Up on the Downs

It used to seem odd to me that we call the high land on the Island ‘the Downs’.  Surely they’re the Ups?

Small cow on a big horizon

Looking up at a tree climber

Sun setting over the sea, with field foreground

Apparently it stems from the Anglo-Saxon word dun, meaning ‘hill’.  On the Isle of Wight these chalky ridges stretch across the length of the island, making them great for one big all-day walk, or dozens of mini adventures.  Our recent habit of diving in the car on a Friday evening to catch the last of the light inevitably takes us Up Downs and we revel in the high fast winds and the ever-changing clouds, with the brightest rays of sun and the biggest plops of rain.

Fields, stile, and trig point on St Catherine's Down, Isle of Wight

The Pepperpot, St Catherine's Down

It’s always fun to come up here and get whipped about in the wind and lean against it’s push.  We had to belt it down the hill again as the rain descended.  But it wouldn’t be a mini adventure without a few mishaps.

5 thoughts on “Up on the Downs

  1. Marlene West on said:

    Was so excited to get you newest post. So love walking on the Downs (the Up’s).
    What’s a little rain amidst so much beauty.

  2. In Sussex where we used to live the ups are called Downs too, and I never understood why. It is lovely to catch the last of the light evenings, even if it rains. Enjoy whilst you can.