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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

Monday, 17 April 2017

Easter Monday Walk – Bluebells, rock outcrops and steam locos

Extra Walk 19c – Tunbridge Wells Circular (long walk, via Groombridge)
Length: 23½ km (14.6 miles), with shorter options (see below). Toughness: 6/10

09:45 Hastings train from Charing Cross (London Bridge 09:48, Waterloo East 09:53, Orpington 10:10, etc), arriving Tunbridge Wells at 10:39.

Trains back from Tunbridge Wells are at 09, 21, 39 & 51 minutes past the hour to 8pm, then three per hour.

I was planning to post this bluebell walk in May but with spring coming on apace I've decided to bring it forward a few weeks by pinching one of the Easter Monday slots. As well as some fine bluebell woods (especially the one just before the lunch stop in Eridge Green) this long walk option will take you past one of the finest sandstone outcrops in the south-east, Harrison's Rocks. On the final stretch back to Tunbridge Wells you're never far from the heritage Spa Valley Railway.

The last time this walk option was posted I gather that a walker following his gizmo inadvertently led the group on the longer route out of the town: unless you really want to do an extra mile or so, I suggest taking the shorter start in §3 down the town's High Street, as per the printed directions for Option c. In just over an hour you'll pass a nice pub in Frant village but I suggest pressing on for another hour to Eridge Green, where it's the last day of a Spring Cider Festival at the Nevill Crest and Gun. There are several places where you can break for tea in the afternoon, including a buffet on the platform at Groombridge station (where a steam train might be available to convey anyone who's over-indulged on the cider and perry to Tunbridge Wells).

Shorter Walks. As well as ducking out at Groombridge, two other options for a shorter walk are described in the walk document:

Later Start: Buy a return to Frant (one stop further down the line), take the train half an hour later (CHX 10:15, etc) and start from Frant at 11:15. This is Option b. You might well meet up with the main group on Frant village green and be able to do the rest of the walk together.

Shorter Afternoon: After lunch in Eridge Green switch to the Main Walk (or Option a if you start at Frant) through Broadwater Warren, skipping the loop out to Harrison's Rocks and Groombridge.

You'll need to print the directions from the Tunbridge Wells Circular Walk page. If you're sure which route you're taking you can minimise the amount printed by clicking on the relevant Walk Option.
T=swc.19.c

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Raptor Centre near Groombridge Place is worth a look. It's about 20 metres off the route. http://www.raptorcentre.co.uk/

PeteB said...

14 off the specified train at Tunbridge Wells but another 6 either starting at Frant or coming on different trains so n=20 in all. Lots of bluebells on South facing slopes but north-facing slopes still not showing at all. With firm underfoot conditions (and this is an important proviso for this walk where some stretches would be very difficult after rain) the long walk makes an excellent summer outing with some terrific views and attractive trails.
We lunched and drank at the Nevill Crest and Gun where the meals were generaly good except for a disappointing biryani where the rice and vegetables were wrapped in a cabbage leaf!
After lunch the group fragmented and six of us enjoyed the superb sandstone Harrison rocks - the centrepiece of the long walk - which are much better than the ones at Eridge and on this holiday Monday well-populated by climbers. I've also never seen so much wild garlic on a walk (no picking; its illegal.)
The six all had a drink at Groombridge station where two departed on the steam train back to Tunbridge Wells with 4 of us continuing on the final leg on the way enjoying the olfactory experience of a local sewage works! (Walks inspector to review the route here.). Arrived in Tonbridge Wells just after 5pm for trains home . A grand day out but the countryside badly needs some rain, foliage looking stressed and "tired". Weather w=dry-cloudy-with-a-cool-breeze.

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