Thu 20th April 2023
- Mon 24th April 2023
4 nights/3.5 days walks
We return to experience the Sussex Songbirds. This time at a new hotel in Amberley with the Downs a walk from our door. Guests loved the walking and Madeline with her detailed knowledge. “ So much learned about birdsong,birds and plants with such a companionable group. A lovely holiday” Come and experience a fascinating part of England rich in bird song and wildlife.
Dates: Thursday April 20th to Monday April 24th – 4 nights/3.5 days walks
Guide: Madeline Holloway
Walking Grade: 1 Goat – walks are varied and at a very steady pace giving time to see birds, wildflowers and to be immersed in the beautiful Sussex countryside.
Base: The Amberley Black Horse – a traditional elegant local pub in the heart of the village. There are several walks straight from the door and Amberley is a lovely village to amble around.
There is a station in Amberley with trains coming via London’s Clapham Junction. The nearest airport is Gatwick.
We suggest arriving for a 3pm check in and settle in. Your guide will be there from 5pm for a welcome briefing before dinner in the Black Horse restaurant serving great local food. There is a dining terrace and garden if we are lucky with the weather.
Departure is after a Monday morning walk.
Price: £1056 per person for the holiday:
- Half Board (Breakfast and Dinner) ensuite accommodation
- Packed lunches on 4 walking days
- All local transport
- Expert guiding by Madeline – a naturalist with extensive knowledge of the birds and wildflowers of the area.
Not included:Travel to Amberley. Drinks.Entrance to RSPB nature reserve.
Please note that there is no parking at the pub. Parking is available in nearby roads in the village.
This trip is great for lovers of nature, wildlife and especially birds and their spring song. Madeline our guide and freelance ecologist will help you explore this fascinating part of England rich in bird song and wildlife. We go early in Spring this year as with less foliage on the trees we may be able to spot more birds.
Walks are 1 Goat with one day more of an ascent as we walk the Lewes Downs. All slow pace as we stop to experience the wildlife and nature.No walk is more than 5 miles.
Things may change depending on the weather. Our guide will always discuss the next day’s activities with the group the day before.
Itinerary may change depending on the weather and we will provide more information nearer the time. Your guide will discuss with you the evening before.
Arrival in Amberley by 3pm. Welcome briefing around 5pm followed by dinner.
Walks will include :
The Knepp Estate https://knepp.co.uk/home
Distance: 5 miles maximum
Ascent/Descent: 10 metres – virtually flat with some muddy footpaths: one goat level
We spend our day in the heart of West Sussex exploring the Knepp Estate, a previously intensively farmed arable area that has been allowed to ‘re-wild’ over the past 20 years or so with a minimum of human intervention and with herds of free-roaming animals. An astonishing and spectacular array of natural habitats have established themselves across the Estate and these are now teaming with wildlife. We will pause frequently to enjoy the wildlife and listen out for, and even spot, melodious nightingales, soft purring turtle doves, breeding white stork and a whole host of other wildlife delights.
If you are interested in reading more about the estate click on the link above to find the book Wilding by Isabella Tree who is an author and lives and works on the Estate.
Amberley Wild Brooks – a walk from our accommodation. There is plenty to explore here.
Walks will be 5 miles maximum
Ascent/Descent: 20 metres – virtually flat with some muddy footpaths: one goat level
We walk northwards across Amberley Wild Brooks and on towards Waltham Brooks, two of just a few surviving areas of grazed marsh in West Sussex, which together support one of the most important breeding populations of redshank in the UK. Other fenland and woodland breeding birds we may encounter include snipe, reed and grasshopper warblers, yellowhammer, green woodpecker and the acrobatic aerial displays of lapwing to name but a few. This species-rich landscape also supports several plants which are rare in West Sussex, amidst which we will should spot the jewel-like colours of darting dragonflies and, perhaps, a hobby swooping in to catch one.
South Downs – a walk from our accommodation to explore some of the beautiful South Downs and catch a glimpse of the sea.
Distance: 5 miles maximum
Ascent/Descent: 140 metres – hilly countryside with some muddy footpaths: one/two goat level
Pulborough Brooks nature reserve (RSPB – cost £7/person if not a member)
Distance: 3 miles maximum
Ascent/Descent: 25 metres – some slopes on muddy paths: one goat level
A gentle 2-mile circular trail which explores the heart of this nature reserve. Here we’ll enjoy the ‘peewits’ of more tumbling and looping lapwing together with a whole range of warblers,thrushes and maybe nightingales. We may even spot rarer breeding birds such as garganey, yellow wagtail, grey partridge and skylark.
On one morning we’ll experience the magic of a dawn (or at least early morning!) chorus starring mellow blackbirds, thrushes and wrens and joined by warblers like blackcap, whitethroat and, perhaps, more nightingales.
On one evening we’ll go out to search the night sky for hunting barn owls, churring nightjars and flitting bats.