South Downs Way

One of the things I love the most about our house is that, unless some bad weather has rolled in, you can see the South Downs National Park from our bedroom window. It often makes for some beautiful views.

Although, as you’d expect given my history, it took us a little while to get out there and take a look. And of course, even longer to get round to posting them here.

We parked up at Ditchling Beacon, a car park situated right at the top of a hill, one of the highest points in the South Downs. To be honest, that was almost enough as far as the tourism went, there are some nice views of the countryside in all directions.

1/400sec, f/8, ISO 100, 24mm

The top was marked by a small stone marker.

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The South Downs Way is a public foot- and bridle path that covers the length of the South Downs. We started to walk westwards, following the path at random just to see where we ended up.

You could tell it was often windy up there, going by the way it had shaped the development of some of the trees.

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There was also some wildlife of sorts that calls the Downs their home.

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It was a warm day, so the sheep were quite keen to hang out in what little shade there was.

1/250sec, f/8, ISO 100, 24mm

We came across a pond, called Burnt House Pond. There was no burnt house nearby that I could see, so I’m not sure where it earned its name. Unless it was a flooded crater and the house in question was really burnt.

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Where there’s ponds there’s ducks, and I like a good duck photo.

1/640sec, f/5, ISO 100, 115mm

There were also some birds to be seen. If you’ve been reading this site for a while you’ll know I’m no good at identifying species, even if these days I’m sure I could easily pass one of the images past an AI and have it tell me with reasonable confidence in seconds just exactly what it is. It’s a running gag, sure, but also genuinely I prefer ignorance to telling you something I only knew because I’d searched the internet for it seconds earlier. It just seems a bit disingenuous to me.

1/1000sec, f/5.6, ISO 100, 300mm

The views from the top of the Downs were impressive. In one direction you could see the British Airways i360 on Brighton seafront, with the offshore wind farm in the background.

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In the other direction, there was a windmill at the bottom of the hill in the distance.

1/640sec, f/5.6, ISO 100, 300mm

As we continued walking, we soon came a lot closer to a windmill than we were expecting.

1/2500sec, f/5, ISO 100, 65mm
1/600sec, f/5, ISO 100, 47mm

Not just one windmill, either.

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These two windmills are known as Jack and Jill. Jack, the one without blades, is privately owned, but Jill is maintained by a charity, which has completely restored her to full working order. She was originally built in the 19th century – and so, apparently, was the charity’s website.

1/1600sec, f/5, ISO 100, 28mm

I’m going to end, atypically, with a bit of meta commentary, something I usually try to avoid. As I work through my backlog, there is going to be a bit of a variety of posts, not least because I’m posting them in a slightly random order. I might occasionally post clearly full and complete sets which date back a few years, but at other times I’m going to post sets taken in the last couple of years, where I’ve been working to get back into the habit of taking photographs, and might not have been quite as snap-happy as the days of old. Those posts might well end a bit suddenly, or on occasion with a bit of a non-sequitur of an image due to me posting the images within a set largely in chronological order.

This is one of those posts, because here’s a photo of a power pole that I liked the look of.

1/1000sec, f/5, ISO 100, 24mm

We used the windmills as a turning around point, lest we walk on forever, and returned home. We’ve not been back to this part of the Downs since, although it’s on our list of places to return with our kid. We did later visit another bit of the Downs, but that post will be coming later (teaser).


2 thoughts on “South Downs Way

  1. Glad to see your blogs again!


    1. Thanks Jon! I’m glad to be getting back into the flow of things again.


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