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This Week's Walks - Archive

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.

Blog Archive

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Saturday Second Walk - Gentle hills on the edge of Romney Marsh

SWC walk 106 - Ham Street to Appledore
Length: 18.3km (11.3 miles)
Toughness: 3 out of 10

9.34 train from St Pancras International to Ashford International (arriving 10.11) changing there for the 10.33 to Ham Street, arriving 10.41

Or catch the 9.01 from Victoria (9.26 Bromley South) to Ashford International, arriving 10.28 to connect (be quick, as you have to cross from platform 6 to platform 1) with the above train.

(There is also an 8.52 from Victoria, calling at 9.09 at Bromley South, arriving 10.21 at Ashford, which gives you more time to change)

Buy a day return to Appledore.

For walk directions click here.

Before anyone starts moaning, it has been harder to pick a walk this week than at any time in the twelve years I have been doing this task. A southern choice was clearly wanted to balance out the other two, but all trains out of Waterloo and all out of Charing Cross are affected by engineering works and the Uckfield line is closed south of Oxted.

One other promising idea had already been nabbed by another walking group (I always try to check to avoid clashes). In addition I had a special request to pick a walk suitable for a possible moonlight walk, this being the last opportunity for such on a Saturday before the clocks go forward. While I admit this is a very minority interest, some pity for its adherents might be prompted by the fact that every other moonlight Saturday since October has been cloudy, an amazing run of bad luck.

So yes, it is quite a way to go to Ham Street and it requires an early train for those for whom St Pancras is not convenient. On the plus side, this could make a very nice spring walk, with gentle fields, pleasant views, and a lovely village for tea. I also read that the characterful Woolpack Inn in Warhorne, the lunch stop, has reopened, and as such deserves our support.

For those worried about mud on a relatively low lying walk, I offer no guarantees, but a week of dry sunny weather in March does wonders to the firmness of the ground.

Appledore is an isolated station and there are no refreshment opportunities in its vicinity, so time your arrival there carefully. Trains back are at 05 past the hour, arriving at Ashford at 18 past, changing there for the Victoria train at 35 past and the High Speed to St Pancras at 43 past.

3 comments:

JohnnyHastings said...

I went on this walk with the Wednesday group last summer. Very worthwhile with some surprising gems and a great pub. Probably can't join you but have a good time.

Anonymous said...

Does the train call at Stratford International (just kidding!)
East London Folk can catch it there at 9:41am

Walker said...

N=18 on this walk, all but two or three on the high speed train. The weather was sadly w=cold-and-grey with just an occasional hint of blue sky - such a contrast with the warm sun of last week. But there were signs of spring in the woods with a few wood anemones out and lots more to come. In just three weeks this walk would be ablaze with these flowers, plus bluebells and some good fields of oilseed rape. Already in evidence, however, were lots and lots of lambs - cheering to see them.

Lambs were also in evidence in the Woolpack Inn, but this time in a vast pie - supposed to be for two but enough for four (and I speak as one legendary for his big appetite). This is a lovely pub and the food is excellent, but oh dear, another one falling victim to "We will take your order at the table"-itis, which pointlessly added half an hour to the meal time. For tea, the better-mannered among us gained admittance to Mrs Mollet's High Class Tea Rooms: the rest had to make do with the pub.

Most got the 6.06 train. Five of us lingered in the hope of moonlight but were thwarted for the umpteenth time this winter by leaden skies. We consoled ourselves with a train ride to Rye and a nice convivial curry.