• Madelynne Juenger

Ditching for Ditchling

On Tuesday, we left London for a bit to take a day trip down to the village of Ditchling. I have come to the conclusion that lovely is the only word that can properly describe this experience.

We boarded the train at around 7:00 in the morning right as the city was waking up. The sky was foggy, the air was misty, and it was my first true experience with the hustle and bustle of London as people around me walked briskly to catch the tube for work. I swam into the rush, oyster card in hand, and tried my best to blend into the crowd of Londoners.

Once properly seated on the train, my eyes remained glued to the window for the entire length of the ride. It was an hour long spectacle of rolling hills and lavender flowers as we traded in the rush of the city for the quiet of the countryside. Our professor had booked us a tour at the Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft to see a special exhibit on Eric Gill who was a rather, let’s just say, interesting man. The gallery is set up inside a former school building and is currently filled with sketches from Gill as well as sculptures created by the artist Cathie Pilkington. Though the artwork was incredibly amazing to look at, my favorite part of the museum was the attached gift shop and cafe because I am a sucker for books and tea.

Before and after the tour of the exhibit, we all sat around at the tables drinking tea and it was the most picturesque scene I have ever been a part of. The doors and windows were open letting the cool air in and the sound of the rain falling served as the most fitting background music. At one point there was also a dog. I don't think it could have possibly been any better.

Though most of our group decided to head back to the city after eating, a few of us stayed behind with our professor to venture out more into the village. We walked through endless rows of slightly dilapidated cottages and bakeries with extremely tempting store windows. The village also was in full bloom and all of the gardens were a pop of color against the gray backdrop of the sky. By the end of the tour, I had a pocket full of fallen wildflowers, a camera full of beautiful English scenery, and happy stomach full of tea.



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