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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, 23 May 2015

Downland and lowlands

SWC walk 108 - Burgess Hill to Hassocks
Length: various options from 13.4km (8.3 miles) to 26.7km (16.8 miles): see below
Toughness: 6 to 8 out of 10 (mainly due to one big climb onto the downs)

9.12 train from London Bridge (9.25 East Croydon) to Burgess Hill, arriving 10.03


9.16 train from Victoria (9.22 Clapham Junction, 9.32 East Croydon) to Burgess Hill, arriving 10.08

London Bridge walkers please wait for the Victoria train before starting!

Buy a day return to Hassocks

For walk directions click here.

This walk had a truly horrid outing in February due to some of the worst weather I have ever encountered on a Saturday walk. I thought it deserved an outing in better conditions and at a nicer time of year, so am crossing my fingers that the weather today is more clement…

The full walk in the walk document is a very long one, and in February some of us shortened it by starting it from Hassocks. But this time I have a different idea. With everyone starting from Burgess Hill, the normal start, you have a four mile walk across the lowlands to the village of Ditchling, where more relaxed types may like to try The Bull pub for lunch (there is also a nice deli, or there used to be).

Faster walkers can hammer on, climbing up onto the South Downs escarpment by a very scenic path to have lunch at the Plough in Pyecombe, a nice pub with a fine menu, but eight miles into the walk (nevertheless a good few got there in February in reasonable time).

Those who lunched in Ditchling will do the climb onto the South Downs after lunch. Once up there it is relatively easy to depart from the walk route and follow the South Downs Way to the Jack and Jill windmills. descend the downs from there to the village of Clayton and follow a path alongside the railway line to Hassocks. This is a 13.4km (8.3 mile) walk from Burgess Hill. Once up on the downs you are off the walk route but you could probably follow this route pretty easily even without a map, providing conditions are clear.

Alternatively, continuing on the walk 108 route to Pyecombe (a possible tea stop for those who have lunched in Ditchling), and then carrying on beyond it, you find yourself on Wolstonbury Hill, familiar from Book 2, walk 23 Hassocks to Upper Beeding. Should you a) have a map or b) be familiar with the route of that walk you can reverse its start to Hassocks, making a total walk of 18.8km (11.7 miles).

Alternatively, continue with the walk 108 route from Wolstonbury Hill brings you to the pleasant village of Hurstpierpoint, 20.2km (12.6 miles) from the start of the walk. From the war memorial in this village you can get bus no 33 at 4.54pm to Hassocks station. There is no later bus from Hurstpierpoint, but you can either walk another 2.7km (1.7 miles) down the road from Hurstpierpoint to Hassocks station, or walk 1km or so west along the main street of Hurstpierpoint to the village of Albourne and get a no 100 bus from there to Burgess Hill station at 17.45 or 18.43.

Or you can finish the walk as specified to Hassocks, 26.7km (16.8 miles).

Trains back from Hassocks are at 06 and 38 past the hour to London Bridge and 34 past the hour to Victoria until 19.06, then at 19.40 and 20.12 to Blackfriars and St Pancras, 20.30 to Victoria, 20.40 to Blackfriars and St Pancras (after that check for yourself!): all trains go to East Croydon.


Pia Rainey said...

I was in Ditchling last Friday with the Friends of The Courtauld and visited The Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft, finalist in Museum of the Year by the ArtFund in 2014. It is a delightful small local museum, next to the church, showing works by local crafts people such as sculptor Eric Gill (as on old BBC building), Edward Johnston (designed typeface for London Underground), printer Hilary Pepler and weaver Ethel Mairet; well worth 30 minutes if you have time to spare. Small cafe with best cakes in 20 miles (no need to pay entry for cafe). lovely shop.

DGA said...

Intend going (and maybe a little surreptitious walk checking?)

Anonymous said...

Saturday 23 May: Burgess Hill to Hassocks. n=20 on this walk. Sadly cloudy all day apart from brief sun at lunch but a lovely day out otherwise. May suits this walk, especially the early part to Ditchling which was awash with buttercups and had nice distant views of the downs to start.

The Bull in Ditchling was friendly and did lunch for about half of us. Menu a bit fancy but the food tasty. The lovely graded climb up onto the downs was sublime. Four peeled off here and went via the Jack and Jill Windmills to Hassocks. Six of us descended to Pyecombe for tea in the pub. Two then went to Hassocks direct, four via Wolstonbury Hill (and a dramatic steep descent down it front) to Hurstpierpoint for another pub stop, then a back path to Hassocks (14 mikes in all).

This leaves ten unaccounted for who were presumably faster walkers. Did they complete the full 16.8 mike route?

cyber said...

In reply to Anonymous question:
Did they complete the full 16.8 mike (sic) route?

Indeed I did and it was a lovely walk, especially the 360° view from Wolstonbury hill in the wind and the steep descent afterwards. I missed the 15:38 train back to London Bridge but got the 4:06 one.