Donkey Wheel

Saddlescombe donkey wheel

The Actress and I spent an afternoon at Devil’s Dyke, and one of the sights on the Histories and Mysteries walk was the Saddlescombe Donkey Wheel. We both thought that it would be a wheel laid flat which you push round to raise water from a well. In fact, what we found looked more like a big wooden hamster wheel, which a donkey trots on to bring water up from its source.

The Saddlescombe donkey wheel dates from the 17th century and is protected by the National Trust. Otherwise, we might’ve thought it a good idea to have a go !

~ Spotted Cow



Wooden bucket on donkey wheel


Devil’s Dyke

Steep hill

On the weekend, The Actress and I went for a walk at Devil’s Dyke, just outside Brighton. It was a 15-minute ride on the happy bus to get to the lush countryside. Devil’s Dyke is a deep, steep, mile-long valley. The legend goes that that the Devil, in a mood, dug a big groove in the earth to drown the local parishioners. The scientific explanation starts from the Ice Age and is a much less exciting story, albeit more informative.

We chose the Histories and Mysteries walk from the National Trust site, which was a moderate figure-of-8 amble up and down the valley, with a few interesting stops. It starts and ends at the pub, and there is a tea room in the middle, which was a thumbs up for both of us. I should add that The Actress is a much hardier walker than I am, and would probably have favoured a circuit five times as long. She was humouring my Saturday afternoon out in the fresh air.

~ Spotted Cow

Devil's Dyke valley

Woman & her dog in the valley

One of the views from the top

Happy bus


My lovely friend – The Actress – and I spent Sunday afternoon out at Devil’s Dyke, just outside of Brighton. I’ll put up some post-cards over the coming week, but first I wanted to show you the Number 77 bus that we took to get there. I was expecting the usual red and cream Brighton & Hove bus, and along came a happy aqua and pink bus with prints of the local sights. There are short information and story boards inside the bus, on the walls, ceilings and seats. We sat behind the seat with the Tennyson poem, whose first line also runs along the side of the bus.

You came, and looked and loved the view
Long-known and loved by me,
Green Sussex fading into blue
With one gray glimpse of sea.

I’m keen to explore more of the area just so I can get on the happy bus again. You can see in the picture that we were accompanied that day by the characteristic dark clouds of a British summer’s day … although they did take off in another direction after a fashion.

~ Spotted Cow