French visitors tour Sussex with friends from their twin town of Newhaven

French visit at YHA South Downs
French visit at YHA South Downs

Walkers from Newhaven’s twin town enjoyed a stunning series of walks in the South Downs when they came to visit.

A total of 35 walkers from La Chapelle St Mesmin near Orleans joined members from Newhaven Twinning Association and Newhaven Ramblers.

Together they explored routes around Alfriston, Hastings and Brighton, while braving rain and strong winds, as well as the odd outbreak of sunshine during June.

Chairman of Newhaven Twinning Association Norman Hopson said: “It was nice to meet new people from La Chapelle as well as catching up with old friends.

“La Chapelle St Mesmin is in the scenic Loire Valley in France but the French visitors all said what a lovely area we live in and what a great time they had walking our beautiful South Downs.

“A group of musicians from La Chapelle will be also be visiting Newhaven later in the year and will be performing with the town’s Maestro Music at a joint concert at the Fort.

“I am delighted that more and more visitors are coming to our area to enjoy our beautiful countryside, our food and our culture.”

Many of the French visitors had never been to the Newhaven area before.

The group were met off the ferry by Twinning Association members and then transported by Community Transport for the Lewes area buses to YHA Southdowns at Beddingham.

The following day, despite strong winds and driving rain, they walked to Alfriston and onto the Long Man of Wilmington and later visited Lewes.

The next day the sun shone they walked the Ashburnham area and the 1066 Country Trail ending with a visit to Battle Abbey and the battlefield.

Despite a few bumps and bruises, the group’s intrepid ramblers walked part of the South Downs Way to Brighton and visited the Pier, the Lanes and the Royal Pavilion on Thursday June 4.

On Friday June 5 the group in visited Arundel and its castle. Le Mille Pattes Chapellois group left on Monday June 8 to return to France.

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