Day 03 30-04-2014 Wed Ashford

We had a remarkably good night’s sleep, which we badly needed. Like yesterday, the full English breakfast here is very god with really tasty bacon and grilled fresh mushrooms and cherry tomatoes. This set us up for our drive southwest through the Weald and the Sussex Downs to the Sussex heritage coast. Conditions were much like yesterday, misty.

Eastbourne
Eastbourne
Tenterden
Tenterden
Tenterden
Tenterden

All day we drove through gently undulating landscape, always with interesting things to see at every turn: oast houses, country pubs, thatched cottages, black-faced sheep and plenty of wildflowers.

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Rotating vents
Rotating vents

Our first stop was Rye, one of the Cinque Ports, now some distance from the sea. It was a charming old town with many medieval buildings and a nice church with good glass.

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River Tillingham

IMG_0230 IMG_0237IMG_0238 IMG_9644 IMG_9656 IMG_9657 IMG_9659 IMG_9661 IMG_9662 Crow trapped in house after entering through the mail slot

Crow trapped in house after entering through the mail slot

IMG_9665We next made a pilgrimage to Hastings (Battle of) to check out the home of the TV character Inspector Foyle from the series Foyle’s War – one of our favourites.

IMG_9674 IMG_9676 IMG_9683The main game was to have another crack at the chalk cliffs, this time at Beachy Head, Birling Gap and the Seven Sisters which together comprise the Sussex Heritage Coast. On arrival at the car park near the Belle Tout lighthouse, we were dismayed to find that visibility was almost nil. However, we set off undeterred to see the Seven Sisters. Despite dire warnings from the yet-again helpful locals not to go near to the crumbling cliff edges ringing in our ears, we did approach same to see if we could see anything – not much because of the all-pervasive mist. The sun eventually broke through at about 2:30pm and we were then amazed at what could be seen.

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Mist rolling over the cliff
Mist rolling over the cliff
Tribute to one who went too close to the edge
Tribute to one who went too close to the edge

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Birling Gap below
Birling Gap below

The warnings were for real because we came across two separate wreaths marking the spot where some foolish persons had gotten too close to the edge.

Tribute to one who went too close to the edge
Tribute to one who went too close to the edge

At Birling Gap we were able to get down to the water’s edge to see the chalk and flint up close. It really is quite white (photos haven’t been “enhanced” too much). I was surprised and delighted to find a chip of flint with a very sharp edge – I’ll now be able to cut my meat.

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This is the chalk
This is the chalk

We took a different route back to Ashford mainly along minor roads, much less travelled. We even managed to pass through the town of Battle which commemorates 1066 and all that. It was actually a surprisingly attractive town with many fine buildings.

We were so late back that we again succumbed to a ready meal, this time from Sainsbury’s. This proved to be a far better standard than the previous night. The Sainsbury’s store itself was vast – I don’t think we’d ever been in such a large supermarket.

Our Sainsbury's dinner
Our Sainsbury’s dinner

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