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Sunday, 23 August 2015

Sunday Walk 1 – A flying display over the South Downs

Book 2 Walk 23 (variation) – Hassocks to Fishersgate
Length: 18.8 km (11.7 miles); shorter if ending at Mile Oak (see below). Toughness: 7/10

09:22 Brighton train from Blackfriars (East Croydon 09:56), arriving Hassocks at 10:37.

This is the direct Thameslink train (the one which lets you do this walk very cheaply: see Tickets), but in the time it takes to crawl through south London you might wish you'd taken the 09:27 (stopping) Brighton train from Victoria, which gets to Hassocks 5 minutes earlier, or the 09:34 Horsham train from London Bridge, with a 6 minute connection at East Croydon for the Thameslink train.

Tickets: A standard off-peak day return to Fishersgate (or Shoreham-by-Sea) is £18.10 with a railcard. However, if you travel out and back on Thameslink trains you can get a super off-peak return from London stations to Brighton for just £6.95. If you walk all the way to Fishersgate station a single to Brighton would be an extra £1.70, but as the walk notes give a very downbeat description of the last 2-3 km I'd be tempted to veer left at Southwick Hill into the suburb of Mile Oak, where 1/1A buses run every 10-15 minutes (even on Sundays) into the centre of Brighton. The £2.40 fare is about the same as a PlusBus add-on to your rail ticket, although PlusBus would let you hop on and off other buses if you wanted.

If you do make it to Fishersgate there's a half-hourly service for the 12-minute leg to Brighton at 08 & 38 minutes past (with the odd one a few minutes later). They don't connect well with the London trains – the fast ones to Victoria are at 10 & 35 minutes past, a few minutes before the slower Thameslink ones at 14 & 44 past – but that would give you time to grab some refreshment for the journey.

I won't confuse you by giving the bus and train times for the standard Upper Beeding / Shoreham ending for this walk: look these up yourself if you want to do this.

My comprehensive Walks database doesn't record a single posting of the “Ending at Fishersgate or Shoreham Option” for this Book 2 walk. That seems a shame, since the notes describe the first 2.8 km of this option as “a place of sweeping hillsides and fine panoramic views of the sea”. From the map it looks like Thundersbarrow Hill will provide a great place to see some of the afternoon flying display at the Shoreham Air Show, which continues until 5pm.

Most of you will be familiar with the first part of the walk, with its three steep hills before you reach the large and busy lunch pub on the top of Devil's Dyke. The turning for the Fishersgate ending is after an hour's walking in the afternoon, just past the radio masts on Truleigh Hill. You'll need to print those directions from this page (they're not in the latest edition of Vol 2); the instructions for the main walk can be found in this pdf document.
T=2.23.b

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

This looks very interesting. Thank you. Is there an air show - I was thinking of the title?

Sean said...

Those hardy readers who made it to the penultimate paragraph would have found the answer to your question (and a link), Anonymous. Your eyes must have glazed over at the nerdish exposition of train tickets and bus routes.

Anonymous said...

Apologies, Sean. My reading stamina needs to improve. Your exposition was not nerdish - it was comprehensive.

Django said...

Potentially beautiful walk but the 8 of us had a later start, by about 45 mins, as the train due to arrive at Hassocks at 10.37 was cancelled. By then it was pouring with rain, so very different from yesterday.
On the descent from Wolstonbury hill one of our group fell on a slippery muddy part and seriously injured his wrist. The emergency services were called and three of the group went on to Pyecombe to meet the ambulance and guide the paramedic up to the injured walker and the remaining 4 stayed with him. Spirits were kept high by animated discussions regarding phone contracts, the merits of 12, 18 and 24 months. The injured walker went to the Royal Sussex hospital and we all wish him a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing him on walks in the very near future.
One walker had left the group earlier and two went with the injured walker to the hospital.
That left four, I only went as far as Devil's Dyke but by then the weather had cheered up so was able to enjoy the amazing views.

Joe Skielnik said...

Paul went to hospital and quickly had x ray and was put in plaster as his wrist was indeed broken. Further x ray showed he may need more treatment later in the week in London but we left hospital after 5pm and got train home to London from Brighton at 5.44pm. He got a free cheese sandwich and coffee on the NHS and is seriously reviewing his phone contract! Thanks for help from all the other walkers. Joe.

Nick said...

Sorry to read Paul's wrist was broken. Best wishes for a speedy recovery. I took a bus back to Brighton from Devil's Dyke and have noted the potential hazards of walking on chalk when it's raining.