Cuckmere Haven on the Sussex Coast in the UK, between Eastbourne and Seaford.
This walk was around Ashdown Forest, a place that was home to the author A. A. Milne who wrote the story of Winnie the Pooh. The Ashdown Forest is situated in the Weald of Sussex with the main London to Eastbourne Road (A22) cutting right through it.
My journey started from Gills Lap car park, situated just off the B2026 road that runs between Hartfield and Fairwarp. I have visited the forest all of my life and can always recall an Ice cream van was parked in this car park every time I was here, it’s funny how you remember the small things. Today though no van, probably due to it being a Thursday, and not a lot of customers from the dog walkers.
Leaving the car park heading north towards the memorial plaque for A. A. Milne and EH Shepherd, turning west toward the Lone Pine.
The last three months have been fairly busy as we have just moved house, so most of my time has been consumed with this, either planning, organizing, fitting, fixing or decorating. Although there is still a bit to complete, I thought it was about time that I set aside a day for a bit of exercise, exploring and photography.
I decided to take in a walk around the town of Uckfield in East Sussex, the walk would be in both the town and surrounding countryside.
It started from the Eastbourne Road near the Highlands Inn pub, which incidentally always seems busy especially at the weekend. Heading south-east along the Eastbourne road to pick up a footpath that now runs through two housing developments, one fairly recent while the other built back in the mid 90’s.
This walk was to the top of Wolstonbury Hill a high point on the South Downs just north of the village of Pyecombe. This area is managed by the National Trust for more information please check the information on their website.
The walk for me started from Hassocks station, following the path along the London to Brighton line for just over a mile to Clayton. From here crossing the A273 by the tunnel, yes someone does actually live in a house above a busy railway line, I not sure I would be able to sleep soundly, although I am sure you would get used to it.
I messed up my train journey today, as I missed the first train and the second one to Brighton was either running late or I misread the time when I checked this morning. Anyway, the later train got me there with two minutes to spare, luckily I only had to walk across the platform.
So I am on the train just pulling into Lewes when I noticed that it didn’t stop at Southease, a quick check on my phone confirmed that only alternate trains stop at Southease station. So I waited at Lewes for the next one as I didn’t want to walk in the other direction.
I do enjoy a day out with the camera, so a trip to the capital city was the plan, with a view to walking along the northern bank of the river Thames towards the Palace of Westminster, better known as the houses of parliament. From there crossing Westminster bridge and walking along the Southbank to the Millennium Bridge, back over the river to St Pauls and then down to Tower bridge and finally back to Blackfriars. That should take up most of the day allowing for a few stops for photos.
The journey started with a train ride to Blackfriars station, on arrival I decided to have a bite to eat saving some space in my bag for my jacket, that I certainly didn’t need. It wasn’t a gourmet feast just a roll and a packet of crisps followed by a couple of wine gums.
The walk down to Westminster was fairly quick, the reason being that I drunk too much water on the train up and was desperate for the toilet. I would have used the toilets at Blackfriars, but it was just my luck that they were out of order, so I had to wait until reaching Waterloo (oh how appropriate). At least they didn’t charge unlike at Blackfriars where they charge you 30 pence, the problem is I can remember when it was a penny, hence the saying “spend a penny”.
Just after Waterloo station, I saw Princess Anne being driven in a car that was escorted by several Police outriders and two other vehicles, she was probably only going down to the supermarket 😉.
I crossed the river via Westminster bridge hoping to capture a long exposure shot of the Parliament buildings, only to find they had the builders in with lots of scaffolding up. I do now recall a news article about the work required on the crumbling building, so I just took a quick shot with the camera phone instead.
The majority of the images you will see in this post will be long exposures using the Olympus Live Bulb feature, with a combination of Lee Filters Seven5 Neutral Density (Big and Little Stopper), sometimes with a Polariser and or Graduated filter.
The start of this walk involves public transport by train, so a change at Brighton boarding an ageing diesel train on the line out to Worthing. So the plan was to get off at Shoreham and walk around Shoreham harbour, well that failed as I turned the wrong way and ended up on the wrong side of the water. I couldn’t be bothered to walk the mile or so back to start again so carried on, maybe that will have to wait for another day.
The path takes you across the harbour to a sluice gate, arriving at the beach I found that the wind was certainly turning the blades of the wind turbines.
I had planned to do this walk for some time so packed the camera bag and set off, however when I arrived it was just starting to rain only light to start with, but was getting heavier and heavier, so I abandoned and planned to return when it was a better day, that day arrived so I set off again.
The good thing about driving to Seaford is that parking along the seafront is free, yes free in this day and age, would you believe it. I parked at the far end nearest the cliffs and ascended the hill by the golf course. The view was spectacular looking back towards the town with Newhaven harbour in the distance.
The Chattri is a First World War Memorial, built on the site where a number of Indian soldiers, who fought for the British Empire had been cremated. For more information and its location check the Wikipedia entry on the Chattri.
The only way to get to the Chattri is by a bridleway either from the south or the north of the downs, I approached it from the north walking up from Underhill Lane near Clayton village. It’s a fairly steep path onto the downs rising about 150 metres. This was just going to be a single visit, however when I arrived the light was pretty flat and overcast. I was hoping to see a fairly moody sky as the forecast mentioned rain, but it was not to be, just cold and blustery weather (nothing new there being so elevated).
I took a few images but I didn’t capture anything outstanding, so I packed up with a view to returning the next day. I did note in all of the images that I took that day when examined in Lightroom were the nasty gremlins known as dust spots, something that I have had trouble with the A7R almost from day one.
Well here goes my very first blog post, the reasons why I started this and what I plan to do with it.
I have been meaning to start this blog for some time now, in fact, it was a New Year’s resolution but I kept putting it off until now. I have been a photography enthusiast since I can remember, borrowing the family camera for a school trip or holiday, until finally investing my hard earned money in purchasing my first SLR camera a Zenith EM. My second camera was much better, an Olympus OM-10, and I still fondly remember it, very compact especially with the only lens I owned, a 50mm Zuiko F1.8. So this blog will be my thoughts and actions while wandering ‘through life with a camera’. Continue reading