On Good Friday, we visited Pevensey, a village just five miles from where we’re staying. The English countryside is wonderful for hiking and there is a “country walk” (as the trails around here are called), starting at the Pevensey train station.
After leaving the station, the walk follows the Eastbourne Road to the High Street for about 1/2 mile, to the Pevensey Castle, used by the Norman, William the Conqueror, in 1066 when he first landed on the English coast before engaging and vanquishing the English army at the Battle of Hastings (the site of which is just up the road).
The castle was originally constructed by the Romans in the 3rd century AD, but it was abandoned at the time William entered it. The outer walls are massive.
William (or his half-brother) erected a wooden pallisade within the Roman walls for protection from attack. Here’s a view of the Roman walls from inside.
Sometime around 1200-1250, the wooden pallisade within the walls was replaced by a stone castle with towers.
…complete with moat:
The country walk follows the castle wall…
…then crosses the road and several farm fields.
We soon came upon a herd of sheep, grazing in the meadow.
Dale kept calling them and they followed her the entire length of the field. Dale, pied piper of Pevensey.
We next came upon a beautiful swan, fishing in the field ditches. That’s Pevensey Castle way off in the background – it had a commandeering view of the area.
A little further along, we were passed by three young girls out for a horseback ride.
The walk was five miles long; about halfway, we came upon an active farm, complete with pigs…
It was a lot of fun, hiking through the farm fields.
Apparently, the English honor traditional pathways and the public has a right to traverse private property. There seem to be a number of community groups that have undertaken the responsibility for maintaining gate, stiles and crossings. Most of the crossings had ladders like this one (notice the dog gate to the left):
The trail went right through several farm complexes…
…ending back in the village of Pevensey.