Our day began with a trip to Middle Farm located near Firle on the A27 between Eastbourne and Lewes. For myself, it is a pilgrimage that I have made several times in the last few years but the variety of products available mean that one never bores of perusing the shelves. Just the selection of beer alone is amazing even though their apparent specialty is ciders which are stored in vats. You are permitted to sample any you might like before making a purchase. I must admit to having sampled a good few myself that particular day! Our very international group (Aussies, Canadians, French and Brits) came away loaded down with goodies, much of them destined for transport to faraway lands!
After wandering through Middle Farm and seeing all the exotic wares to eat and drink, mot of us had worked up an appreciable hunger and/or thirst. So, we all headed back to John and Daphnes’ for a spot of Lunch before heading out on our South Downs hike. Front and centre is a medley of the the freshly made sausages that we picked up that very morning. And to wash it all down some local brewed beer but French wine! At home too, there have been many changes since I left in 1972! Recently, I wrote on our sister blog that growing up, good old English Cheddar cheese was about the only one to be found in our larder. Here, however, you may note that no less than 5 varieties are on display! We had to be careful not to lose sight of the fact that overeating lunch would not be a good start for our hike!
The South Downs Way is a collection of trails stretching from Eastbourne to Winchester which initially follows the coastline West past Worthing where it turns slightly inland. Within the last year or so, these trails were officially joined together and formed into The South Downs National Park. We chose to follow an 8 kilometer stretch which starts and ends in the Cuckmere Valley not too far from Middle Farm but on the A259 coast road. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I will let the pictures tell the story of our hike!