Thoughts on the South Downs Way
Having enjoyed our Cotswold Way walking holiday in 2015, Claudine Lannes returned this year to walk the South Downs Way. As with the Cotswold Way previously, Claudine has taken the time to write some extremely generous and kind words, as well as share some stunning images with us too.
Brilliant as usual! Not a drop of rain nor drizzle on my head, the raincoat didn’t get to see the light! I’m back with such a tan!
The walk in itself is a daily joy, and I’ve gathered hours of the brightest and deepest greens ever. Great choice of bed and breakfast, pubs and guest houses, perfect timing of the taxis transfers, with nice drivers. Very helpful and welcoming people everywhere on the trail. This is the perk of walking in England, people are so ready to help, it’s like they’re working for the Queen and wouldn’t allow anybody to get in the slightest trouble at any second. It always impresses me how an Englishman or Englishwoman would go out of his or her way to help.
Plenty of animals. Newborn lambs from the night, a herd of deer that ran out of the mist right in front of me, rabbits and birds.
I had two rough days at the beginning, the track was so muddy. I arrived at the taxi rendez-vous mud-soaked, but the driver was kind enough to say it’s alright, love, and that day I had the best bath I’ve ever had! The next day the mud weren’t that slippery and finally totally dried out. Even with the mud, I would strongly recommend walking The South Downs Way in April, the two slippery days were nonetheless brilliant, with eerie misty landscapes like in a Jane Austen TV series.
The temperatures were ideal for a walk. To my taste. You have the trail for yourself. You’re happy to meet the odd dog walker once in a while but other than that you can truly make the most of the quietness of the country. I stopped every thirty seconds to listen to the silence and the tiny little grazing noise of the baby lambs. So cute.
The trail is an easy one, it is a daily stroll, a very relaxing stroll with plenty to see and smell and listen, plenty to photograph, plenty of teahouses also to enjoy some traditional Easter cake.
I was hit by sorrow the last day because I felt I could go on and on and never come back to the city, and the only comforting thought was that I’m coming back in July and August for two more brilliant walks, no doubt! Of course, there is also the very reassuring thought, when walking those wonderful English walks, that I’m not really on my own as I’m walking with you, Mickledore, and it is a necessary condition, to me, to have no concern at all about where I’ll be staying or where to get help if needed. I wouldn’t enjoy it the way I do if you weren’t in charge of the organisation.