Explore the wilderness: Five must-see sights in Sussex
First published Wednesday 27 May 2015 in The Argus
ADVENTURES in the great outdoors and undiscovered beauty spots with breathtaking scenery are right on our doorstep, according to a new guide to Sussex.
Wild Guide: Southern and Eastern England by Daniel Start, Elsa Hammond and Lucy Grewcock bills itself as the new compendium for adventures in southern and eastern England featuring ideas for food, accommodation and wild camping.
The book urges the reader to discover hidden depths to the county by climbing inside 2,000-year-old trees and camping on hill forts while waiting for the glow worms to come out for the evening as the sun sets.
Secret beaches, caves, ancient woodlands, lost ruins, meadows, grottoes, crypts and follies are all waiting to be discovered.
Author Elsa Hammond said: “In Sussex, some of the most exciting discoveries were lesser-known places near very well known ones.
Littlehampton by Daniel Start
“Everyone knows Devil’s Dyke, but not everyone may have heard of Castle Ring at Edburton Hill just to the west – a wilder option with secluded shrubby spots just below the exposed summit to bivvy out under the stars.
“A few miles east beneath Devils Dyke, the Hiker’s Rest, is a gorgeously simple cabin on the South Downs Way, serving organic cakes and teas from a hatch which is definitely worth a stop.
“Pop-up campsites were also a great discovery, looking set to be even more popular this summer than last. Pop-up by the river, down by the River Adur was a favourite at pop upcampsites.com.
“I was also struck by some of the smaller, wilder campsites, such as Wimbles Farm in Heathfield and Gumber Farm on the Slindon Estate, which can only be arrived at by foot.”
Other intriguing hidden gems include The Crowhurst Yew, near East Grinstead – ancient and full of holes, even a door, by St George’s Church in the village.
The book recommends Atherington Beach in Climping for a quiet, stretch of shingle and sand or Wallers Haven in Wartling for wild swimmers.
The Long Man of Wilmington by Daniel Start
Those preferring a dip in the river are directed to Kneppmill Pond, in Dial Post – a hilltop ruin and one of the largest stretches of water in Sussex. It is believed to have been created in the 16th century to power a furnace mill.
Halnaker Windmill by Richard Patterson
The Half Moon in Plumpton is praised as a quirky pub in the South Downs with open fires to cosy up to in the winter and a garden for the summer.
While Wobblegate Juice and Cider, a family farm which grows and presses apples, is also recommended for a tipple.
Visitors needing somewhere to turn in for the night are also spoilt for choice with accommodation ranging from lighthouses to meadow campsites.
FIVE MUST-SEE SIGHTS IN SUSSEX
1. Kneppmill Pond, Dial Post – Perfect for a dip in the river. There is a hilltop ruin as well as one of the largest stretches of water in Sussex. It is believed to have been created in the 16th century to power a furnace mill.
2. Atherington Beach, Climping – This is a lovely, quiet stretch of shingle and sand and a sea swimming club meets there regularly.
3. The Kingley Vale Nature Reserve, near Goodwood Racecourse – One of the finest yew woods in Europe, including a grove of ancient trees which are among the oldest living things in Britain.
4. Racton Folly, near Chichester – The abandoned ruins of the late 18th century folly are said to be haunted. There are also sweeping views down to Chichester Harbour. It is privately owned but is clearly visible from the bridleway.
5. Lake Wood and Grotto, Uckfield – There is a lovely lake with rocky crags and an amazing carved-out cave and grotto.
Wild Guide: Southern and Eastern England by Daniel Start, Elsa Hammond and Lucy Grewcock (WildThingsPublishing.com, £15.99). Argus readers can get 30% off the price of the book, with free UK delivery – costing £11.20 instead of £15.99 – when bought at wildthingspublish.com and entering ‘Argus’ as their coupon code.