I’ve been 1,000 miles across Sussex on these walks and am still finding unexplored places. I have been all around Lavington Stud Farm but never through the middle.
So if you like quintessential green and pleasant landscape with figures this 3.4-mile (5.5kms) walk will satisfy.
Park near St Giles church in Graffham. Do enjoy this very well-cared for church which has been restored capably 140 years ago but leaving 12th-century circular pillars with scalloped capitals and a very delicate, crumbling sandstone west door arch.
Ring of six bells still pealed; lovely black, knapped flints on outside walls like those in Breckland. Unusually, five RAF men remembered on WWII roll of honour, 25 in WWI.
Walk east through West Lodge (built 1840) with much Grecian emphasis, especially ionic pillars. The road continues for nearly a mile to Seaford College.
You will pass three old lime trees encrusted with mistletoe like barnacles on the Marie Celeste. View left to Blackdown. Turn left on passing under the two paired misteltoed limes on maroon arrow.
It is only as you walk north away from the South Downs escarpment that you begin to appreciate the magnificent hanging ash woods speckled with yews on those steep slopes. The parkland here has some fine old plane trees some with clusters of seeds like grape shot.
At footpath T-junction sharp left on fingerpost through white gate westward. Splendid thick hedge seems ancient with 13 species: ash, bramble, blackthorn, beech, dogwood, elder, field maple, hawthorn, hazel, holly, oak, ivy and yew.
Young mares everywhere like Stubb’s paintings as they watch expectantly.
At black stables right on yellow arrow downhill into hazel coppice with bluebells soon, and grey squirrels eating the Norway spruce cones. Footbridge to meadow, another footbridge with stile and hard rushes growing under.
Then join the rue path, with 200-year-old oaks, gorse in flower, and deer along the path too. Cross the farm track still northwest. Just before reaching the road, note green woodpecker hole in oak on the right.
Left at road on fingerpost and left over stile after 150 yards to follow another rue southward. Still the railed paddocks, and I passed a one-eyed mare who smelt my apple and wanted a bite, but you must not feed or touch these valuable animals.
At a cream-coloured house sharp right at cross footpath west. Take the second yellow arrow right then left to Calloways where left back to St Giles and in my case a wooden car in keeping with all these railed fences.
** Pick up a copy of the February 9 issue of the Observer to view a map of this walk.