Spring walk: South Downs lambs and bluebells

A little spring walk in the South Downs turned into the sort of walk that would leave a bluebell-hunter or cute animal lover very fulfilled! I am neither, but I was ‘full of the joys’…

Spring walk: South Downs lambs and bluebells - Travel with Penelope & Parker

We stumbled across this walk thanks to two things. Firstly we had lunch booked with friends at The Bluebell in Cocking, somewhere we know and enjoy. The food is always excellent and since they were coming by motorbike the road it is on is a bikers favourite. Secondly, perusing the National Trust website I discovered they have a walking trail section.

Go there, it’s excellent. Short walks across the country on NT owned estates. I am a member, but most of these walks don’t need you to be, although many will start at NT sites or car parks.

The one I found was around the Drovers Estate just north of Chichester. A great mix of forest and meadows and next to no time walking on a road!  We barely saw a soul on our 5 mile yomp! Instead we enjoyed the peaceful company of thousands of bluebells, lots of cows and the cutest lambs.  And we saw the fast departing tails of a few bambi’s and bunnies.

And that is much nicer!

Spring walk: South Downs lambs and bluebells - Travel with Penelope & Parker

I love the English spring countryside. It comes alive in March/April and for Easter weekend it was stunning. Just look at the green fields and paths and the yellow oilseed in bloom. Quite stunning, a magical time to be out and about in the South of England.

Spring walk: South Downs lambs and bluebells - Travel with Penelope & Parker

West Sussex is an area we don’t know well despite it being not far from home. But whenever we stray this way, on foot or bike, we enjoy the countryside. Years ago, pushing my bike up a hill, I jokingly called it the ‘chalky ups’… Better known as the South Downs!

Spring walk: South Downs lambs and bluebells - Travel with Penelope & Parker

Mr P cycled the full 100miles of South Downs way on a mountain bike in a day a few years back and loved the scenery. Thankfully he was happy with this 5 miler!

Spring walk: South Downs lambs and bluebells - Travel with Penelope & Parker

The walk starts and finishes in Singleton. This village has some super pretty little nooks that didn’t escape the lens… The village pub – the Partridge – was a lovely spot to finish with a shandy!

Spring walk: South Downs lambs and bluebells - Travel with Penelope & Parker

It is a pretty easy walk. No real hills to speak of, just nice tracks and stunning field and forest views. It uses some permissive paths which are harder to follow but with an OS map it is easy to work out a good route.

The bluebell woods were something else. And a complete surprise, we assumed we were a few weeks late.

Then we turned a corner and…. Hello purple.  Sorry blue… Why aren’t they purplebells?

Spring walk: South Downs lambs and bluebells - Travel with Penelope & Parker

They are hard to take pictures of, but with both of us having our cameras we took on the challenge of getting as many photos as we could. It took time but we got some excellent shots! Mr P turned into patient Instagram husband, taking an obligatory photo of photo taking…

Spring walk: South Downs lambs and bluebells - Travel with Penelope & Parker

After daffodils they are my favourite flowers. I think it’s always the fleeting blooms that are the ones I prefer. But for now let us enjoy purple… Blue… A carpet of them!

Spring walk: South Downs lambs and bluebells - Travel with Penelope & Parker

Spring walk: South Downs lambs and bluebells - Travel with Penelope & Parker

I almost coordinated my Icebreaker jacket too… Only it is grey, but it looks purple against the bluebells! Very confusing! Blue, purple or grey?

Spring walk: South Downs lambs and bluebells - Travel with Penelope & Parker

No Parker-walk would be complete without cute animal sightings! We saw many an Easter Bunny hop away from us, and a few deer darted out of sight before I could lift the lens…

But we did see the fluffiest looking sheep, and some rather elegant cows.

Spring walk: South Downs lambs and bluebells - Travel with Penelope & Parker

No one looked too pleased to see us. It was pretty early and we had no food. And well, the Bull looked like he’d had better days! Or was waiting hopefully for a play mate.

This spring walk could easily be made longer than the 5 miles set out – there is a plethora of paths in the area, including the South Downs Way and the Sussex Literary Trail. I’d love to do it again in the summer when the wildflower meadows are at their best.

Driving up to Cocking for lunch we had the roof down and could hear baa-ing from the road. We had to, had to, stop!  The greenest grass and the cutest lambs I ever did see. Look at those ears!

Spring walk: South Downs lambs and bluebells - Travel with Penelope & Parker

They sounded cute too!

Spring walk: South Downs lambs and bluebells - Travel with Penelope & Parker

And were possibly the happiest vision of spring I have seen. Just stunning, we were captivated as they gamboled about the field bleating sweetly!

Spring walk: South Downs lambs and bluebells - Travel with Penelope & Parker

I am fairly certain the smallest lamb here, was born moments earlier and taking his first steps – he looks so young and scruffy!

This little sunflower of a lamb really captured my heart. He has ‘no care in the world’ down to a tee! Basking in the sun, in a luscious field this is the level of relaxation I aspire to every weekend!

Spring walk: South Downs lambs and bluebells - Travel with Penelope & Parker

Stunning day, excellent spring walk, beautiful views and the cutest of locals!

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16 Comments

  1. April 25, 2017 / 7:41 pm

    OMG Anna those lambs are just too cute!!! What a stunning area to go for hikes in! I must say I’ve missed the country – I think we’re going to head to Yorkshire this coming bank holiday weekend for some country air!

    • April 25, 2017 / 8:36 pm

      I just added another photo – there’s a new born that I missed, just spotted it in my other photos! Enjoy – this time of year at home is my favourite, it must be great to be back!

  2. April 27, 2017 / 6:38 am

    That last shot is adorable! I need to go on this walk before the bluebells disappear. Annoyingly busy this weekend but maybe next. I feel a walk and a pub lunch coming on.

    • April 27, 2017 / 5:52 pm

      Oh yes, of course, this is your doorstep more than mine – I hope you do! And such a good choice of pubs in the area too. We even saw a signpost in Singleton, to all the pubs…

  3. April 30, 2017 / 3:05 am

    Oh Anna-those baby sheep stole my heart! Never seen anything cuter, especially the two together like shadows of each other. A longer, bluer path of blue bells then I’ve ever come across. Your post definitely takes the win for best spring walk! Loved it!

    • May 2, 2017 / 7:26 pm

      Thank you! It really was an unexpected delight… thought we might see some wildflowers onlh!!

  4. Lucy Dodsworth
    May 1, 2017 / 9:41 am

    You’ve ticked all the spring boxes there! I’ve yet to see any bluebells this spring but they look fabulous spread out like a carpet beneath the trees.

  5. Claire Robinson
    May 2, 2017 / 4:01 pm

    I know Chichester very well – lived there for 4 years – but never did any walks like this!! Judging by your post, I really missed out! The Bluebell in Cocking sounds nice – I’ll have to check it out next time I’m there. LOVE your lamb pics by the way.

    • May 9, 2017 / 5:28 pm

      I wish the little lambs didn’t have to grow up, they are so adorable!

    • May 12, 2017 / 6:49 pm

      It is just the best time for a sunny day as the fields are alive with fun!

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