Friday, 2 December 2016

Steyning - West Sussex

We discovered Steyning through the power of serendipity. We were down at Hove for a few days and had gone exploring. Our original target was shut and so we drove around the South Downs a little and were heading back towards Shoreham on Sea and the coast road when we saw the signs for Steyning and decided to visit.


When we pulled up in a car park that announced that parking was by voucher, I asked a lady getting into her car where we got the vouchers from. "First visit?" she asked. When we said yes, she gave us a voucher and said "This one's on me."


Into the town (population around 5,800) we found a lovely atmosphere. It helped that the sun was shining, but there seemed to be pleasantness everywhere. There were other tourists but most of the people we saw were locals, and they clearly like where they live.


Why shouldn't they? Steyning is an eclectic mixture of styles of architecture, with bright colours and thatched roofs abounding. The town has Anglo Saxon origins and Ethelwulf of Wessex was buried there for a while. It wasn't that he didn't like it there but his son was Alfred the Great and he had his father moved to Westminster Abbey.


Steyning was once a port but gradually the River Adur silted up and took away that livelihood. Nowadays it isn't the centre of anything except possibly pleasantness.


Where she be