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Saturday, 17 September 2016

Saturday Third Walk -- Dramatic Cliffs and an Ancient Cinque Port Town

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

Distance:  11.8 Miles or 19 km for those more metrically minded (with options to shorten with bus at Pett Level or Winchelsea)

Difficulty:  7 out of 10

Train:  Take the 9:15 AM Hastings train from London Charing Cross (stopping at London Bridge at 9:23), arriving at Hastings at 10:59.  Alternatively, you can take the 9:42 AM train from London St. Pancras and change on to a train to Hastings at Ashford (arriving 10:20; leaving 10:33) – however, this option does not arrive in Hastings until 11:13 – so you will need to walk briskly to catch the others up.  Also, it does depend on a Southern service – so could be subject to potential staffing problems.   Return trains from Rye are at 56 minutes past the hour until 21:56. Buy a day return to Rye. 

The forecast is looking pretty promising for this Saturday – so fingers crossed the actual weather again follows the forecast…  This is a dramatic coastal walk with a few big climbs in the morning and a nice swimming spot nestled in a remote cove for those still searching for the “last swim of the season” (with high tide at midday on Saturday – conditions should be ideal).  After lunch, the route is more or less downhill or flat across a marsh with another swimming opportunity at Pett Level.  Please note that part of the coastal path has been diverted at the beginning of the walk – see some instructions for the diversion on the walk information page.  You can find more information about the walk and download the walk instructions here.
The recommended lunch spot is the Coastguards Tea Room (01424 814 131) at the top of the last hill and just a bit inland from the Coast Guard Tower.  Alternatively, faster walkers can eat at the Smugglers Inn at Pett Level (01424 813 491).  Tea and other late afternoon 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!

5 comments:

JohnnyHastings said...

The Brighton - Ashford train (the Marsh Line)usually runs but this week there has been a bus replacement service in parts of the route but not everyday. The lovely 100 bus (The Wave) will get you to Rye or back to Hastings. Regarding the paths around the landslip that is a big local debate. At the end of the day it is nature's force and the clif has been eroding for a long tome.

PeteB said...

Several weeks ago I did the Winchelsea to Hastings walk and decided to continue on the path through the landslip section. I found it a struggle, although in my advanced years I am not as fit or limber as I was. The heavy rain today may make the path more unstable and descending it may prove more difficult than an ascent which is what I did. I would think very carefully about ignoring the warnings around using the closed-off path.

Walker said...

This is a very good point, Pete B - heavy rain after a prolonged dry period is perfect landslip conditions. Not only should walkers stick to the signposted diversion, but I would have thought going down to Fairlight Glen for a swim might also not be a good idea. The path is maintained by naturists but goes down a landslip too.

JohnnyHastings said...

At the risk of reducing the grading this walk to a 3/4 you can cut along Barley Lane then through a disused gravel working to emerge near the Fairlight Coastguard Cottages and the café. Just following the path diversions though will still give a decent walk with great sea views.

Walker said...

N=12 on this walk. Obviously we would have liked to have had the weather of two days earlier, but it was not a disaster. Instead there was w=breezy-cloud-breaking-to-sun-at-times-then-rain-later. The best of the sun was just after lunch, when for a time it was rather pleasant. By tea time there was prolonged and heavy rain, however.

Despite doubts from some quarters (including me) nine of us tackled the landslide. The warning signs and barriers have interestingly disappeared from this but the area affected is bigger than last year - i.e. There have been further landslips I would say. For quite a distance the path is "a bit of an obstacle course" as one local said.

Nine of us went down to the sea at Fairlight Glen and five swam. It was high tide and the sun was shining through the cloud making the sea an attractive green against a dark grey sky. There was a long, gentle swell and the water was much warmer than it looked.

After lunch at the Coastguards tea room and the sunny bit, it began to rain as we approached Winchelsea, discouraging any thoughts of walking to Rye. Instead after a cosy tea in the New Inn we all got the bus. Eight of us then ate in the "Wipers Arms" in Rye.