Tag Archives: The Ram Inn

Ripe and The Ram Inn

12 Mar

The run

A short one today – a run around Ripe between the churches of Chalvington and Ripe.

Chalvington church

Chalvington church

St John the Baptist, Ripe

St John the Baptist, Ripe

Parked in the Lamb Inn car park and was immediately met by the friendly landlady who assured me it was fine to park until I got back.

Chalvington and Ripe

Circular walk/run Chalvington and Ripe

Bit of a cold and foggy start but it soon burned off into beautiful sunshine. I followed very good instructions photocopied from the pub strolls book (see previous post) and set off through pretty houses, still quite muddy fields and along quiet lanes on the circular route.

Muddy field

Duck prints

What can I say but this was the idyllic country walk with birds singing, daffodils and beautiful country houses? I would highly recommend this as a short walk with children or older friends and relatives. Only two miles, a few stiles and one gate to climb over. The gates at Chalvington Church are worth a look – sadly dedicated to a young man who lost his life in the Second World War.

Chalvington church

Chalvington church

Chalvington church

Chalvington church

Chalvington church

Chalvington church

The farm

Back to the car for coffee and a protein ball (find the recipe here) and to Martins Wood Farm which according to the Tom Tom was only a third of a mile up the road. I decided to leave the car and walk. Headed off down Ripe Lane past lovely houses, some with amusing signs (it seems to be the thing here) and on, and on. And on. Checked my map app and it seemed I had gone past it, so shortly turned back towards the village. I hadn’t missed it (as I knew I hadn’t). I had plenty of time and it was a beautiful day so I decided to try the other road out of the village. No luck here either, just stud farms and more beautiful houses. Very quiet, but the few people I did meet were very friendly. 

Elephants!?

Elephants!?

Camels?!

Camels?!

And hippies?!

And hippies?!

Having had no luck with the farm shop I decided to see what Ripe Village Stores had to offer. I managed to get a few things I needed for the meal tonight but also noticed they sold nice pies, frozen ready meals (pheasant and caremalised apple, Moroccan chicken tagine) and a good range of Infinity foods such as spelt, beans, tahini etc. fresh vegetables, bread and basics. Looked like you could also get a cup of tea or coffee as there was one table set up. Enquired as to what time the pub opened but the shopkeeper didn’t seem to know. The boards outside said food was served from 12, so hung around on the picnic table waiting for it to open (not for the first time!)

The Lamb Inn, Ripe

The Lamb Inn, Ripe

The lunch

Nothing seemed to be happening, so shortly after 12 I cut my losses and decided to head for The Ram Inn at Firle which I had spotted on a previous run, but hadn’t had time to patronise. Very friendly staff, quick service and a nice sunny seat in the sunshine. Lots of choice of soft drinks including Fentimans. The menu looked good with light bites, mains, sandwiches and puddings. I chose a light bite of smoked salmon, beetroot and sour dough which was delicious. The overheard conversation was about storytelling, jungle gyms and walking in the Ashdown Forest.

The Ram Inn, Firle

The Ram Inn, Firle

Firle to Alfriston

15 Jan

The run

You know when you start something and you think to yourself; “this is really stupid”? That is the feeling I had today setting off from Firle car park with the intention of running to Alfriston as part of my half-marathon training. 10 miles. Across country. By myself. In the pissing rain…

Firle Estate

And so I sent a text to the husband telling him time and place of set off, and began, as usual with a route all planned and downloaded from Walk, Jog, Run, and as usual it quickly became apparent that I didn’t have a clue where I was going. Firle Estate is quite intriguing, it reminds me of one of those villages that is completely owned by the estate and all the houses are similar, it also looked like the ideal setting for a murder drama! As I set out, following a farm track along one of the walls of the estate, it seemed that perhaps I could just follow the wall around the estate if I was going to get totally lost.

Firle Estate

One of the few people I saw on the run was a woman walking her dog through a particularly muddy stretch. As I cheerily shouted “Good morning” she peered at me through the long snout of her parka incredulously as if to say “what on earth are you doing, I am only out here because of the dog, but you are clearly mad.”

Firle Estate

The rain was that fine sort, that doesn’t feel too bad at first, but eventually, gets you totally soaked, and as it was gusting off the hills on fairly open farmland I did get drenched. Very muddy underfoot and it wasn’t long before my trainers were caked in mud and my feet utterly saturated with a couple of fine stones rolling around inside my shoes due to the small holes that have developed in the mesh. I was, however heartened to see, from my app that I was en route to Alfriston by following the farm tracks.

Firle Estate

Pheasants are truly silly birds, aren’t they? If only they sat quietly when you ran past, instead of taking to the air with such a row, they would probably fare a lot better. I heard some shooting in the distance and once again imagined myself in some two-part drama on BBC One confronting a lone gunman or drug cartel.

Firle Estate

Continued on past Bopeep Bostal and onwards to Berwick Church and farm, passing by what looked like someone’s Grand Designs.

Berwick Church

Just beyond here I was surprised to arrive on the road to Alfriston by Drusillas zoo – only 1.5 miles to my midway point. It had taken the best part of an hour though and it was a relief to arrive in Alfriston, avail myself of the facilities and bolster myself up with a few Jelly Babies for the return journey. Sent the husband a quick text to say I had arrived then had a quick look around the village at the tea shops and gift shops in case I wanted to return.

Alfriston

The plan had been to go a different way back but I could see the phone battery was running low and didn’t want to risk getting lost with no app to help so decided to return the way I had come. Part way back the phone battery gave up completely so it was obviously the right thing to do. I arrived back at the car at 12.30pm having had a quick look at the produce on sale outside the Firle post office and at the Ram Inn but decided there wasn’t really enough time for lunch before picking up dear daughter.

The lunch

I stopped off at Offham Farm Shop to grab something I could eat in the car (driving while hungry is supposed to be as bad as drink driving!). I felt quite guilty walking past the pigs with a sausage roll in my hand…

On returning home I was surprised to find the husband in the house just preparing a search party for Firle as I had not replied to his text asking if I had arrived back at the car park yet…oops…