Wednesday, 20 January 2016

A Trip to Devil's Dyke


I recently wrote about why I'm joining in with the #Take12Trips travel challenge this year. The aim is to take one trip every month and that could be anything from a holiday to an exotic location to a day trip somewhere local. So I'm starting with our little trip to Devil's Dyke we did a couple of weeks ago at the beginning of January. Devil's Dyke is set in the South Downs, about five miles north of Brighton. It consists of a peak with stunning scenery, an incredibly steep and deep valley and walks in several directions. On this particular day the weather was a bit rainy but in between showers we decided to get some much needed fresh air with a walk of the area, starting at the peak, doing a loop along the ridge of the dyke, passing the cows on the way and even having time for some splashing at the end, something my little boy is very into right now! He did nearly all of the walk himself and it's nice that he can walk longer distances now as he's way too heavy to carry. I've been taking out my DSLR a lot lately so I'm sharing some of the photos I took that day. 








There is so much history in and around Brighton and I'm always curious to read about sites I visit. The National Trust states that the Dyke valley is the longest, deepest and widest 'dry valley' in the UK! According to legend, the valley is the work of the Devil, hence the name. There are several different stories. One in that the Devil created the dyke with the aim of causing the sea to flood the churches in the surrounding area. While digging, the Devil disturbed an old lady who lit a candle or had woken a rooster making it crow. These things led the devil to believe that morning was approaching so he fled leaving the valley unfinished. He threw the last shovel of earth over his shoulder which fell into the sea, forming the Isle of Wight. There you go, a completely believable story right?! The scientific version is that the valley was formed naturally during the last ice age 10,000 years ago. 



I had no idea that Devil's Dyke was a big Victorian tourist attraction, complete with it's own station, a fairground, two bandstands, an observatory and a camera obscura. There was even a cable car, suspended 70m across the valley. Those views must have been amazing! You could get on the train at Aldrington and ride up to Devil's Dyke. For those not local to Brighton you have to drive along the main road to get to the peak or take the bus these days. The old train line sounds much more fun although there is an open deck top version of the bus in summer. Brighton town was also a huge Victorian attraction and I wouldn't mind jumping back in time to see what it was like, it all sounds very exciting! Many famous people have visited Devil's Dyke. The English painter, John Constable described Devil's Dyke as 'the grandest view in the world'. The views are stunning and on clear days you can see the Isle of Wight across the sea!








After the walk, saying hello to cows and more splashing it began to rain again so we headed into the Devil's Dyke pub for a bit of lunch in the warmth, a change of clothes for toddler and some very nice food. Even Sheepy ate some peas. Although it wasn't a particularly nice day weather wise it's always nice to get out and about come rain or shine. If you're interested in seeing the summer version of Devil's Dyke the last time I visited was on a gloriously beautiful day where paragliders were flying ahead. I'm looking forward to returning once it gets a bit warmer. 


Have you been to Devils Dyke? What trips have you been on lately?

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com
also linking up with #thelist

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25 comments

  1. The only time we have been to Devil's Dyke was when we went zorbing there! Love the foggy photos x

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    1. Hi Donna, Thanks for the comment. I had to look up the word 'zorbing'. Oh my gosh, how was that?!! Which bit did you roll down?

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  2. What a great challenge! I've never been but the pictures look fab, some of my favourite childhood memories are traipsing all over the countryside with my dad (and complaining endlessly about my feet, etc, lol). x #TheList

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    1. Thanks very much for the comment. Ah, I think I was the same, typical! I love the countryside now though :)

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  3. Lovely photos again. I like the idea of the 12 trips challenge! I've decided to buy a tent this year so I'm hoping for a couple of trips away. We want to explore more Cornish beaches too. I've lived here for 31 years and there's still so much of my own county I haven't seen! Thanks for the inspiration. Jenni x

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    1. Thanks for the comment Jenni. I love camping, hoping to take my little boy sometime soon as well. Let me know how it goes for you. You are so lucky to live in Cornwall, spoilt for beautiful beach choices :) xx

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  4. Love the idea of the 12 trip challenge will have to check that out. Lovely pictures! We live in Lancing and love visiting Devils Dyke but we tend to only be brave enough to head up there in the summer, but looks like you had a lovely time so may have to head up there again soon x

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    1. Thanks very much for the comment. I didn't realise you live locally! Really looking forward to summer but have learnt to appreciate these winter days too :) x

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  5. What a stunning place and such gorgeous pictures. Thanks for linking up to #TheList x

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  6. Devils Dyke sounds like the perfect place to explore with little ones, I bet the veiws there are amazing. I love the old story about how it was created by the devil and that was how the Isle of Whight was created. I bet all the Victorian attractions would be fab, it's a shame they're not there anymore. Thanks for linking up with me on #CountryKids

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    1. Thanks very much for the comment. It really is great for little ones. I enjoy finding out the history & stories of places, makes it all a bit more interesting & exciting :)

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  7. What a lovely place to explore. The views look fantastic

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    1. Thanks very much, it's a great place to visit :)

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  8. I used to drive around Devil's Dyke a lot with my folks when I was a kid. It was on our route from Hampshire to Kent to see family. It always gave me the wobbles looking over the edge on the old road. I don't think I've ever heard the Devil digging it story before. I love the bit about the Isle of Wight! #CountryKids

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    1. Thanks very much for the comment. Lovely to hear about your stories as a kid. There are so many myths and legends around here, some very funny :)

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  9. This is so intersting! My sister used to studied in Brighton. It is such a beautiful and vibrant town. I think I would like to have a ride on the Victorian Cable Car too - sounds like a good ride to me! You got so close to the cows haven't you? Brave! The pub food looks really nice too. x

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    1. Ah, did your sister enjoy it down here? It's true, Brighton is a very vibrant town. Yes, I don't usually like going up too close to the cows unless there is a big fence in the way :) Thanks for commenting!

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  10. Oh I love your take 12 trips challenge idea:) Deveils Dyke looks like a stunning place to visit and the history behind it is fascinating.

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    1. Thanks very much for the comment. It's a lovely place to visit & the history makes it even more interesting :)

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  11. I love going for walks up Devil's Dyke, but haven't for a few years now! Loved seeing your photos and learning more about it, I had no idea that it was a Victorian attraction either :D

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    1. Thanks very much for the comment. It's a lovely place to visit, so much fresh air & lovely sea views :)

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  12. Gorgeous muddy puddles! The South Downs are so beautiful - definitely on our must visit list while in the UK

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    1. Hi Katy, thanks very much for the comment. You should definitely make the visit, very pretty area :)

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  13. Gorgeous scenery, somewhere I've never been to! My son is 3 and we were saying the other day how its so much easier now he can walk longer distances, means we aren't just sticking to paths that are buggy friendly! #countrykids

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