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Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Midweek Werewolf Walk -- Walk 3:129 Berwick 2 East Dean

Extra Walk 129:  Berwick to Birling Gap – East Dean ending – via the Long Man of Wilmington and the former smugglers enclave of Jevington with an optional moonlight extension along the South Downs

Distance:  10 Miles  

Difficulty:  5 out of 10

Train:  Take the 10:47 Southern service to Ore from London Victoria (11:03 from East Croydon), arriving at Berwick at 12:20 (changing at Lewes arriving at 11:47 and departing at 12:09).  To return, you will need to catch one of the frequent number 12 or 12A buses from East Dean to either Seaford (15-20 minutes) or Eastbourne (10 minutes).  The buses run in either direction every 10 or 15 minutes – until about 7pm in the Eastbourne direction when they run at 5, 21 and 51 past the hour until 8:51; then 9:21 and 9:46 and 8pm in the Seaford direction after which they stop at East Dean at 8:01; 8:21; 8:41; 9:01; 9:21 and 9:46.  Return trains from Eastbourne to Victoria are at 18:31; 18:59; 19:31; 20:31; 21:31; and 22:16.  Return trains from Seaford to Victoria (changing at Lewes or Brighton) are at 18:24; 18:59; 19:17; 19:37; 19:57; 20:28; 20:57; 21:28 and 22:20. Buy a day return to Eastbourne.  Note:  There is no weekday bus service to Birling Gap at this time of year – so unless you plan to push on all the way to Eastbourne – you will need stop in East Dean.
Although a slightly later than ideal start given the restrictions on the Network Rail Card, there should be plenty of time for people to complete this delightful downland walk in daylight.  The walk takes a direct route from Berwick to Wilmington for lunch; then, launches up on the South Downs near the Long Man and follows a downland ridge to Jevington, an atmospheric former smugglers enclave. From Jevington, the route again ascends to a downland ridge and follows it to Friston and East Dean with fine views to the sea.  For the more adventurous, there should hopefully be an opportunity to extend the walk from East Dean to Beachy Head in the light of the last full moon before the clocks spring forward next weekend.  We have had good luck with this in the past on this walk – so fingers crossed for reasonably clear skies….  More information and the walk instructions can be found here.
The recommended lunchtime pub is the Giant’s Rest in Wilmington (tel 01323 870 207), about 3 miles into the walk.  Late afternoon refreshments could be had at the Eight Bells in Jevington and post walk libations can be had at the atmospheric Tiger Inn in East Dean.
Many thanks to Arthur Dent for letting Stargazer post this week to cater for an arguably minority interest in moonlight walks…..
Enjoy the walk, beware of the werewolves and don’t forget to bring the silver bullets!

1 comment:

Walker said...

n=8 on this walk, including one late starter who caught us at lunch, proving that even a 10.47 train is too early for some (actually, to be fair, be had bus problems). The weather was w=cloudy which was a disappointment after the warm spring sunshine of the day before. But less cold than of late and increasing signs of spring - willow catkins, celandines, daffodils at their best.

Lunch at the Giant's Rest was as delightful as ever. We then had the glorious scenery of the downs almost to ourselves. All but one of us stopped for tea at the Three Bells in Jevington (the exception being the late starter, who thought we had carried on).

Most got the bus from Friston, but the late starter completed the glorious triangle from Friston to Flagstaff Point, along to Birling Gap and back to East Dean. Two more of us walked down to Flagstaff Point and back, but had not enough daylight left to do more: a pity as it was just wonderful on the Seven Sisters at dusk - utterly quiet, no other walkers whatsoever, and a fabulously low tide (due to the full moon). The remainder of the triangle would have made a wonderful moonlight walk, but it was not to be: for the umpteenth time this winter clouds thwarted us.

The three of us then drowned our sorrows with two bottles of wine (+ dinner) in the Tiger Inn, and ended up rather sleepy on the last train back from Eastbourne.