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


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


Belle Tout lighthouse

Belle Tout lighthouse on the cliff's edge

If you’ve ever wanted to stay in a lighthouse, the Belle Tout Lighthouse at Beachy Head is only an hour & a half train ride to Eastbourne from London. The lighthouse was decommissioned in 1902 because it wasn’t visible on foggy nights and it now runs as a b&b. In fact, it was moved back from the cliff edge in 1999 and the rails are in place if it has to be moved further back one more time.

There are spectacular 360° views from the communal top floor. Out to the east, is the working Beachy Head lighthouse down at sea level. And over to the west are the Seven Sisters cliffs – we walked 4 of the 7 before the ups & downs got the better of us, plus we had to walk back !

It was an amazing pre-Christmas weekend and we felt very special staying in the lighthouse. Didn’t everyone want to live in a lighthouse when they were children?

~ Spotted Cow

View east to Beachy Head lighthouse

View west to the Seven Sisters