South Downs National Park 

Once we had a car again in October, we decided to have a day out of the city.  It’s impossible to choose somewhere to go in England, it feels like the whole country is bursting with scenery and history, but we picked something south of the city, since it’s so much easier for us to get to.  I saw South Downs National Park on a map and then did a little Googling to get more info.  The forecast called for a rainy day so I figured if it was too inclement we could just enjoy a nice drive from the warmth of the car.  

Saturday morning on our way out of the city we made a stop at Sainsbury’s for some picnic food and I discovered Tomberries.   The cashier told me that her grandchildren eat them like candy, and they were a huge hit with my kids as well.  Some farmer in the U.S. needs to get his hands on this cultivar…

Our first stop was the Seven Sisters cliffs, they are a lot like the White Cliffs of Dover, but not quite as high.  We walked out to them, walked along the beach and let the kids run in the hills.  It was windy and cloudy, and a bit chilly if you stood still long enough.  But the views were lovely.  

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The sun peeking through the clouds along the southern coast of England, overlooking the English Channel.

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The kids filled their pockets with chalky white rocks and broken seashells. You can see white chalk on the front of Simon’s jacket, from carrying around the big white stones.

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Inland view, with the River Cuckmere in the distance.

We walked back to the car and found a grassy place for a picnic.  There were no toilets anywhere around so I took Mim in the bushes.  She cried because she said she got stung by stinging nettle on her backside, and I didn’t believe her.  I got my comeuppance when I took my own turn in the bushes… Sometimes its just so much easier to be a boy. 
**Cameron curled up in the fetal position when I tried to take his picture.
After lunch we drove to Devil’s Dyke where we took a long hike and got lost.  

The hike started out in a pretty green valley, then wound its way through a forest/wood, then across another green valley and into a village.  It was in the village we asked for directions back to Devil’s Dyke Peak, and so we cut across a sheep pasture and climbed back up the side of the valley.  It took a couple hours, and it was really pretty, but it was more than I had bargained for and we were all tired! 

I didn’t take my camera with me sadly, because I was worried about it getting wet if it rained, but I did snap a couple pictures with Richard’s phone.  

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The fall colors in the skyline were really pretty, even on such a gloomy day.

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Farmland and pastures are public property in the UK, in the sense that there are countryside paths all over that are available to the public to walk on. You can legally cut your way through anyone’s fields, just close the gates behind you! It’s awesome.

Once we got back to the car we were all spent, so we finished off our snacks on the two hour drive back home.  It was a really fun day, and I wish we did these things more often.  

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