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Favourite runs part 1 – Woodingdean/Rottingdean

I’ve been meaning to collect together maps of my favourite runs for a while. On the one hand I’m loathe to do it – on a lot of these routes I hardly see any other people. On the other hand, I feel like they’re too good not to share.

This is the first batch – routes in the Woodingdean and Rottingdean area. I obviously didn’t want to post where I live, so I’ve tried shortened the routes, and started and finished them at logical points instead. Depending on where you live, getting to these routes will probably involve running up Bear Road, which will build your character, as well as your glutes and quads.

Finally, because of WordPress’s stupid rules about iFrames, I can’t embed the routes, so I’ve used screenshots instead – if you click on them you’ll be able to see the route in more detail on Garmin.

Castle Hill 1

Castle Hill

Starts with a gentle uphill stretch on a gravelly track, before you get onto the narrow, winding path through the nature reserve, which feels a bit like being on a rollercoaster. Next is pretty brutal steep stretch that takes you onto the South Downs Way. In the summer there’s beautiful wildflowers round here.

Woodingdean to Rottingdean 1

FireShot Screen Capture #047 - 'Garmin Connect - Woodingdean to Rottingdean 1' - connect_garmin_com_course_5811313#This route is awesome, mainly because it’s almost all downhill. It’s a mixture of grass and gravel, with good views as you get a bit further out of Woodingdean. Be warned, you have to climb over a gate to get back to the road in Rottingdean – if you’re on the short side like me it can be taxing.

Woodingdean to Rottingdean 2

FireShot Screen Capture #048 - 'Garmin Connect - Woodingdean to Rottingdean 2' - connect_garmin_com_course_5811457

My favourite route of all time. This is a mixture of grass and farm tracks, with the most amazing views. (See main pic.) Starts with a gentle uphill stretch, before you go through a gate and onto a grassy track that hugs the side of the valley and eventually gets you down the bottom, via a little avenue of trees. From there it’s uphill, gradually getting steeper, until you hit the top of the hill and make your way back down to Rottingdean. It can get very, very muddy and slippery in the rain. (You can actually make out the mega-puddles in the picture above.)

Woodingdean to OvingdeanFireShot Screen Capture #051 - 'Garmin Connect - Woddingdean to Saltdean' - connect_garmin_com_course_5811499

This is a nice gravelly track that tracks along the edge of the golf course. It has great views, plus you get to see the old bit of Ovingdean, which is very pretty. Really easy if you run down to Ovingdean, and pretty punishing if you do it in reverse.

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Jack-in-the-Green, Hastings

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I went to Jack-in-the-Green in Hastings today. I’m not going to go into the history (it’s on the website if you’re interested) but it’s a May Day parade where a ‘Jack’ (the big tree-like thing with t
he flowers on top) is burnt to release the spirit of summer. It seemed to work, because right around the time the burning was due to happen, the sun came out. (We missed that bit, because we were in the pub.)

It was a lot of fun, in a Wickerman kind of way. There were some amazing costumes: people painted green; people covered in leaves and flowers; people wearing antlers and people dressed as chminey sweeps, oh and a women with an owl. An OWL!. We got flower garlands and were daubed with facepaint by a passing Morris woman.

There was also an enormous amount of booze flowing and a lot of drunk teenagers flirting with each other. Same as it ever was, same as it ever was. I love traditions like this – I don’t have a spiritual bone in my body, but there’s something nice about marking the changing seasons in a way that people have done for centuries.

Autumn’s beginning…

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I took all these while having a wander around Stanmer Park…when you walk far enough in to get away from the sound of traffic and the sight of the new stadium being built, it really is a stunning place. I found a pond I didn’t know was there, and got a bit of musical accompaniment from a bit of a rave-up going on somewhere nearby in the woods – all in all a good morning.

Some of the photos probably seem samey – I got a bit carried away!