My husband Tony and I walked 29 miles across Sussex on Saturday. And we only lost the navigational plot once, thanks to superb signage by East and West Sussex county councils. It was so good we could have managed without a map, never mind our SatNav-based tracker app.
We set off from home in Woodingdean at half nine in the morning, working our way down the hill to Falmer village before toiling uphill again in steaming hot sunshine to Ditchling Beacon. Then off the Downs, steeply downhill, heading north then west, keeping the spine of the chalk escarpment to our left as the ultimate landmark.
Each public footpath and bridleway was clearly marked, sometimes at every field boundary, so it was almost impossible to get lost.
We meandered through sleepy fields full of fast-ripening wheat and barley, densely rushed and reeded water meadows and cool oak woods fragrant with late-season wild garlic. We explored fragrant beech forests, mulchy underfoot and loud with birdsong.
We strode down ancient green roads almost drowned in Rosebay Willowherb and Foxgloves. Alongside slow-running streams full of Caddis fly larvae and algae-green pebbles. Over dust-dry, chalk-grey fields and down tiny lanes to secret Sussex hamlets. And finally met the Adur River at six pm, with the tide on the turn and a wiggly nine mile waterside trudge to the coast at Shoreham.
Thanks to both councils for their excellent signage. There must be hundreds of miles’ worth of it and I can’t imagine how they maintain it all. Brilliant job.