wide wheat

Day six began with a sausage and egg butty from the restaurant inside the hostel and a freshly brewed coffee made using my awesome camping coffee drip , one of my favourite pieces of kit!

I wolfed down the sandwich in a matter of seconds and then sat there feeling a bit sorry for myself, my stomach craving more food. I debated buying another one but was too lazy and antisocial to go inside and talk to people so I sat and nursed my coffee instead, waiting for the food to kick in.

We were eager to get started as we wanted to be east of Brighton by the end of the day, so we set off up the trail towards the summit of the hill a few hundred metres way.

From there we carried on along the top of the Downs for an hour or so, the trail constantly rising and dipping as it followed the undulating terrain on a winding route along the top.

After an hour or so we reached The Devil’s Dyke, a beautiful steep V shaped valley into the side of the hill.

Google indicated that there was a café at the bottom of the hill and so we bounded off down the hill in search of coffee and cake, only stopping to allow the occasional wandering cow to pass us.

A rather rude cow getting in the way of my photo of Devil’s Dyke

Unfortunately our speed was our downfall and we had arrived at the coffee shop a full thirty minutes before it opened. We were keen to make progress while the temperature wasn’t too high and while our legs were still fresh, so we grudgingly left the café and plodded on instead.

Next there followed two steep hills in quick succession and I was starting to regret skipping on the coffee and cake.

Eventually we reached the village of Pycombe and managed to purchase a couple of home made cakes from an honesty stall outside a church, this was followed shortly by a bottle of Oasis and a Coca Cola from the pro shop at Pycombe Golf Course.

Pycombe Church

We sat down for a brief rest and to drink our drinks. Within minutes the sugar rush and rehydration kicked in and we were ready to power on up the next and final major ascent of the day.

We carried on along the ridgeline heading east past Ditchling beacon. There was an ice-cream van in the car park, strategically located next to the trail and I was sorely tempted, by the cones but at 3 pound a pop I resisted on principle!

Instead we walked on another mile or so until we chanced upon a pop-up coffee shop called Ramblers Coffee Shop which served just what we needed – two cups of tea and a couple cakes.

Ramblers Coffee Shop

After a 10 minute break we set off again, conscious that time was running on and we still had a fair distance to cover.

The trail veered off southwards now and the landscape shifted once again to rolling wheat fields, though now they seemed to stretch on for miles in very direction. We walked on through this yellow sea of wheat, slowly descending into a wide shallow valley.

Wheat fields stretching off into the distance

When the trail reached the bottom of the valley we passed through a very short but agreeable section of woodland, something of a rarity for this particular trail. There was something comforting about the cool, calm atmosphere inside the woodland and I half tempted to stay and wild camp the night there!

Instead we carried on over the should of the hill and down into the next valley and our final destination for the day – Housdean Farm Campsite.

Lizzy walking down the last hill just above Housedean Farm Campsite.

Once we had checked in we went about our usual business of arguing over where flattest/best place to pitch the tent once. Once we had reached agreement Lizzy went off for a well deserved shower and I set about erecting the tent in what was definitely the flattest part of the hill.

The farm didn’t sell beer but the lady in the shop informed me that the service station just down the road did, so off I went to get some beer, food and snacks!

I returned victorious and we settled down for luxurious dinner of cake, dehydrated rations and beer.

Soon after we retired to bed, but not before I grabbed a few photos of the sunset and twilight.

<- Day 5 | Day 7 ->

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