Motorways channel the traffic down from London, rushing through the downs and the wealds, before they fade away on the outskirts of the big coastal towns. You can still avoid the conurbations, taking the little roads that twist through hillside villages on their way to shingle beaches and white chalk cliffs.
Park the car, and take a walk on the flint, pebbles crunching under your feet, blue sky and sea rolling south to the horizon and the big ships that sail down the Channel. The sea air cleans away the city fug, opening lungs and clearing the head. Beneath the cliffs, on the fragile shore, lines of solid flint stand on top of ripples of chalk. These are the foundations of the land, laid bare under sea and sky.
Up on top of the cliffs, the yellow orchids flutter in the spring breeze, beside the stiff heads of their purple cousins. It's the middle of spring, the land finally is finding its shape for the coming summer. The copper beeches are slowly darkening, summer is just around the corner.
(snapshots from a journey: London-Seaford-Beachy Head-Battle-London)