Flying a glider over the Downs is becoming increasingly popular
Gliding lessons can be taken in Cootham, Sussex all year round on a Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.
The First Lesson
After a ground briefing you will be aero-towed to 2,500 feet, then the instructor will explain the action of the controls and guide you through some simple manoeuvres for a flight lasting approximately 20 – 30 minutes. You will receive a signed certificate to commemorate your flight!
This picture shows the beautiful church of St Leonard in South Stoke village, near Arundel, West Sussex.. It was recorded in the Domesday Book – a great land survey from 1086, commissioned by William the Conqueror – when the village was named as “Stoches”.
To find the church head for Arundel then travel down Mill Road until the road ends in a t-junction. Turn left, following the signpost to South Stoke. Go beyond the entrance to the farm and turn left with the road – the gate to the church is down a (signposted) short pathway to the right, about one hundred yards further on. Well worth finding!
South Stoke is about a half hour drive from Steyning and close to the South Downs.
This enterprising company offer half day trips round their estate near Dial Post. Your safari will take you to the current ‘hot spots’ of natural interest.
You’re likely to see at least some large herbivores – longhorn cattle, Exmoor ponies, Tamworth pigs, red and fallow deer – as they roam freely in large herds through the Wildland. Birds are also present in huge numbers all year round.
You will check trail cameras for our more secretive residents like foxes, badgers, hedgehogs, weasels and stoats; and stop for a species count at some of their wildlife ‘refugia’ for slow-worms, grass-snakes, toads, field-mice and voles. Spectacular tree-platforms offer panoramic views and a close-up of life in the canopy.
You can travel in an open-sided 14 seater Pinzgauers for larger groups or an open air all-terrain 5-seater Kawasaki,. Mule. Halfway through your safari they stop for coffee, tea and their popular organic homemade cake!
Steyning is just a 16 minute drive from Knepp Safaris (& within easy reach of Brighton)
Just north of the coastal town of Worthing, Cissbury Ring is one of the jewels in the crown of the South Downs National Park. It’s the largest hill fort in Sussex and has a history dating back over 5,000 years.
Set high up on a chalk promontory, its ditch and ramparts enclose about sixty-five acres. It dates from around 400 BC and was used for defence for about 300 years.
From the top on a clear day you can see forever: Enjoy views across to the chalk cliffs beyond Brighton and as far as the Isle of Wight.
Long before the hill fort was constructed, Cissbury had extensive Neolithic flint mines. Miners used antler picks to dig shafts up to fifty feet deep, with several galleries opening out at the bottom. Flint was the common material for making stone axes to fell timber and work with wood during the Neolithic period.
During medieval times Lancing’s Widewater Lagoon was a part of an area of salt marshes, creeks and and sea inlets to the east and west of the mouth of the River Adur.
The villages of Lancing and Sompting were on high ground well to the north. The small port of Pende stood west of Shoreham but has long since been lost to the sea. Today it is only marked by Lancing’s Penhill Road – Pende Hill – and the Shopsdam.
Today Lancing’s Widewater Lagoon is a beautiful, coastal nature reserve. Find it by taking a short stroll along Lancing seafront. It is between Beach Green and Shoreham Beach.
As the seasons change throughout the year, discover a rich diversity of birds that rest, migrate and reside here. Watch the Little Egret wading through the shallow waters with its elegant, crested plumage. Listen to the haunting cry of the Oyster Catcher or simply sit and watch the swans as they glide serenely by.
All around the banks of this saline lagoon, enjoy the colourful plants and flowers that thrive in shingle and coastal grassland. Rabbits run free from the banked bracken and bats fly silently when the sun has set.
The lagoon is within easy reach of Rosebud Cottage: About 6 miles from Steyning.
Read about some of my favourite things to do in Sussex Sussex Guide