‘The myths and legends surrounding the South Downs are amazing’: writer Cressida Cowell

The beauty and ancient history of the landscape have always fired the imagination of the How to Train Your Dragon author

I spent much of my childhood in the South Downs, where my grandmother lived, and we just ran free. We’d be off on our bikes, or on foot, – or toboggan in the snow – to explore the landscape around the villages of Singleton and Charlton which has, unconsciously, been such an inspiration to me as an author.

There’s an extraordinary atmosphere here, I think because its human history is so old. There’s a feeling that you could turn round and someone from 2,000 years could appear. Paths like the South Downs Way have been trudged for thousands of years and probably haven’t changed much in that time.

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