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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.

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Saturday, 23 September 2017

Southease to Rottingdean - Along the Ouse, then across the downs to the sea

SWC walk 65 - Southease to Rottingdean (or Southease Circular)
Length: 15.5km (9.6 miles), with extensions of up to 24.3km (15.1 miles)
Toughness: 4 out of 10 - one steep climb, basically

9.17 train from Victoria (9.23 Clapham Junction, 9.33 East Croydon) to Lewes, arriving 10.24, changing there (be quick) for the 10.28 to Southease, arriving 10.35.

Buy a day return to Southease. This is valid for return from Brighton.

For walk directions click here. For GPS file click here.

Autumn is officially here, but you can cock a snook at it it with this summery walk, which ends up at the sea. The route starts at remote Southease station and goes along the lovely banks of the River Ouse to Rodmell, then from there across fields to Kingston, near Lewes, where the Juggs is a popular pub but one that we usually manage to squeeze into.

Don't overdo it on the desserts, though, because almost immediately after lunch you have the only real exertion of the day, a steep but glorious climb up onto the downs. You then cross the heart of them to Rottingdean, where there are so many tea options you will be sorry you only have one stomach.

In theory a sea swim is then possible, but the sea seems to have got cold early this year....

To finish the walk at Rottingdean (the 15.5km/9.6 mile version of the walk), you take one of many buses into Brighton. Trains back from Brighton are too frequent to need listing.

An ALTERNATIVE ENDING (about the same length as the main walk - 14.5km/9 miles) splits off from the main route after the post-lunch climb up onto the downs and takes you down the South Downs Way to Southease to make a circular walk. Tea options here are the Abergavenny Arms in Rodmell and the YHA Cafe at Southease (but the latter closes at 4pm). Trains back from Southease are at 36 past till 19.36, then 20.39 (last train), changing at Lewes.

LONGER OPTIONS include:

- Walking along the seafront promenade into Brighton, a pretty walk under cliffs for at least half the way, then through the marina, adding 7.5km (4.7 miles) if you walk all the way to Brighton station, though you can shorten this at almost any point by taking the bus. This makes a total walk of 23km (14.3 miles).

- Walk back to Southease over the downs after tea. As far as I know this 24.3km (15.1 mile) version of the walk has never been done, so you could be the first. Allow a couple of hours to cover the 8.8km (5.5 miles) from Rottingdean to Southease (ie leave by 5.30pm at the latest because it will be dark at 7.30pm). See Alternative Ending above for trains back from Southease. T=3.65

2 comments:

Walker said...

It is always a gamble picking a walk to post. The afternoon of this one can be bleak on a grey day, crossing featureless downs. But when the sun shines (as it did today) it is a glorious promenade across the heights, with the sun glittering off the sea ahead and sharp views to Newhaven, Seaford, Cuckmere Haven and - yes - even Belle Tout lighthouse as a speck on the horizon.

The day started less auspiciously. I left my Network Card at home and so had to pay full fare, and the 9.17 train was delayed for 45 minutes between Gatwick and Hayward’s Heath by a signal failure (I always love the unintended dual meaning in that phrase) at Balcombe. So we got to Southease an hour late. But had the posted train been the 10.17, Lord knows when we would have got there, as we left a chaos of cancelled trains in our wake.

Because of the delays, the 18 walkers at the start swelled to n=25 or so as others who had eg come from Brighton materialised. We still got to the lunch pub at a reasonable time and it was not over busy. There were the usual warnings about meals maybe taking a while to cook but they nearly all arrived quickly. As we ate W=high-cloud-cleared-to-sun.

Some SWC types complain about “too many options” but on this walk all were appreciated. Two did the short walk to Southease to have time to visit Virginia Woolf’s house. The rest of the group went to Rottingdean but a good number - five or more? - then elected to do the long circuit back to Southease (I would love to know how they got on). Among those that remained there was some talk of sea swimming, but instead we tarried in the garden tea room of the library, enjoying the sun, and by the time we got to the beach the sun was low and the heat (and the moment) had gone. We had a nice walk along the cliff bottom promenade instead, two catching a bus just before the marina, three of us going to Kemp Town for tapas. Two of us the finished the walk to Brighton station for the 9.28 train, so all posted options got done.

All in all a lovely summer day out - except it is now autumn. Boo hoo.

Frankie said...

4 plus one well-behaved dog did the long Southease circular walk and met the 2 who had visited Virginia Woolf's house at Southease station in time to catch the 18.36 train. The walk through Telscombe and on the South Downs Way was glorious in the evening sunshine. We passed fields of corn, ripening pumpkins and yet more apples for the taking. The walk directions were clear apart from point 7 where the faintness of the grassy path caused one walker to delay enabling another to catch up.
Sadly the cafe in Lewes station was closed but a machine taking only old pound coins provided some necessary refreshment.
A great day out in good company.