Tag Archives: Sussex Ouse Valley way

Southease and Spring Barn Farm (again!)

18 Jun

The run

Parking at Southease station (over a rickety bridge in the middle of nowhere) I followed the second route from a series that I found here. Good clear instructions – no ambiguity or getting lost today!

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River Ouse

River Ouse

It began with an easy flat alongside the River Ouse, popular with dog walkers (I made a few new friends including a greyhound and a terrier!), before turning off towards the village of Rodmell, where I was greeted by the sound of a woodpecker hammering away against a tree! Here you can find Monk’s House, home of Virginia and Leonard Woolfe. Looks like it would be worth a visit one day.

Monk's House

Monk’s House

Rodmell is a very pretty little village with roses-round-the-door and thatched cottages. Here I met a pretty tortoiseshell cat.

Rodmell Village

Rodmell Village

Passing through the village and into farmland (thankfully no cows) and across a field of peas, where I met another small dog, comically jumping up from the peas as it tried to orientate itself – if I was a more skilful photographer I would have taken a picture.

Field of Peas

Field of Peas

A small amount of road running followed before turning up through Northease Farm (where they make Breaky Bottom wine), and on up to the Downs.

Breaky Bottom

Breaky Bottom

Farm track all the way and not too steep, with all the cows safely where they should be – on the other side of the fence!

My nemesis

My nemesis

Turning left along the top of the downs I met some German walkers enjoying the countryside.

South Downs

I ran along the top for a few minutes before pelting down the other side to a farm and following the road back to Southease.

Downward pelt!

Downward pelt!

 

Southease Church

Southease Church

The farm/The lunch

I hadn’t researched a new farm shop and the one I passed on the way was closed today, so I headed back in the hope of finding a hidden gem with a fallback of Spring Barn Farm which is where I find myself now. It really is very good here, with spacious toilets for the runner to get changed, a fully-stocked farm shop, good-looking staff and a cafe serving delicious home made food and Suki tea. What’s not to like?

Goats cheese salad and red berry tea

Goats cheese salad and red berry tea

The cafe conversation: Swanage, starting school, dog poo, the sponsored walk, ‘meaningful children’s books’ (Alice in Wonderland, The Bible)

Spring Barn Farm

Today’s Spring Barn Farm haul

 

Sussex Ouse Valley Way and Riverside

5 Mar

The run

Having had a few weeks break due to work commitments I found myself considerably disorganized for this week’s run despite not working yesterday. However yesterday was a quagmire of domestic traumas: having to have my ring cut off (it had got too tight and my finger was swelling painfully), our computer having a ‘block on the hard drive’ as we tried to update the software (as the lovely Sam from Mac Ambulance kindly assured me), some feverish hoovering (partly down to the imminent arrival from the afore mentioned Sam and visitors arriving at the weekend – the sudden realisation that someone would see the domestic chaos filled me with shame and horror!) and a sudden compulsion to invite my neighbour in for coffee (probably to counteract the hoovering/marking pile) anyway – breath – with so much excitement I didn’t spend the time researching running routes as I normally would. I decided the simplest thing would be to drive to Lewes and follow the river for a bit – no getting lost there I thought.

East Sussex Ouse Valley Way

East Sussex Ouse Valley Way

I spent some time driving around Lewes trying to find a suitable parking spot, eventually parking in what must be the most expensive car park in Lewes. Being of not blasé enough a nature to waltz into Tesco and park there for three hours for the price of a can of Coke.

After jumping through the various hoops of parking – phoning up to pay, downloading the parking app etc – why us everything so complicated these days? I finally changed into my new off-road running shoes (you may remember from the last blog that the previous pair were letting in small stones – ouchy, ouchy). These are goretex Asics bought from the Jog Shop in Kemp Town. I love Asics trainers and have had several pairs – the husband thinks the Goretex may make my feet a bit hot, but I was blown away by the tiny pouch on the tongue in which I could poke my laces.

Asics off road trainers

Asics off road trainers

And so I started out, round by Harvey’s brewery – the delicious smell of the hops! And through the park to the bridge, following the sign for the East Sussex Ouse.

Harvey's Brewery

Harvey’s Brewery

East Sussex Ouse Valley Way

East Sussex Ouse Valley Way

On the other side of the bridge it was a different story – immediately very muddy just as the husband had warned me it would be. At first I gingerly picked my way through the mud, trying not to mess my new shoes up, but after a few minutes I realised this was futile and just got on with it. The shoes faired pretty well – my feet did get wet, but not cold, and they didn’t come off in the sucky mud like the husband’s did on a previous version of this run.

View from the bridge

View from the bridge

Sucky mud

Sucky mud

Difficult to run over such muddy terrain so it wasn’t a fast run. It was a relief to finally meet a track and then a road where I could practice some of the running techniques learned on the Kinetic Revolution workshop, including running with small circles, like running through snow, pushing the arms back and elongating the neck. Running with my mantra ‘push, push, pull, pull, back, back, back’. I met one other runner on the road who I warned about the muddy riverside, but he looked far too sensible to attempt off road today!

River Run

River run

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Going back was quicker. There was no stopping to wonder about the best way to get through the mud – I already knew that from the out. It was more a case of ‘this is the best way round’ or ‘just plunge in like a kid’ or ‘swing on this gate to get across’ . Back through the park I attempted to clean my shoes in a puddle to save on the cleaning work later.

The lunch and produce

Walking back through the town, a mud-coated spectacle to the Wednesday shoppers, I sussed out where the public toilets were and made my way back to the car to change my shoes. Luckily in the boot of my (new!) car was a carrier bag for my muddy shoes (more luck than planning!) and I headed back to the public toilets with my bag of clean clothes to get changed. Being the mother of a disabled child has meant I have developed a skill of clocking local facilities and also of being able to perform a complete clothes change on a child in a small cubicle, therefore it was a simple matter to change out of my muddy things into clean jeans, dry socks and sweatshirt, ready for some coffee and reviewing.

I decided I must not go to Bill’s, I must not go to Bill’s (I would have dearly loved to go to Bill’s but I know how good that is already) so instead focused on the Riverside – a collection of shops and cafés inside one building. I began upstairs with coffee and cake at Riverside Brasserie -lovely views over the river, but the service was a bit slow and they forgot my cake! Regular customers flirt with the staff which adds to the entertainment.

Riverside, Lewes

Riverside, Lewes

Also upstairs is an art framers with a lovely selection of cards (I bought several for the approaching birthdays) and a wonderful knitting and sewing shop with beautiful fabrics, wool, buttons, ribbons and sewing kits – if only I knew someone who would like a knicker-making set!

Downstairs is a knowledgable, busy flower shop with bespoke bouquets,  a juice and shake bar, a barbers, a sweet shop with pick and mix, truffles, foil wrapped individual chocolates like ladybirds, bees etc, and Terry’s fisheries: I bought some honey roast salmon which was quite expensive but was all cooked and could be eaten hot or cold so win win easy tea for me!

I ordered some food from the downstairs cafe, they had a nice selection of sandwiches, paninis, pies etc, a vast selection of Tea Pigs tea (I bought the chai tea to take home) however the seating was a bit cramped  – it was a mission to get in and out!

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