Southease to Monk's House Circular
For Virginia Woolf writing and walking were inseparable. Her father, a renowned mountaineer wrote a lot about the Alps and speculated that ‘All great men of letters had to be great walkers’. It is true that Virginia made up her books as she walked along. Virginia and Leonard lived at Monk's House from 1919 and she walked every day for 2 hours or more. Initially Monk's House was small and basic….but it was theirs. They met for breakfast, lunch and tea and planned to do very little but garden and walk.
Southease Railway Station
Exit the station heading in the direction away from Platform 1 towards Southease village. Follow this track/ small road over the River Ouse and continue straight through the water meadows until you reach the church at Southease.
‘The depression of a return (to London) from Rodmell is always acute…..one lives in the brain there- I slip easily from writing to reading with spaces in between of walking', V Woolf
Continue to follow the road up the hill until just before reaching the main road junction. Turn right immediately after a small cottage following the signpost marked 'permissive footpath Rodmell’. Go through the first gate and take an immediate left through another gate, following the path up the hill.
‘And one things “pleasant” after another: breakfast, writing, walking, tea, bowls, reading, sweets….The globe rounds again’. VW Diary Oct 1940
Follow this footpath for approx. half a mile. You will ascend a small hill with views towards Rodmell and the Ouse Valley beyond. The path then descends and rises gradually before arriving into Rodmell village where it merges onto the pavement adjacent to the C7 which runs through the village. Keep going in the same direction until you reach the junction with the Abergavenny Arms public house.
But my skeleton day needs reviving with all sorts of different colours. 'Today it was grey and windy walk; yesterday generous& open; and yellow sun on the corn; & heat in the valley. Both days differ greatly; both are among the happiest of my life'
At this point turn right and follow this road named 'The Street' for approx. 400 yards. Monk's House is clearly signed on the right hand side. Visitor Reception is located in the Woolfs' old garage immediately south of the property.
Upon exiting Monk’s House, continue down The Street for 100 yards and instead of following the road as it bends left take the track which branches off to the right immediately after the National Trust car park.
Remain on this track for approx. 3/4 of a mile, passing through all gates until you reach the River Ouse.
Turn right at the river and follow the footpath which runs alongside the Ouse on an elevated bank until you reach the swing bridge. You have now come full circle!
Exit the footpath at the swing bridge and turn left, following the road once again back to Southease railway station.
Southease Railway Station
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