Saturday, 23 October 2010
South Downs Way - 22/10/2010
Self portrait at Devil's Dyke. A tad warm for October!
Another trip along the South Downs Way, before I drove back to Shropshire after a project meeting. I picked up where I finished last time, at the Jack and Jill windmills above Hassocks, and continued west along the Way to Devil's Dyke, then returned by the same route. It was another nice warm sunny afternoon - I've been pretty lucky with the weather recently.
Initially the way descends from the windmills past Pyecombe Golf Club into the village, where it crosses the A273 and then the A23. A nice steady climb of 370' in 0.9 miles leads to the top of West Hill - I felt good and strong on this and ran the whole climb. The Way then drops rapidly down through a field and down a lane to a farm at Saddlescombe where there's a cafe trailer open every day except Wednesdays to cater to hikers.
Ignoring the offer of food and drink, I continued across the road onto another steady climb up Summer Down and on over another road to reach the Devil's Dyke trig point (217m/712'), about a hundred yards north of the South Downs Way path. I felt good on this ascent too and was able to keep running, finishing strongly as the path levelled out.
Trig point and Pub at Devil's Dyke
Looking over the trig point towards Brighton
View west along the South Downs from Devil's Dyke
I took a couple of minutes at the top to take the photos and get some water and jelly babies on board, and then returned to the windmills by the same route, continuing to feel strong most of the way, but struggling a little on the last climb back up past the golf club.
8.5 miles and 1,310' of ascent in 1:37:40.