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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.

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Saturday, 24 September 2016

Saturday First Walk - South Downs and Devil's Dyke

Hassocks to Upper Beeding: Book 2 Walk 23
10 miles / 16.1 km
Toughness: 7 out of 10

A classic downland walk via Devil's Dyke with many fine views, finishing at the riverside village of Upper Beeding.

The usual return route is by bus to Shoreham-by-Sea and by train back to London, but there are also longer variations of this walk that finish at either Fishersgate station or Shoreham-by-Sea (both are an extra 1.7 miles/2.7km).  This option is not included in the main walk directions - see links below.


Trains:  Take the Brighton train from St Pancras 9:10, Blackfriars 9:22, East Croydon 9:49, arriving at Hassocks at 10:28. 
There are two return routes from Upper Beeding:
a) Bus 2 from Upper Beeding to Shoreham-by-Sea station, via Shoreham High Street, journey time 14 mins.  From Shoreham-by-Sea there are direct trains to London Bridge (not Victoria today due to engineering works).  The same bus also continues to Brighton.
b) Bus 100 from Upper Beeding to Burgess Hill station on the London-Brighton line.  Journey time about 45 mins.
Train times from Shoreham-by-Sea: xx17/xx42 (except 19:13 not 19:17), last direct train 21:42
Bus times from Upper Beeding (stop opp King's Head):
No 2: 16:45, 17:35, 18:41, 19:35, 20:35, 21:35
No 100: 16:16, 17:16, 18:20
A return to Shoreham-by-Sea covers the whole train journey.  A cheaper alternative is a Thameslink only Brighton return, which will get you back from either Brighton or Burgess Hill.

Lunch: The Devil's Dyke pub (5 miles) - large and popular pub, food served all day.  Just before Devil's Dyke is The Hiker's Rest at Saddlescombe Farm - a kiosk serving tea/cakes and some hot food.

The King's Head or the Rising Sun at Upper Beeding sound like good places to wait for the bus.  Shoreham-by-Sea has further refreshments, fish and chips etc.

Regular walk directions (pdf)
Alternative endings at Fishersgate/Shoreham

T=2.23

2 comments:

Walker said...

Please note: if doing the valley ending on this walk an electricity cable was laid across the route earlier this year and the area where the work was done - a long linear gash across the downs - is fenced off. This does not affect the route as described at all but it may confuse you (it confused me for a while and I wrote the walk!). Basically not long after the start of the valley ending the directions say you emerge from between fences onto open downland.....except that due to the works at this very point you come to a fence with a gate in, with another fence and gate beyond. Pretend these are not there. Turn right BEFORE them. The new fence (now to your left) actually provides a useful guide over what was previously open downland. The directions now work fine.

I researched an update to the directions to this effect and made other very minor updates to the valley ending a month or two back, but alas I have not yet had a chance to put an updated document on the site. It was first on my To Do list for NEXT week......

Walker said...

N=14 on this walk. W=A-fine-sunny-day made this perfect for a walk in the downs. I am biased (because I created this walk) but to me it has always been the perfect downland outing. A few of us ate at the Hiker's Rest, savouring the opportunity to sit outside in the sun. Others bought cakes to takeaway and headed off mysteriously into the hills with them.

One or two did the harder original route up Devil's Dyke, some ate in the always busy pub there. After lunch it was a cloudier and on Truleigh Hill we ran into a London to Brighton off-road cycle event whose (mostly male) participants clogged the route all the way into Upper Beeding, apart from a central section on grassy paths where we escaped from them.

After a quick drink at the King's Head webthen dashed for the 4.47 bus, some to go home, two to walk the last bit along the River Adur into Shoreham, and four to go to the beach where two of us planned a last summer sea swim. But alas for one of the two - me - the waves looked a bit too big. My more intrepid companion went in regardless and bobbed up and down alarmingly, but emerged satisfied. We then had wine on the beach and watched the sunset (see photo on the SWC Facebook page).