A beautiful National Trust walk through 500 acres of heathland and woodland that we have been getting to know this week is called the Blackdown Walk.
National Trust Blackdown
Blackdown or Black Down is an important landscape feature on the Surrey/ Sussex borders. It offers doggies, walkers and horse riders unspoilt countryside with super panoramic views…
One of the many views (view from Mabel Elizabeth Hunter’s stone seating corner – her husband Edward Hunter gave Blackdown to the National Trust in 1944)
Blackdown is designated as a Site of Nature Conservation Importance (SNCI) as it contains a disappearing habitat called ‘Lowland Heath’. The National Trust has pioneered a successful heathland restoration project here.
Part of the Greensand Ridge in south-east England, Blackdown is an extremely beautiful area to visit.
To see an example of one of the walks with an illustrated walking map click here on Black Down Walk
Heathers flower here in August and September
With a height of 280 metres and a rainfall of 950mm a year, Blackdown is the highest point in West Sussex and the wettest in the Weald (old English name for woodland) of south-east England.
Map location of Blackdown
Sunken tracks remain from centuries of use as cart tracks and smugglers’ ways
Many of the old placenames are still in use
In Victorian times writers such as Lord Tennyson, George Eliot, and Henry James and artists spent much time in this area which became known as a beauty spot. Lord Tennyson, Poet Laureate in 1850 owned Aldworth House on Blackdown where he wrote his later poetry.
Image of Aldworth House from an old postcard print
Lord Tennyson wrote about Blackdown:
“You came, and looked and loved the view, Long-known and loved by me, Green Sussex fading into blue, With one gray glimpse of sea.” Prologue poem
(Here’s a link about Aldworth House for sale…click here)
There are quite a few paths and walking routes to learn, so sometimes Vikki has got in a muddle with the map. At least we are discovering many of the unmarked smaller paths and trails! I get a much longer walk too!..heehee
Er…which path are we on? Nevermind lets walk it anyway!!
Fortunately, there are also many benches to sit, enjoy the views on the way and work out where we are!
Robin Carr’s bench (which means we stay on the small path left of the hill!)
Every bench holds a name and memory of somebody who has loved Blackdown. The bench is also placed and angled with thought and care to enjoy that chosen view. We have sat, sniffed, looked out and read the little memorial message on every one of them.
My human is finding it easier to learn the walks by the location of these benches which helps us remember whether to turn left, right or straight on…
Thank you to the benches!
A little rest at the Bloxam’s Bench before we head left…