Once the Sussex border passes Copthorne and stretches past East Grinstead, the countryside becomes more open and undulating with vistas that look both north and south finally straddling the Weald. The path may have outdistanced the South Downs and the land may be gentler in elevation, but this does not mar the overall beauty of the walks. East Sussex is not famed for its wildness (or its railway links!) but pretty villages march across the hills from Gatwick to Canterbury.
The final two stretches of the Sussex Border Path from Wadhurst to Rye encompass a length of 40 miles. The path wends east and south in a meandering lazy style, so that you can sometimes wander and wonder if any distance has been eaten up. This is one of the effects of walking round reservoirs, in this case, Bewdley Water. That large stretch of water has a shoreline on the north of abouth 5 miles and you walk around these pretty picnic sites.
The second day is of a different duration. The hills peter out as you cross near Bodiam Castle: a ferocious keepsake from the past set in its own moat. Once the fields and the woods are walked through, all that remains is the river running into Rye. The path is mainly long grass; lethal when wet as you get soaked to the skin after rain. Three miles of this skidding and sliding is replaced by the final stretch of the Royal Military Canal; some strange distance markers and the site of Rye Castle gradually looming in the distance. On a warm day, the unfurled flag draws one like the sirenic cries of the Newhaven mermaids to try some of the local cider. And I did!
This increases my enthusiasm for the 1066 trail.