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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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Saturday, 19 September 2015

Saturday Third Walk

Book Two Walk 29: Hastings to Rye – A Dramatic Coastal Cliff Walk ending in Picturesque Rye

Distance:  11.8 Miles (with option to shorten by about 3 miles with train or bus at Winchelsea)

Difficulty:  7 out of 10

Train:  Take the 9:45 AM Hastings train from London Charing Cross (9:47 at Waterloo East BUT NOT stopping at London Bridge), arriving at Hastings at 11:18.  There does not appear to be any advantage to taking the high speed train going out – as the journey time is the same or longer!  Return trains from Rye are at 56 minutes past the hour until 21:56. Alternatively, you could return from Winchelsea on a train at 17:50; 19:51 or 21:53. Either way, you will need to change at Ashford onto either the regular train or the high speed train where there is an advantage on the way back (it is roughly 30 minutes faster on the return).  Buy a day return to Rye (or Winchelsea if you plan to return from there) and consider including the high speed for the return. 
I do not think this walk has had a Saturday outing this summer (while it shares some of the route of the walk to Hastings posted last month going in the opposite direction, it also has a number of differences) – so an effort to squeeze it in before the first day of Autumn! The morning has a few big climbs and a nice swimming spot for those still searching for the “last swim of the season” – the tide will be rising when you arrive at Fairlight (about midway) in the morning and should be just past its peak at Pett Level in the afternoon AND the water temperature is holding at its near peak temperature (16.9 degrees today).   After lunch, the route is more or less downhill or flat across a marsh. You can reduce the length of the walk by catching a train in Winchelsea or taking a bus from just outside the New Inn to Rye (49 minutes past the hour until 17:49; then 18:37 and 19:37).  You can find more information about the walk and the instructions here.  Alternatively, the instructions for the walk are in Book 2.
The recommended lunch spot is the fully licensed Coastguards Tearoom (01424 814 131) at the top of the last hill and just a bit inland from the Coast Guard Tower (or similar structure).  Alternatively, faster walkers can eat at the Smugglers Inn at Pett Level (01424 813491)Tea and other late afternoon/evening refreshments can be had at the New Inn in Winchelsea (from where you can also catch a bus into Rye).  Rye also offers a variety of refreshment spots.    
Enjoy the walk!


3 comments:

Anonymous said...

The path down into Ecclesbourne Glen (the first dip) is still officially closed. I tried it on 4 September. The problem is right at the top at the Hastings end of the diversion: about 80 metres worth. The path is passable but this area is obviously rather unstable with further landslips possible (especially when the ground is saturated by heavy rain….) and I guess this is why (sensibly) the local authorities have kept the path closed.

Marion said...

There's a Food and wine festival on all day in Hastings with Hastings choir singing on the beach, in case anyone is feeling less energetic.

Walker said...

n=9 w=Sunny-with-just-a-bit-of-cloud-in-the-afternoon Congrats to Stargazer for picking a perfect walk for a perfect day. The sun was warm, the sea sparkled, there was almost no wind and views were crystal sharp (to Beachy Head one way Folkestone and beyond the other: Dungeness standing out in sharp detail, France faintly visible).

Seven attempted to swim at Fairlight but three were defeated by the underwater rocks just covered by the tide. The four of us that made it to open water had a fine swim but truth to tell the water was a bit cold. Officially it may have been only just off summer highs, but to me it felt more like early July.

Later at Pett Level we almost passed on a final swim, but one decided to go in and five others joined him. There was a bit of cloud by this time, but it was still a mainly sunny farewell to the sea swimming season.

After warming up on a brisk walk inland to Winchelsea, five got the bus, but three carried on to Rye and one (me) enjoyed a beautiful dusk walk to Winchelsea station - the sun setting, a crescent moon in the sky, robins singing - for the 19.50 train. I then met the Rye walkers for a nice dinner in the Ypres Castle before taking the last train home to St Pancras.

And so the summer ended...