Travelogue: Day 12 - Jane's Grave and Beachy Head White Cliffs

After a lovely breakfast at St. Mary's Hall, we succumbed to Joan and Jack's insistence that Eastbourne and the white cliffs of Beachy Head/Birling Gap was too long a journey for us to make in one day and settled on going to Westminster to see Jane's Grave. 

I had hoped to see Jane's gave and the house in which she died anyway, but the parking seemed difficult, but they told us to go to the Chesil Street Car Park, and it was easy in and out of the city, and they were right. The journey there was easy, and the roads in this part of the country are much better. 

We walked along the waterway and found that we were going to go right by Jane's house at 10 College Street! We took a picture and noticed the sign: This is not a PUBLIC house but a PRIVATE residence. We tried to be respectful.


We walked to the lovely cathedral. Too bad that you cannot walk up to their tower without a guided tour! The Jane grave and memorial were touching. It is much more than I thought it would be from how others had described it. They had little glass cases near it that talked about her life and death. Only four people went to her funeral! She became much more famous after her nephew wrote a memoir about her, and that is when the memorial plaque and windows were added at the cathedral.

We also enjoyed Winchester Bible, although it was limited because they were redesigning that part of the exhibits so we only got to see Psalm 1, but it was beautiful. 

We had thought about other things to do there, but I looked on my weather app for Eastbourne, and I realized we could get there before the sun went away. So, we knew that our neighbor said that English people always say that things are too far away to drive. So, we hung their recommendation and drove along the coast to Eastbourne! Although the weather would have been nicer in the morning, I am glad we did not go from Eastbourne to Winchester because the traffic was terrible going in the opposite direction, and I am happy to say that other than being stuck in traffic on the Hop On Hop Off Bus near the Tower Bridge in London, we encountered NO TRAFFIC JAMS our whole time in England!

We got there with the sun still shining. Since we had not planned to go there, I did not read up ahead of time. I thought I could do it in the car, but I could not read my Kindle in the sun (NOTE TO SELF: DO NOT get a Kindle version of Rick Steves' books when traveling. It is much easier to have a physical version of it!), and I couldn't navigate for George and read the Rick Steves book on my iPhone at the same time. So, I did the whole parking in Eastbourne from memory! That was his recommendations for a long hike rather than actually going to the cliffs! DUH! I still had my Mary Janes on. They are great for walking on pavement but not so great for uneven grassy surfaces!   So, we parked really far away from Beachy Head. My itinerary we confusing on this point. Reading it after the fact, we should have parked at the Pay and Display at Birling Gap and walked toward Beachy Head. That way we would have been near the stairs that go down to the beach. This allows you to see the white cliffs from the bottom looking up. No matter, it was a long hike along the South Downs way. The beginning was UP, UP, UP, but once we reached Beachy Head we walked down toward Birling Gap. We took a selfie at the White Cliffs:



Just after this selfie, we noticed a HUGE bank of rain coming toward us fast so we RAN up to Beachy Head and to the restaurant there. By the time we got there, we were pretty soaked, but it was funny!

We ate a slow lunch, and the waitress had no problem with us sitting there until the rain ended. We walked down the hill in a misty bank of fog, but it was fun.

We were really glad we disregarded their advice! We got to see Jane's grave/house AND the white cliffs and had a funny "caught in the rain" story to tell!

We came back to St. Mary's Hall at the same time another guest, Howard. I was cleaning out my shoes from our walk at Highclere so did not see Howard until they were well into their conversation. When I got out of the car, I laughed because he looked so short compared to George! He was probably about 5 feet tall and adorable! We must have talked to him for nearly an hour, and he gave me a kiss at the end (Have I mentioned how much I love English people?). We chatted a bit with Joan before we retired for the evening.

Since we had a big lunch, I think we skipped dinner.  I cannot remember. 

We watched their great BBC World News and fell fast asleep! 

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