After a week or so walking along the coastline it is time to take a walk in the countryside. Being a Wiltshire boy a trip to the seaside was always a treat, as a nipper a Sunday School outing to Sandbanks was about all I saw of the sea. Whereas Lynnie is a Dorset lass and all her early years were spent close to the coast. There is something special about being near the sea, especially at dusk, I can see why it is so popular with retired folk.
Walking from Uckham Lane Gardens CL we leave the site and turn right down the lane. Soon we can see expanse of woodland, it is early autumn and a few trees are beginning to turn. I am not a fan of winter, it took me a long time to realise that I am one of those folk that need to see the sun to keep them bouncing like Tigger.
We follow the tarmac lane as it gradually descends crossing a bridge over a railway line and after passing the pond at Coarsebarn Farm we take the footpath on the left and follow the well defined path across a couple of fields towards Marley Lane. We turn left here and walk a few yards along the road until it bends to the right. Here we follow a footpath up the lane in front of us, this soon enters the edge of Petley Wood. The path is clear and emerges by stables.
Crossing in front of the stables we take a footpath that goes left into Petley Wood, after a short walk down hill we go through a fence and then turn right to take a wooden footbridge over the River Line, which is no more than a stream. On the opposite side of the river we turn left and walk along the edge of a field heading towards Riccards Wood.
The path goes past the edge of the wood and follows close to the river as it heads towards Whatlington. We cross a road to follow the footpath directly opposite going through a couple of fields and then across a footbridge, which for some reason is not particularly dog friendly and the boys need lifting over.
It is easy going through fields and then over another footbridge to enter the edge of Duke’s Wood. The path is clearly defined as it goes through the woods then across a field before another brief spell in woods before crossing a field of thistles with the railway line running close by on the left. We are then back into trees and soon come to the busy A2100, which we cross with care to join the footpath opposite.
Now on a fenced path between paddocks we walk gradually downhill to reach Eatenden Lane. We turn left and follow the lane over the railway line before taking another lane on our right. After a couple of hundred yards we turn left onto a footpath entering a field with a couple of horses. Mistakenly the horses assume we have come to feed them and trot purposefully across the field to meet us. I am not keen on horses, I can only recall being on one once, briefly, before falling off. I couldn’t see any pleasure in that! These two are friendly and soon lose interest in us when they realise we are not the providers of treats.
We carry straight on through the next field, ignoring the path crossing our route, and soon enter Upper Hucksteep Wood. The path climbs gradually to reach Eatenden Lane; we cross and continue on a path into Goldspur Wood. The bracken here is just showing signs of dying back, a harbinger of the changing seasons.
We carry on through the woods ignoring paths to our left and right and on reaching Netherfield Road cross to enter Ashes Wood. This is another attractive bit of woodland and the path is broad and easy to follow.
At a crossing of paths we turn left towards Beech Mill. This soon brings us to an attractive pond by the Mill.
After passing the mill we ignore footpaths to the right and left carrying straight on to Beech Farm, the path skirts the farm buildings and the considerate landowners have put in stiles that the dogs cannot go through but have to be lifted over. This is not easy as the ground is uneven, I lose my footing and end up in the nettles. I let Lynnie know my views of landowners who seem to delight in making it deliberately difficult for dog walkers, it would not be appropriate to share the exact wording of my tirade!
After crossing the two stiles we are besides a field used for archery and on reaching Bailiffs Cottage we are just about to enter a field when we spot young bears. Almost immediately they see us and show an interest. As previously explained, we tend to seek an alternative route when we encounter bears; for some reason they are over-interested in or positively dislike Crosby and far too many people are seriously injured by cattle.
Our alternative route is a footpath on the left that follows the farm track. From this path we can see Kings Head Mill on Caldbec Hill. This smock windmill was built in 1805 and was worked until 1924. It has since been converted into a home.
On reaching Netherfield Road we turn right and head towards Battle, after climbing a hill we join the A2100 and wander into town. From the High Street we turn left up Mount Street and then turn into the car park and take the footpath leading past the allotments and across fields to return to our van. Our nine-mile walk has been interesting but the fall in the nettles tainted my enjoyment.
To follow our walk you will need Ordnance Survey Explorer Map 124 – Hastings & Bexhill
4th October 2016
© Two Dogs and an Awning (2016)