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Next stop….

Updated: Aug 24, 2023

Our next stop was my brother's house in Smallfield, where we had arranged to stop over for Sunday night and join in a family barbeque. As the afternoon developed, the weather improved, and by mid-afternoon, the clear skies enabled the sun to shine, and the temperature rose into the mid-twenties. Ross, Louise and Arrow (their dog) arrived around 16:00, and the barbecue was set for 17:00. It turned out to be a perfect afternoon and evening.

Monday morning and the start of a new week arrived, and after coffee and a chat, Nadia and I were soon heading south towards Forest Row, a village my brother and sister-in-law had recommended to us. It was a short hop, as it turned out, as the town is about half an hour south of Horley! Nadia had chosen a peaceful field on Kidbrook Farm, a ten-minute walk from Forest Row, and soon, we were set up and ready for a walk into town. However, we chose a longer country walk, which took in some of the countryside and led us into the village along a disused railway track. We saw a sign for a community farm shop on the way, which we noted and visited the following day. However, before we get to that, we enjoyed a pleasant walk around the village and found a lovely ramshackle bar, The Hop Yard Brewing Co., and a decent Indian Restaurant, sorted!

The following day, once we had enjoyed our cup o' java, we struck camp, drove Iona into town, and visited the farm shop, a veritable treasure trove of organic, grass-fed, unpasteurised goodies! French potatoes, Spanish cheeses, local sourdough bread, meats and milk. It is a genuinely fantastic facility on one's doorstep. We stocked up on much of the produce before driving back to the farm for lunch and relaxing in the sunshine before walking back into town in the late afternoon for another stroll around.

Tablehurst & Plaw Hatch Community Farm Ltd

We woke to another gloriously sunny day and pondered our next move, as we had only booked in for two nights. However, we decided to book another two nights as the spot was so quiet, peaceful, and close to the village that we thought, "Why not!" Later in the day, we strolled into town and found an excellent deli, fresh food/organic grocer-style outlet and the local fishmonger with a fantastic selection of prawns! Dinner was going to be a treat tonight. Organic pasta, chillies, spinach, black olives and tomatoes, superb! And I thought last night's grass-fed organic fillet would be hard to beat! On a slightly negative note, as I write this, I am under the canopy outside Iona as Nadia prepares the dinner, and the rain is falling steadily overhead. However, life is always "Ying and Yang." By the way, the meal was special....!

Pasta and prawns, yum yum….!

Our stay on this idyllic farm is ending, and as these things go, our last day was a bit of a washout. Bouts of heavy rain, thunderstorms, and the odd break in the clouds meant that we didn't get to do the 2-hour walk we had planned! However, we were able to relax, breathe in the majestic surroundings and enjoy a leisurely lunch before walking into Forest Row to get supplies for dinner. And on our return, Mother Nature provided us with a splendid array of sunset colours whilst the owls, sheep and doves joined in with their evening chorus. Bliss!

Kidbrook sunset

Tomorrow, we move on to the mini music festival in Hassocks before we set the controls to the heart of....well, before we start our winding road back home to the central belt of Scotland! This latest part of our trip has been so good for the soul; the location, the communing with nature and the quality of natural food we have found have been nothing short of stupendous!

Follow our route here:

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