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Please see the Saturday Walker's Club This Week's Walks page.

This is an archive of walks done by the Saturday Walker's Club. You should only need to use this page if the SWC website is down.

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Sunday, 31 May 2015

Sunday Walk – A variation on a theme

Extra Walk 174c – Balcombe Circular, via Ardingly
Length: 16½ km (10.3 miles). Toughness: 5/10

10:27 Brighton train from Victoria (Clapham Jct 10:33, East Croydon 10:43), arriving Balcombe at 11:17.

Trains back from Balcombe are hourly at 30 minutes past.

The main Extra Walk 174 requires a bus journey to the starting village of Horsted Keynes, but as these no longer run on Sundays I've chosen this walk's circular option. In the last ten years there have in fact been nearly 40 “Balcombe Circular” outings of one sort or another, and I hope the author of the original walk via Ardingly Reservoir forgives the shameless way in which this one mixes'n'matches chunks of its route as well as (in reverse) part of the Book 1 walk. I thought walkers ought to get the chance to try this one before the fracking industry returns to Balcombe with a vengeance and little oil wells start popping up along the walk route.

For the time being, then, there should be good views from the mainly high-level route to Ardingly. In the afternoon you go through the grounds of a leading independent school, followed by a long (and doubtless familiar) section alongside Ardingly Reservoir.

Unless the Oak Inn has reopened Ardingly now has just one pub, the Ardingly Inn. You should get there at around 1.15pm; make a booking if you want a table inside. Faster walkers should reach the ever-popular Balcombe Tea Rooms by 4pm but call ahead if you won't: they may stay open later. The Half Moon Inn is a good alternative. The walk document gives several possible routes from the village to the station so you can choose the one which best coincides with the arrival of the hourly train.

You'll need to print the directions from the Extra Walk 174 page. Clicking the 'c. Circular Walk' option will save a good few pages on this multi-option walk. If you also bring along the directions for Extra Walk 22 you'll find that you can switch between the two at several places, eg. if you want to do a longer afternoon route via Wakehurst Place.

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