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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

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Midweek Day Walk Balcombe to East Grinstead

Balcombe to East Grinstead an Iulius first

Gentle wooded hills, Wakehurst Place Gardens (NT) and a reservoir

Book 1 Walk 34

Length : 17 km or 10.7 miles

Toughness :  6 out of 10

Getting there : Catch the 10:12 am train from London Bridge to Balcombe OR
   Catch the 10:02 from London Victoria (departs 10:08 from Clapham Junction) and change at East Croydon to join the London Bridge train there, departing East Croydon 10:25 am.

Meeting point : Balcombe Station at 10:51 am

Brief Description

This walk has a fair number of relatively gentle uphills and downhills, but is well worth the effort. It starts in the old village of Balcombe, passes Balcombe House, and then goes through the woods and by the lake of Balcombe Estate, up to a farm that can be extremely muddy in wet weather, to reach the National Trust gardens and Tudor mansion at Wakehurst Place around mid-morning. From there the route passes through further woods to the Priest House Museum, Norman church and the lunchtime pub in West Hoathly, the second highest point in Sussex
You may find full details  here

Suggested Lunch stops

The suggested lunchtime stop is the Cat Inn (tel 01342 810 369) in West Hoathly, halfway through the walk, which serves good but fairly expensive pub food from midday to 2pm Tuesday to Friday. Or you could stop earlier at Wakehurst Place, about 5km (3 miles) from the start: the Seed Café is in the Visitor Centre while visitors to the gardens also have the choice of lunch in the Stables restaurant.

Suggested Tea stops

The only place for refreshments near the station is the Starbucks at East Grinstead Sainsbury's (tel 01342 303 167). The suggested tea stop therefore is The Old Mill pub (tel 01342 326 341), about 2km before the end of the walk. Allow 30 minutes from here to reach the station.


OS Explorer : 135

Return train times

Trains return from East Grinstead at :07 and :37 minutes past the hour to London Victoria.  Change at East Croydon for London Bridge (I know, you new that!)


Sean said...

You need to be careful about tickets on this walk. The two stations are on different lines and the book's advice is out of date. If you're travelling out from London Bridge don't get the cheapest Balcombe return ticket, which is only valid on Thameslink services: this won't be accepted by Southern at East Grinstead for the return journey. An unrestricted off-peak return to Balcombe won't go through the ticket barriers there either but in practice this is likely to be waved through. At worst you might be forced to buy an extra single back to East Croydon where the two lines merge.

Anonymous said...

how about swapping this walk for a seaside one please so people can swim ? going to be too hot to trot..

Chris L said...

A tea stop near East Grinstead station that's been popular with SWC walkers for quite a while is Bluebells Café, on the corner of London Road and Railway Approach (01342 458491).

Thomas G said...

There is also a pub or cafe with a raised terrace at the back on the northerly side of High Street, from memory...

Thomas G said...

n=5 w=sunny-hot-and-humid-.-initially-with-cloud-cover
Brilliant walk, as always, even more so today, as the often challenging muddy patches were mostly dried out, and plenty of the kilometerage is under tree cover. Modest pace in light of the heat, with frequent stops at benches or under shady trees. Excellent, fast, and cheerful food and service at The Cat Inn. Great company. 16.37 train for two, Sainsbury's for the others.
The directions could do with an update reflecting changed landscape furniture and new housing, but today wasn't the day to take notes, really...
As for the ticket: my London Terminals - Balcombe rtn (Any Route Permitted) ticket did NOT impress the gate warden at Grinstead, so an extra Croydon single had to be purchased.