrow Hill and Blackpatch Hill north of Patching and Long Furlong.
Up the hill where ewes and this year’s lambs graze or doze, many black-faced, some speckled – reminiscent of Jacob’s dealings with Laban in the Bible’s book of Genesis.
Then along the side of a steep drop overlooking Lower Barpham, a big farm, perhaps, with Sussex flint walls and red brick, converted barn and stables in the lee of the hill.
Through extensive woods, from Michelgrove Park to Angmering Park.
Last week sun, today low cloud. Last week the promise of bluebell carpets, today bluebell carpets.
I love knowing places intimately, seeing where I have been before on other walks, admiring afresh familiar sights. The bible, in Genesis, starts with Adam who worked the soil and God who took walks with Adam. Maybe that’s where it all starts.
8 May, 2013