Today I had three more Ms to do in the South Downs which would leave Haddington Hill (SP 890 089) north of London which I planned to do tomorrow with one more overnight on the way home. At that point I would be able to say that I had done all the Ms in England south of Cheltenham (or Cleeve Hill).
Browsing through Alan Dawson's book after today's sortie I came across an appendix showing 19 additions to the list since the list in the first edition was published, and three of these are in he territory I have already covered during this trip. As I know I'm not going to climb them all this doesn't really matter, but it would have been satisfying to draw that line. I tried to find a site near enough to stop off for Haddingon Hill but with no luck, so it's back home tomorrow.
Today was a brilliant finale. Delightful walking on the South Downs, and the best and warmest weather so far.
Ditchling Beacon (TQ 331 130) was only about three hundred yards from the road, and a popular, but unspoilt spot with good views, except that the lower lying land tends to be hazy.
Firle Beacon (TQ 485 059) was only another thirty minutes drive and a straightforward walk along another part of the South Downs Way.
Another thirty minute drive had me lined up for Wilmington Hill (TQ 548 034) with the top hidden from view by a circuitous route around a preliminary hill. I came across a guy flying radio controlled model gliders and chatted about that subject and also about his cycling Land's End to John 'o Groats.
On the way back my glider man had disappeared but had been replaced by two others, and more chat ensued. One was performing endless and very skilful aerobatics and the updraft meant that he could keep this sporty glider aloft for as long as he wanted. It seems that aero modellers are now flying on a different frequency which means there can be no interference from others. In the old days there were about twenty different channels and at a club you would take a channel number peg off a board and fly on that channel. The possibility of catastrophe was obvious if a mistake was made.
The unclimbed additions that I missed:
Swyre Head SY 934 784
Nine Barrow Down SZ 008 811
Cheriton Hill TR 197 396
Lewesdon Hill - ST 437 011 (I've just found this since I posted).
Also I climbed Pilsdon Pen ST 413 011 which is shown as an M in Dawson's book, but does not appear on either of the website lists, so it must have been demoted.
Ditchling beacon at 8:25 am
On the ascent of Firle Beacon there is a figure of a man with two walking poles carved into the chalk hillside. This is a pathetic attempt to photo with theiPad. I have better results using the zoom on my camera
Nearing the summit of Thirle Beacon
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