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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, 1 August 2015

Saturday First Walk

I will be standing down shortly - I go away in September
So a new volunteer poster is needed - or volunteers: it is perfectly OK to volunteer for every other week or even one week in four.
Traditionally this slot has been chosen from Book 1 or Book 2 walks and the feeling is that it would be good to continue this
The work involves choosing a walk - choosing a train time and posting it.
The posting team will be very happy to give the new poster/s support
To volunteer email saturdaywalkersATyahooDOTcoDOTuk (or post a comment if you have a question).

Meanwhile here is this weeks walk 

 Book 1 Walk 34 : Balcombe to East Grinstead
17.2km (10.7 miles)
6 out of 10  Just picked this up form the comments
We loved every minute of this walk. We were a group of 10 friends and had a blast. We are not really sporty people, although we try to do some workout now and then. We managed to do the whole thing and be very happy at the end. So don't be discouraged by the toughness level 6.
Explorer 135 or Landranger 187
Map of the walk here

Take the 10.12 from London Bridge Station ( East Croydon 10.25 ) to Balcombe arriving 10.51.
Clapham Junction take the 10.08 changing at East Croydon leaving at 10.25 on the London Bridge train
Trains back from East Grinstead XX.07 XX.37 go to Victoria
Ticket advice is tricky as the two stations are on different lines. In the past Southern have accepted a day return to Balcombe at East Grinstead but they will not accept tickets endorsed "FCC only", which is what you will be offered at London Bridge and other stations served by First Capital Connect. It's probably best to ask for a return to Balcombe valid on any train (eg. by saying that you might want to return to Victoria), but be prepared to buy a single to East Croydon (where the two lines merge) if this isn't accepted at East Grinstead. 
One of the posters did some research about a year ago and posited this 

Thames link Day return to Balcombe £11.50   (10p more than a single)
Southern Day return to Balcombe (Victoria)  £18.90 (10p more than a single)
Southern single East Grinstead to East Croydon  £9.30
so £11.50 + £9.30 = £20.80 is watertight £18.90 is not
or if you're eligible for a 1/3 off ...
£13.73 is watertight  £12.48 is not 

The Bluebell Railway (tel 01825 720 800) is nearby, and it would be possible to combine part of this walk with a trip on a period train hauled by a steam locomotive. The line goes from East Grindstead through Kingscote and Horsted Keynes to Sheffield Park.
See the Comments page for this walk for some ideas on how you could do this.

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.

After lunch, the route is through Giffards Wood then past the Stone Farm climbing rocks (sandstone rocks formed from the bodies of plants and invertebrates, and used as shelters in mesolithic and neolithic times), leading to the shoreline of the Weir Wood Reservoir and nature reserve (home to the great crested grebe, heron and osprey).

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 2.30. 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. On days when it is open another option would be to have brunch at the Balcombe Tea Rooms

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.
From the comments There are a few tea rooms in East Grinstead eg New York Coffee Club and Bluebells (near the station) and The bookshop in the High Street

More info here


Anonymous said...

When you get to East Grinstead station go to the ticket office and ask for an excess ticket. Make sure you show your ticket at the time. If you are lucky they will issue a zero cost ticket on a discretionary basis. (For those with bus passes it is possible to get the bus to Haywards Heath where an excess ticket will cost less than £2.00, if you don't get waved through by the nice man on the barrier.)

Anonymous said...

Prudential Ride London this weekend!
If you're planning to travel by bus to any of the three (London Bridge, Victoria and Waterloo) departure stations on Saturday, your journey will probably affected by this event.

Anonymous said...

n=23, W=sunny_and_warm_all_day
A lovely walk, nice views, lots of lush woods, water features from nearby reservoir, undulating path with manageable distance of just under 11 miles (no short or long cut to confuse or disintegrate the group) - can't beat this proven book one old favourite which continues to bring so much joy to many. All stopped at Cat Inn for lunch. This is a gastropub with price and quality to match. 3 took Bluebell railway in the afternoon whilst the rest- most ended up at The Old Mill pub for refreshment before catching train back to London.

Anonymous said...

Most did not have any issues with the Balcombe return ticket (regardless if it was from London bridge or Victoria). We asked the guard at East Grinstead ticket barrier, he let us through without asking any questions. The group did experienced over-crowded train from London Bridge - some had to stand all the way to Balcombe.

Anonymous said...

Rumour has it that Bridie timed this walk to coincide with Gay Pride's 25th Anniversary in Brighton.
Although the train was heaving with attendees of same and some folks had to stand, there was a great party atmosphere on board.
However, I must say it was nice to step onto the platform at Balcombe and enjoy the relative calm and stunning vistas in this neck of the woods.