Today is bright and sunny with a clear sky. We were up and out by 8 am, not bad for a Sunday! We took the bus to London Bridge and boarded the 8:41 Brighton train.
The disadvantage of being out so early was that none of the food outlets that we had been counting on for breakfast were open. Nor was there a buffet or trolley service on the train. We made do with peppermints, promising ourselves a good breakfast in Brighton.
I dozed off during the journey and felt reluctant to wake up but on arrival at Brighton we went across the road to Divall’s Cafe which was offering vegetarian breakfasts and this restored my energy and good humour! A nice touch in this cafe is that it has a station departures board on display.
After breakfast we walked down to Churchill Square at boarded the 13X “limited stop” bus towards Eastbourne to take us to our intended destination.
With us on the bus was an elderly gentleman, a Brighton inhabitant. I mentioned that we had seen a lot of people at the station and he told us that today was the day of the Brighton Marathon. Uh-oh, that set off alarm bells in my head: there was a good chance that the trains back to London would be packed.
The course of the marathon was closed to traffic, of course, and some buses, including ours, were diverted. We enjoyed the ride through the countryside though, as you can see from the photo, conditions were very hazy.
We were heading for the Seven Sisters Sheep Centre. This is a working farm but it opens its doors to visitors. A visit is entertaining and also educational. At this time of year, there are new lambs and sheep in all the various stages of motherhood.
One of the main entertainments is hand feeding the sheep. You can buy food for £1 per bag and the sheep love it. They will gobble it greedily from your hands.
There are several different breeds of sheep here and seeing them at close quarters allows you to understand that sheep are as individual as humans. Here are some examples (click for larger pictures).
There are other animals as well as sheep: ponies, pigs, a donkey, ducks, geese, chickens, rabbits and guinea pigs, and probably some I missed. There is also a play area for children and a cafe where we had tea of slices of tea bread.
This area around Birling Gap is very beautiful with plenty of scope for walkers. There are fine views on a day like today when the sun is shining.
After the Sheep Centre, we took the bus to Seaford to see what it is like. We found that it is a very quiet town with some pretty parts. It has a shingle beach, as is common around these parts. Apart from some benches and a snack stall, the sea front is virtually empty.
If you like peace and quiet, then Seaford might be for you but if you like excitement and activity, you will prefer to hotfoot it to Brighton.
We reached Brighton ourselves just after 4 pm. As I was anxious about the expected crowding, we made straight for the station and boarded a Bedford train as soon as it entered the station. The train was soon full, though not overcrowded, so I think leaving early was the right decision.
We enjoyed our day out and especially being able to interact with sheep which are usually such timid creatures.