I am fortunate to live where I do, within easy reach of some of the finest countryside in England. Owning a dog is an excellent reason for me getting out of the house and walking over the South Downs. Don't get me wrong; what I do isn't to be compared to serious walking, the sort of serious walking that is involved in Snowdonia or the Lake District. No, my walking is more akin to a Sunday afternoon stroll.
There are two or three routes that I like best, partly because they offer some delightful views, partly because they involve no strenuous (to me) hill climbing. One of those routes takes me up Scare Hill, which is just the other side of the Brighton bypass at Patcham. but this is not a walk I can take very often. One of the fields - a very large one - is used as sheep pasture every spring and although I am sure Fern would not chase sheep, I prefer not to take the risk. She would probably be scared of the animals as they are bigger than her so I would need to keep her on the lead, which rather defeats the object.
Fern is really frightened of cows and would refuse to enter a field with any in, so I have to check that there are none in the first field we would cross. This last week or so, this has proved something of a puzzle. I can see the field from the bedroom window and when I have looked out first thing in the mornings, the field has been empty. I've looked again after lunch, and a herd of cows has taken up residence!
So we have not walked those fields for a while, which is something nof a pity as these are the sort of views I would have.
From the first field, there are good views up the Standean valley.
Turning aside before reaching the Chattri, we head across rougher pasture until we reach the top. From here we look out to the southern slope of Clayton Hill with the village of Pyecombe. There is a glimpse, too, of the busy Brighton to London road.
On the way back, we pass closer to the Chattri, built on a south-east facing slope of Scare Hill. During the First World War, the Royal Pavilion and the Dome in Brighton were used as a hospital for Indian soldiers wounded on the western front. The Chattri is a memorial to those who died in Brighton and was erected on the site of the funeral pyres of the Hindu and Sikh soldiers whose religion required them to pass through the flames. The Muslims are buried in a Muslim cemetery in Surrey. This must have been a very isolated spot a century ago, none of those houses in the photo having been built.