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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, 3 July 2021

Saturday Walk Winchelsea to Hastings - Icklesham, Pett, Fairlight, Hastings Country Park, steep Glens, a secluded beach for swimmers, then on into Hastings

Book 1, Walk 25 - Winchelsea to Hastings

Length: 20.3 km (12.6 miles).    If starting walk from Rye: 15 miles
Toughness: 9 out of 10       Up and down several steep glens towards the end of the walk

London St Pancras:   09-34 hrs   Southeastern High Speed service to Dover Priory
Arrive Ashford International: 10-11 hrs   Change trains
Leave Ashford International: 10-25 hrs   Southern stopping service from Ashford Int. to Eastbourne
Arrive Rye (Sussex): 10-46 hrs
Arrive Winchelsea:   10-51 hrs


Hastings to London Charing Cross:  31 and 50 mins past the hour  (journey length 1hr 33)
Hastings to Victoria: 23 mins past the hour  (journey 2 hr 13)
Hastings to St Pancras (changing at Ashford International): 27 mins past the hour (journey 1 hr 30)

Rail ticket: the walk notes tell us to buy a day return to Winchelsea, but a day return to Hastings any route permitted might offer more return options.  Please make sure your ticket includes the High Speed legs of your journey. 

Covid-19 Compliance: [until 19 July 2021] please note the current guidance on this website and observe social distancing. You should all come prepared to exchange contact details for track and trace purpose. You can either pre-register for this walk (not essential ) by e-mailing me at  or, if you prefer, please write your name, e-mail address and contact 'phone number on a small piece of paper for handing to me on the train or when we assemble at walk start. Thank you.  

This is an invigorating walk, but not one for the faint hearted. The hard work - up and down steep glens - comes towards the end of the walk when you are already getting tired - so do please try to conserve your energy. But your efforts are well rewarded by fine views all day.  Swimmers have the opportunity to recharge their batteries before the final steep glens by taking a dip at the secluded beach at Fairlight Glen - do please take care when descending the path down to the beach and back up.

The main walk starts at the remote railway station (a halt) of Winchelsea - some way from the old town.  If starting your walk at Rye you take the well signed 1066 Country Walk path before joining the main walk when passing Winchelsea railway station. After a short section of road walking it's on then over fields and meadows and uphill to the village of Icklesham for an early lunch option,  the popular  The Queens Head with a good size beer garden.  The walk continues down through farmland to the village of Pett, where you come to your second lunch stop option - the Royal Oak Inn Recently reopened after a change in management post Covid lockdown, hopefully the pub is serving lunch today.

After lunch the walk continues down to Pett Level (a swimming beach) then up a series of paths to Fairlight, where detours to avoid cliff erosion take you to Hastings Country Park.  You next come to the Glens - Warren, Fairlight (with beach down below) and Ecclesbourne. The last of these has been officially CLOSED since 2014. Locals - and some visiting walkers - have ignored the closure notices and walked up the rough terrain over the landslips. An alternative route complying with the path closure is included in the Walk Directions. 

You finally arrive at the top of the last glen and come out onto the broad grassy plateau above Hastings. with fine views of the town below. You now head gently downhill to Hastings Old Town  with a couple of good pubs, before continuing along the sea front of the New Town. The railway station is up the hill from the pedestrianised part of the town centre.

Many SWC walkers consider this walk to be one of the best if not the best in the original TO Book. Enjoy !

Walk Directions are here:  L=1.25

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