Sunday, 10 July 2011

Walking the Labyrinth

Spent the weekend with some friends at their home in Chichester, West Sussex. After last weeks debacle I was definitely in need of some exercise so quite up for a wander on the South Downs. The plan was  (as usual!) a 5 mile of so walk and a nice pub for lunch.

Another glorious day. The walk started off in some woodland, climbed gently on to Bignor Hill and descended gently into Houghton to the "George and Dragon" for lunch ( Nice food but a bit pricey).

The hedgerows are thick with flowers including lots of mugwort and silverweed which doesn't grow anywhere near where I live. This is chalk downland and there were a number of plants I made a note of to look up later.

We are all feeling suitably refreshed so decide to extend the walk into Amberley. This must be one of the most pictureque villages around. Thatched cottages abound, tearoom, 12C church and a hotel in a castle. Couldn't ask for more!  It did however turn a 5 mile walk into a 12 mile one!

Although we had climbed Bignor Hill, the Roman farm and villa wasn't visible so we had to take the car down to pay it a visit. Some superb Roman mosaics here but much of the site is buried to preserve it.

The mosaics are kept under cover to help protect them but outside on the grass the owners had laid out a unicursive labyrinth and the later Roman style "geometric" one for visitors to walk so of course we did both!

Interestingly the classical labyrinth was much more calming and soothing to walk than the far more complex ( and much longer) Roman version. I know which one I preferred.
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