We finished the HWLT on a soggy weekend in October 2008 with a night away at Winchelsea near Rye.
The 90-mile trail leads from Horsham to Rye following a lovely route touching East Grinstead, Groombridge, and Cranbrook. Our journey started at Horsham with the bluebells in May, followed by a rhododendron and bamboo forest and clover-filled meadows in June. In July a cricket match was in full swing at Withyham and we enjoyed a cream tea at Pooh Corner. August was humid with drizzle but the blackberries were ripening and fields of oats and rye were ready for harvesting. By September we were into the orchards of Kent, the wheat-fields were harvested and the hops were ripening on the bines.
Our October walk led us over freshly ploughed fields with the paths not reinstated yet. Not the only hazard on the way as we encountered fields of cattle and one rather large bull. Rolvenden Windmill situated on the ridge reminded us that the walk was definitely not flat and we learned that a post windmill was actually built around a living tree, the trunk of which was then the post on which the windmill rotated. As we approached Rye the wind and rain abated, the afternoon sun shone, the sheep shook their woolly coats and our way followed the Tillingham river into Rye. We climbed the narrow cobbled streets to the ancient church to finish the walk with a cup of tea and scones at the nearby bakery. What a wonderful six months of walking - many thanks to Muriel for all the leading and arrangements!
(Photo: S Pryke)