Spirit of Adventure!
Back in February we reported on intrepid Sussex lad Tom Brabham's plan to walk the whole UK coastline after setting off from Eastbourne Pier. We very much hoped that keen hikers staying in our Sussex holiday properties would be able to walk some of the county's iconic coastal trails with him, whether at the start of his journey or on his return. Despite the unfriendly weather Tom was going strongly until mid-March, when he sustained a nasty hip injury that forced him to abandon the adventure - for now, anyway. He was absolutely gutted and it's probably scant consolation to know he's not alone in having to shelve his ambitions: the amazing Sir Ranulph Fiennes - who also has Sussex connections - had to give up his hopes of a first winter Antarctic crossing after suffering frostbite in his hand (again) last month.
What is it about Sussex that inspires adventurers who can write about their travels and travails in such an engaging way? It's just occurred to me that intrepid round-the-world cyclist Josie Dew grew up in the Midhurst area, too. I do hope that the both she and Sir Ranulph are represented in the bookshelves of many of our lovely holiday cottages: a few pages of Josie will have you itching to jump on a bike and explore the South Downs, if not beyond.
However, I digress: because right now another Sussex man, 27-year-old ex-serviceman Mike Goody, is in training for yet another polar expedition - this time the next Walking With The Wounded race to the South Pole. Mike, who comes from Felpham, West Sussex, was injured in an explosion while serving in Afghanistan and had to have his left leg amputated below the knee after several operations failed to save it. This inspirational chap already works with the South East Coast Ambulance Service and harbours an ambition to become the first below-the-knee-amputee paramedic in the UK.
Some extraordinary people from an extraordinary part of our island. The definition of an achievement is different for everyone and I'm sure there are many more wonderful stories waiting to be discovered when you book your Sussex holiday with Amberley House Cottage Holidays.