At the beginning of September last we visited Alfriston in Sussex which, apart from being a lovely little village in the middle of the Sussex Downs, is also only about 5 miles from the coast. We liked the area so much that, 5 weeks later, we went again staying at the Star Inn in the centre of the village on both trips and have just returned from that second visit.

Pictures from the first visit are already on the web site and can be accessed from the Sussex page – South Downs.

The day that we started our second visit was cloudy with rain at times but that was not unexpected as the weather forecast had foretold cloud and rain for that day. We arrived in Alfriston around lunchtime, by which time the weather had improved a little, and decided that lunch would be our next step. Instead of having lunch in The Star, as we did last time, we decided to try 'The Singing Kettle' a few hundred yards down the road. We last visited that Tea Room about 19 years ago and wanted to see what it was like now.

It was taken over by new owners about 6 years ago and now has a very good selection of items on the menu. We had a light lunch here and were very impressed.

The Singing Kettle is the centre one of the block of three buildings facing the camera at the far end of Waterloo Square.

By this time the weather had improved considerably to the point that there were patches of blue sky appearing together with a bit of sun. We thought that a little afternoon walk would be good so decided to walk alongside the River Cuckmere that flows through Alfriston. We walked across the footbridge and turned left, up river, to look at the little brick bridge that carries a small lane over the river. We had gone only a short way along the river when we saw a heron standing by the river looking for fish.

Because the bricks in the bridge were fairly large we thought that it was probably Victorian and, therefore, not very old. We used that bridge to cross the river to the footpath on the other side and headed back towards Alfriston, past the church, and on, down river, towards Littlington.

After passing Alfriston we looked back to this view of Alfriston Church in the hazy autumn sunshine.

The heron that we had seen on the way to the bridge we had disturbed on the way back and it had flown off down stream the way that we were going so it was inevitable that we surprised it again. I managed to get a photograph of it in flight

and another as it landed on the far side of the river.

Herons are, as you can probably see, fairly large birds.

Having reached the footbridge at Littlington we crossed the river and headed back to Alfriston stopping to take this last picture of cattle grazing by the river.

That easy, flat, walk covered about 3 miles in total and back at The Star Inn we relaxed and prepared for dinner. Tomorrow was going to be a longer walk involving Friston Forest and Cuckmere Haven.