Ditchling bed and breakfast, South Downs Way, England

Description of Ditchling bed and breakfast, South Downs Way, England

Stay in a lovely little artistís cottage in the quaint village of Ditchling in the South Downs National Park. Very close to the South Downs Way trail this B&B is a good stop off for walkers. Wake up to a hearty breakfast before heading into the village and learning about its great history; you can take a day tour or visit the newly refurbished museum that will be opening in March 2013. The village has lots of interesting artistic history and you can see local art hanging up in the White Horse Inn where you can also some local Harveyís Ale. In May as part of the Brighton Festival there are lots of open houses and gardens to look around and village has a fair every year too which is a really lovely experience if you're here for it.

The B&B is well located for visiting the coast, the Downs and many attractions in the area. Lewes and Glyndebourne are very close, where you can visit Lewes Castle or see the famous Glyndebourne opera. Brighton is just two stops on the train and the Seven Sisters Country Park is amazing for walks along the chalk cliffs.

Rooms, food and facilities

There are 2 doubles and 1 single room
There is one shared bathroom for all guests.
Double rooms have a television.

Vouchers
Not Accepted

How to find us

You can arrive by foot if youíre walking the South Downs Way which is quite near.

The nearest train station is Hassocks which is about a 30 minute walk all on the flat. Come out of the station via Station cottages, onto Station terraces which turns into Station Approach W. From there take a sharp left onto Keymer Road. Follow across the train tracks, straight over at the roundabout and then keep going straight. It will eventually turn into West Street as you enter Dithcling. At the roundabout take the first exit onto High Street then turn right onto End Lane. The Dymocks is the first left turn.

The trains come from London and Brighton. There are a few buses that you can get that run very occasionally, or you can jump in a taxi.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Ditchling bed and breakfast, South Downs Way, England

Environment

I have a small garden which attracts a bit of wildlife, particularly hedgehogs, foxes, toads and slugs. Itís quite a wet area so the slugs thrive and toads have a good time. My next door neighbour has a pond, but they often hop over into my garden. I make sure to have a responsible attitude towards the wildlife in my garden. I donít use pesticides or slug pellets as I donít want any of the wildlife to be harmed and any products I do use in the garden are all natural.

I have an apple and a pear tree in my garden and I also grow my own vegetables in the summer. I grow the general summer vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, courgettes and of course tomatoes; presuming the slugs donít get them. I also like to use my apples and pears for making chutneys and putting in my breakfasts. The other ingredients in your breakfast with be sourced locally as well. I use the organic egg farm in Ditchling and the butcher down the road in Hassocks.

I other bits and pieces that Iím sure most people do to help the environment such as recycling and composting everything I can, not doing the washing too much, hanging things up to dry, turning down the thermostat and generally just try and save on energy and water.

Community

Ditchling has a great community and there are over 30 societies in the village. 30 years ago I helped to set up the Ditching Film Society; itís still running today and Iím still very much involved. About once a month we show old Art House films. Occasionally we do this twice a month and sometimes we have small film festivals as well. As a village we throw a newcomers party once a year which is designed to get everyone together and to integrate and include anybody new who has moved to the village in that past year. We all meet in the village hall for food and drink and get to know each other.

I like to support the community and any fundraising or charity events that are going on. I often get asked to donate a prize and since I run a pottery workshop in Streat I donate vouchers. I did the cancer walk in Brighton last year and Iím also a big supporter of the Samantha Dixon Brain Tumour Trust.

Ditchling has some nice places to eat, I particularly like The General for a really good evening meal and the Larder is the only food shop in the village; it has local produce to buy and a delicious deli. The two local pubs are both really nice and welcoming The Bull and The White Horse. There is a very nice little gift shop and a lovely flower shop. The Ditchling Museum will be opening soon as well. Itís going to be a state of the art gallery dedicated to artists from Ditchling though out the years which will be a great place to find out the history of Ditchling and about the artists and their art.

May is a great time of year to visit Ditchling as there are lots of open houses and gardens displaying local peopleís artwork as part of the Brighton Festival. I am part of The White Horse Art Group and we display our work in the pub. Iím also part of the Skelton Workshops in nearby Streat where there are a variety of art courses and workshops that you can take part in. There is also the Ditchling fair that is held most years in June which is great fun. Iíve been on the fair committee at various times and I take my pottery wheel down for people to have a go on.

In the area there is lots for people to do with Lewes town not far, where there are plenty more pubs, shops and tearooms. You can also visit Lewes Castle and Anne of Cleaves House. Glyndebourne is also close and is famous for its operas. The coast isnít far with The Seven Sisters Country Park where you can walk along the chalk cliffs, or head to the city of Brighton and sit beside the sea. Charleston Farmhouse is a really interesting property to visit to learn all about the Bloomsbury group.

Landscape

The view from my house is mostly just the village, but you can just see the downs above some of the houses. Itís really easy to get to the fields though as there are no developments outside of the village that already stands, so we are surrounded. There are lots of nice circular walks to go on; you can take a tour around Ditchling itself on one of 4 different walks or you can head out onto the Downs. The walk to the foot of the downs takes about 35-40 minutes. From there you can walk in various directions. I like to walk from the bottom, up the steepest part of the beacon all the way to the top. From there you have beautiful views all around and you can see for miles. You can see the North Downs to the north, towards the sea to Brighton, all the way over to Seaford in the east and Shoreham to the west and there are views all the way across the High Weald. There is lots of farmland, small villages, fields and towns.

The beacon itself is an old Iron Age Hill Fort. Other historical landmarks are the Jack and Jill Windmill and the Indian Chattri. The Chattri can be seen from the beacon and you can get to it from different directions but it is only accessible by bridleway. The Chattri is an Indian war memorial to and is a Grade II listed building on the site where Indian soldiers who fought in the First World War were cremated. Itís a really nice walk to get there are there are nice views.

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