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30/11/2009


my photos

the Ring, a weekend walk ...

Chanctonbury Ring (known as Chanklebury in Sussex dialect) dates back to the Bronze Age, and later in history a small Iron Age hillfort was built on the site. Romans came and built a temple, and in the reign of Elizabeth 1st, a beacon was placed on the crest to warn of the approach of the Spanish Armada.
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Beech trees planted on the site by Charles Goring in 1760 are a prominent landmark. The Great Storm of 1987 brought much damage, and now stands a shadow of its former self.



After many weeks of torrential rain, on the first stage of our walk we had a great time slip-sliding along a very boggy track, ankle deep in mud. There's terrific views of the surrounding countryside from here, and you can see Rock Mill from through these trees. You then enter into dense woodland ascending as you go, still slippery with piles of leaf litter, and damp moss underfoot.



Much folklore surrounds. Sleep under the trees for one night to increase fertility.



Run around the clump of trees seven times anti-clockwise, and the devil will appear offering a bowl of soup in exchange for your soul.



Recite a Midsummers Nights Dream at Summer Solstice, and magic little people will appear.



At this stage, 783ft above sea level with no protection from the elements, we were uplifted by the force of the wind. Exhilerating it was to blow away the cobwebs spun after yet another manic week at work. Apart from a few spits and spots we escaped the worse of the weather, and could see rain over many parts of West Sussex, and if you look closely you can see the end of a rainbow too.



Working up a gentle canter, it's now downhill all the way, with great views of the sea below.

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The South Downs Way is an area of outstanding natural beauty and is soon to become a National Park.
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It's important to have time to yourself, peace and quiet, and only towards the end of our walk did we start to meet with cyclists and dog walkers.
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Being chalk downland, it's slippery when wet, like an ice rink. A few years back this was the very spot were I came down to earth with a great bump!
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A moonlight walk sounds interesting. With much rumour of the supernatural frequenting this area, go at your peril!
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8 comments:

Nicola said...

Aha - the Great Storm of 87 - my husband and I were talking about that just the other night at dinner. Trying to remember what year it was. Recalling where we were and how we coped with the first day after the incredible winds that night. I was working in insurance which of course meant tons of claims to deal with!

Nicola
Nicolaknits (having trouble with wordpress today)

nikkipolani said...

Those trees look very lonely, so dark against the bright sky. And the paths look like some place you should traverse only with a friend (maybe to keep you from falling!).

Karens Hopes said...

That lovely walk has blown away the cobwebs... back to my desk now.
Karen

Simone said...

Thank you for the lovely walk Louise. I hope that you wasn't offered a bowl of soup! x

Jane said...

Chanctonbury Ring is beautiful, I lived in its shadow for many years and marvelled at its many moods. When it rains the clouds come down so low that you can see the ring at all. It was a sad day when the winds blew and left it looking so broken. We went up one midsummers night and danced and sang under the stars, we left before midnight so as to give the fairies some time to celebrate! Jane x

Rosie said...

What a wonderful, winter's walk you took us on. Great photos:)

Wild Rose said...

I love winter walks like this on crisp mornings when I can see my breath and feel the ground crunching under my feet.

You certainly captured the beauty of nature.

Marie x

Wild Rose said...

I forgot to ask ~ how did you create the snowflake effect?