Archive | September, 2014

Barcombe and No Lunch At All

29 Sep

The run

I had a request this week (yes! I take requests!), to go to Barcombe Mills and check out the river (for possible kayaking) and The Anchor Inn. So off I set on a misty, struggling-to-rain kind of a morning.

Barcombe

I had decided to walk the 5 miles as yesterday I ran the Barns Green half marathon and the legs were somewhat achey. I thought a nice walk in the country would be just the thing to ease out those tired muscles. I parked the car in Barcombe High Street and set off with a route I downloaded from the internet, a flask of coffee, banana, and money for lunch/farm shop.

The walk started off well enough with the instructions easy to follow, and although it was starting to drizzle I enjoyed the experience of a relaxing walk. Signs of autumn are all around now, I saw plenty of grouse, conkers and berries in the hedgerows.

In fact, there seems to be evidence that the grouse are quite a pest to farmers as all along the cornfields they had bird feeders, presumably to stop the grouse eating the corn (it seems evident which they prefer though!)

Game feeder

Game feeder

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Where things started to go awry was at point 3 on the route description, following the instructions brought me nowhere near anything that sounded like what was described and I felt like I walked around those fields in circles for about an hour, at one point stopping for coffee and to try and get a bit of perspective on the matter.

Coffee time

Coffee time

In the end I decided to continue down Anchor Lane to have a look at the Anchor Inn (part of the request anyway!) hoping it might make a good lunch stop – unfortunately Mondays are often the day a restaurant will close it’s kitchen, so no joy there.

The Anchor InnThe Anchor Inn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking at the map I could see that I could rejoin my original walk by continuing down the River Ouse and managed to pick up the instructions again at point 5 on the route description.

Unfortunately I got lost again at point 7 and by this time I was feeling extremely hungry and actually quite desperate as my phone was also running down and I had been relying on the GPS to keep me right.

Barcombe route

I decided I had had enough of tramping across fields (they all look the same!) and listened for the sound of a road, which I went towards.

Field

All these fields look the same – or is it the same field?

“I’ll finish the thing on the road”, I thought, and set off in what I thought was the right direction, but, as I have zero sense of direction it turned out to be the wrong way as I just managed to ascertain from the dying light of the blue dot on my phone, and then I was on my own.

Geese

To avoid these…

…go through here

…go through here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More wrong turns and I was becoming anxious about being able to pick my daughter up in time from college, this is where the running started! Eventually I caught up with a postman doing his round and was able to ask him for directions – as I suspected I wasn’t far away and stomped into Barcombe High Street thinking ‘Thank f***, thank f***’ and was so pleased to see my little car again!

Barcombe

Barcombe? Barcombe? It’s around here somewhere!

The farm

I had hoped to pass something on the way round, but that didn’t happen, nor was there time to find something afterwards, so unfortunately it was Sainsburys on the way home today, which pleased dear daughter at least.

The lunch

No lunch today as nothing was open and there wasn’t time – a sad state of affairs – thank goodness for leftovers at home!

 

 

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Ringmer and The Plough at Plumpton Green

22 Sep

The run

My friend, Joey (also a keen runner) had said she had seen some good running routes on the internet, which were near Ringmer. So rather than going further and further afield I decided to explore this possibility today. I used the Walk Jog Run app to find suitable loops and settled on a 5.5 mile one. Parked up in a suburban close and went to get my running shoes out of the boot…only… somewhere between brushing my daughter’s hair and struggling out of the house I had left them behind. Decided to fast walk the route instead in my unsuitable shoes. It was all on the road anyway so not too bad. Although sunny there was a definite nip in the air. The first part was through the village of Ringmer – nice, largish houses and I was almost immediately overtaken by an old gent in an invalid carriage shouting good morning and passing comment on the weather over his shoulder.

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Conservation Corner, Ringmer

Conservation Corner, Ringmer

Conservation Corner, Ringmer

The second part of the route was on a main road which had a shop selling basket chairs and rustic household items, a few yards further on was the Green Man pub.

The Green Man Pub, Ringmer

The Green Man Pub, Ringmer

This wind turbine became a good landmark to navigate with.

Wind turbine, Ringmer

Wind turbine, Ringmer

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Starting to feel like autumn with the first blackberries appearing in the hedgerows, conkers on the ground and hay bales in the fields. Lovely and warm by mid-morning though. Navigating was fairly straightforward as I was following roads and using the Walk Jog Run app.

Glyndebourne House

Glyndebourne House

I was surprised to pass by Glyndebourne House and Opera on my way round the route. This has featured on an earlier run here.

Wind turbine Ringmer

Wind turbine Ringmer

I was glad to get back to the car after the walk as I was beginning to feel light-headed and hungry – luckily I had packed a peanut butter, banana muffin – the recipe is here.

Peanut butter and banana muffin

Life saver!

 

The farm

I decided to revisit a farm shop I haven’t been to for a while – many farm shops are closed on Mondays so this aspect is becoming more challenging. I headed back to Townings Farm Shop at Chailey as it is almost a year since I have visited and they seemed keen to expand their business so I thought I’d see what they had been up to. It is a little off the beaten track – a single track road in fact, but once there they have animals to see nearby (chickens, rare breed sheep) and I noticed new signs to the pigs and vintage farm machinery. Inside was still and excellent selection of produce including their own sausages (sausage and bacon, lamb, Old Sussex and Black Pig Apple – for pigs raised in the apple orchard and with added apple juice for sweetness). They have added a small cafe which they spoke of last time, just a couple of tables and serving filter coffee and loose leaf tea but they hope to develop it further over time. I would have stayed for lunch if they had had more on offer.

The lunch

I considered going back to The Green Man at Ringmer but thought I would keep my eyes open on the way back and see what came up. As it happened I passed The Plough at Plumpton Green which had a lovely garden and tables in the sunshine so I stopped there and entered the deserted bar. After an urgent comfort break I ordered some food from the friendly bar maid and sat outside where I was greeted by an equally friendly black labrador called Zena who lay at my feet and looked at my adoringly. Shortly afterwards another dog, called Bob arrived with his owners – he wanted me to play with his lead but I declined. The food was also-ran (bit too much sauce on the fish) – the salad was really nice though and if you have dogs or children I expect you will get a relaxing lunch here.

Cod in Mediterranean sauce

Cod in Mediterranean sauce

Horam and The Blacksmith’s Arms

15 Sep

The run

Wednesdays in the country is back! Only we are in the country on Mondays as my daughter’s timetable has changed! I suspect this will mean less things open but we shall see!

I was intending to do a run from the Pub Strolls book today – from the Star Inn at the village of Waldron, however the sat nav had other ideas and said I had reached my destination with no pub in sight! I decided to drive on a bit as someone was right behind me and sometimes the postcodes can be a bit misleading, but at the next junction there were no signs for Waldron so I continued on until I came to the village of Horam. I followed signs for a nature reserve and lakeside bar  and parked up by the playground and village hall. Checked the walk jog run app for nearby runs and found a 5 mile loop, however it was all on road so I thought I’d check out the nature reserve first. Past the camping and caravanning park were signs for a nature reserve, fishing, lakeside bar/cafe and farm museum, however everything was closed (too early? Monday? Out of season?) save the nature trails and fishing each having their own tin box in which to put payment (nature trail £1, which I thought reasonable).

Horam nature trail

Horam nature trail

I chose the longer woodland route (expected to take 1 hour) – running it took me 13 minutes but was well marked and interesting enough: with ponds, wildlife (I saw squirrels, rabbits and deer) and quite a few varieties of fungi.

Towards the end, backing onto the caravan park I saw horses, coots and ducks.

Dangerous horses

Dangerous horses

Horses, Horam

They don’t look too scary to me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On my second time around I chose the longest route (1.5 hours) which I ran in 24 minutes. Not suitable for pushchairs and dogs must be kept on a lead.

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The farm

Next to find the PYO farm I had researched last night – ah! It seems I may have put the wrong postcode for the Star Inn in the sat nav as this took me back to my first destination which was Stonehill Farm but the PYO looked very much closed. The curse of Mondays? Headed back towards Lewes looking out for anything that looked interesting and turned in at Chiddingly Village Shop and art gallery – the home of surrealism – who knew! Unfortunately only open on Sundays – surreal.

Chiddingly Village Shop and art gallery

Chiddingly Village Shop and art gallery

Home of the surrealists

Home of the surrealists

The village shop/cafe was quite disappointing, though no doubt useful to the locals. Some signed books by a local author, basics, small selection of fruit, vegetables and local meat. Bought a few things including marmalade, cheese and salad and left as I had only just had the coffee from my flask.

 

 

The lunch

Continued on, thinking perhaps I would try one of the pubs at Offham that I am always driving past, and so I find myself at The Blacksmiths Arms which seems quite nice although I am probably a bit on the early side for lunch as it is only just 12! Making the most of the last days of summer by sitting outside on their pleasant patio.

Amazing club sandwich (I surprised myself by finishing it) and very pleasant staff. Thumbs up!

The Blacksmiths Arms, Offham

Wish I had someone to help me with this!