Leaving the church I continued on west, parallel to the Downs themselves. The road continues for several miles along the foot of the Downs, creating a string of small villages.
The rest of Poynings passed quickly by, mostly houses and one pub, The Royal Oak, which looks a little too trendy for my liking.
Soon the houses lining the road ended, or at least became more isolated and the views to the South Downs really opened up, this was where I wanted to be.
The road rises and falls gently on its journey west, occasional footpaths shoot off southwards to begin their assent of the hills, all the time the range of hills stretching out ahead as far as the eye could see and the haze would permit.
This really was where I needed to be. For many months I have gazed longingly from a distance, now they were almost within touching distance, not long now and I would be upon the hills at last.
For the last couple of years I have wondered about the feasibility of an alternative South Downs walk, not on the top of the hill, but from the foot of the hills.
Roads like this stretch many miles along the foot of the South Downs, unfortunately they don’t provide a complete link, and many of them are probably too busy to contemplate walking along now.
They may not offer such far-reaching views as can be found on the top of the hills, but with views like this the route would be by no means boring.