02-04-2017 – I decided to do the front section of Day 2 today which is a stunning walk through great East Sussex countryside. So, having set off from Bodiam at 4:30am I followed the Sussex Boundary Walk (path) down through Ewhurst Green, through Northiam, through Beckley and right round to Playden and on to the outskirts of Rye…. and back. A very respectable 31+ mile training walk..
This section of East Sussex has great ancestral significance as many of my ancestors lived in these villages and almost certainly walked the very same routes.
The day started very misty and cold and, with such a heavy mist the undergrowth was very wet which soon penetrated my walking boots.
Thankfully, I had 4 spare pairs of walking socks which assisted in keeping my feet dry.
Note: it’s a fact that most blisters are caused by feet getting moist with sweat and softening up. Any rubbing soon turns into a blister. Hence me always carrying spare socks. You need to LOVE your feet on walks as without them… you are going nowhere.. On last years Eastbourne to Arundel 63 mile walk I did 11 sock changes and not a blister in sight after 19 hrs 55 minutes walking… again.. LOVE your feet….. sermon over.
The villages are so picturesque.
Northiam has all you would expect from old East Sussex village, rich history-old cottages, the old restored railway station and a hand pump on the green. St Marys church is reported to date back to 1090 and is a fine specimen.
Beckley on the other hand played a central part in the Wealden iron industry which, in its hay day, manufactured guns and cannons for almost 200 years starting around 1580.
All Saints church is situated away from the main village which is generaly considered being down to it re-locating due to the “black death”. It has a spire dating back to the 11th century and a superb stained glass window (Great East Window) from the 15thh century.
Playden lies about a mile North of Rye and is therefore often overlooked, albeit there has been settlements at Playden for over 4000 years.
St Michaels church is a fine example of a small Norman church which can just about be seen poking up above the trees.
The last section of the walk into Rye meanders alongside the River Rother which is extremely tidal with the rivers water being held back by a controlled dam. This allows the upper sections of the river to remain flooded whilst the seaward side drains away to a muddy stream at low tides. Herons abound this section of the walk and it great to see them fishing in the shallows of low tide.