Pick a place on the map that you often pass through on the way to somewhere else and stop for a while rather than drive on. On this day we went to Burwash which is close to Bateman’s and, as we discovered nestles on the edge of National Trust managed land. Now that last is a bonus. There is some good walking in that on well marked pathways that complement the local council footpaths.
We arrived, saw a car park and used it only to discover later that it was dedicated to local residents – so sorry if we filled a space although it was marked as a free car park. As it was we walked into the village to be surprised by its beauty – or rather struck by the fact that most of the buildings in the main street must be listed.
The church overlooks the village and a wooded valley dotted with fields and also the ancient houses in School Hill – the road that leads to Brightling and as expected there was a war memorial on the island that splits the junction.
The Bell pub was closed down, which is a pity but that left the Rose and Crown near the Village Hall off the main street (the A265) where there was a flower show going that afternoon, and The Bear close to the community centre and car park. From there we found footpaths but having walked around a bit we had a light lunch at the excellent Lime Tree Tea Rooms.
The amazing thing about most rural places is that at sometime you will see horses, as well as cattle and sheep in the paddocks, and often the horses are being ridden on a road. It was good to see two of them in the village main street and vehicles doing it right and passing them properly – wide and slow – which makes the day worth it.
There is a path alongside the tea rooms which we took after lunch leading down into the valley. We met a local resident and his dog and had a good chat about the area following the path leading to the narrow lane in the bottom of the valley. On the way we discovered somebody (suggested local youngsters) had tied a fine line across the pathway which would have upset a runner as it was difficult to break. I untied it and we took it away. Naughty children.
However, the walk was pleasant and when we met the lane we walked to Bateman’s finding the pathway back on the way there. The weather was cool in the morning with heavy rain early but with a forecast of warming up in the afternoon. By the time we were on our way back it was heating up.
We returned via the fields to Burwash and partook of tea and cake at the Lime Tree Tea Rooms as a refresher before heading off home.
The visit was brief – we took time wandering the village and admiring the buildings and gardens. This year the roses and the hydrangeas are magnificent and with the sunshine
beating down every flower and shrub seemed to strain from its roots demanding to be recognised. Burwash is a colourful village and although it has not gone over the top with flowers everywhere the residents have made gardens to be proud of .
We agreed that coming into Sussex was a good idea, and liking the wooded valleys and the houses and other buildings that are in general typical of the south east but unique to Sussex with distinctive styles of building so different from those of Kent.
A very attractive village and one that you should not be passing through without a second look. The Rose and Crown looks good as a place for a quality lunch, and The Bear seems to be the place for a good bar meal and a drink.
However, there is also the attraction of a great NT garden close by and next time, knowing that we can also have a pleasant excursion to the village we can also visit Batemans.