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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, 10 October 2015

Saturday Second Walk - Walking south towards the South Downs

SWC Walk 8 - Billingshurst to Amberley
Length: 21.9km (13.6 miles)
Toughness: 5 out of 10

9.32 train from Victoria (9.38 Clapham Junction, 9.48 East Croydon) to Billingshurst, arriving 10.44

Buy a day return to Amberley, from where trains return at 17.17. 18.17, 18.59, 19.29, 20.29 and 21.29.

For walk directions, click here.

With just three Saturdays left before the Great Darkness descends, this is nearly the last chance (for most of us, at least: we pass over those superhumans who say 15 mile walks are possible in January) to do longer walks. So I have picked this walk to make full use of the daylight.

It is also one of the more neglected walks in the SWC repertoire, having not had a Saturday outing for two or three years. It would be idle to pretend that it is an undiscovered gem, but it is certainly a pleasant enough day out with various small delights, heading southwards across initially flat country but gradually becoming gently hilly, with increasingly fine views of the South Downs.

Lunch is at the very lovely Rising Sun in Nutbourne, one of my favourite SWC walk lunch pubs and one I am sorry we don't visit more often. It is the only lunch option, so is maybe worth giving a courtesy phone call if the group is large, but (famous last words!) it has always previously managed to accommodate us easily.

You have 7.8 miles still to do after lunch, but plenty of daylight to do it. The South Downs now loom larger and larger in the landscape, and finally you climb them and follow their ridge, with fine views, down to Amberley.

Speedy types may get to the Riverside Tea Rooms before they close at 5pm, or divert to the Amberley Tea Rooms, which close at 5.30pm. For the rest of us, there is the not inconsiderable consolation of the Bridge Inn, one of the very best end of walk pubs, which has the dual advantage of serving wonderful food and being immediately adjacent to Amberley station. Linger a while there and toast the memory of the summer now past….

1 comment:

Walker said...

n=18 or possibly 20 on this walk. W=hazy_sun_in_the_morning_but_cloudy_pm A very pleasant and talkative group who I think all enjoyed the walk and its various little delights. A path diversion is being proposed at one point in the route, but I had a chat with the homeowners who are proposing it and they walked the route with me, so I will incorporate this in the directions.

The Rising Sun pub was as charming and friendly as ever but despite being warned of our coming were decidedly dozy in taking orders. They insisted on serving all thirteen meals at once, which meant we waited nearly an hour while they cooked them all. But this time was spent pleasantly in the garden - it is only a pity that by now the hazy sun of the morning had given way to cloud.

As a result of all getting served at once, we did leave lunch together, however, and we largely kept together in the afternoon despite keeping up a fairly determined pace. After a close-up view of a glider being towed into the air at Storrington we had a stiff climb up onto the downs - a strain on aching leg muscles - but a nice finish along the top.

Most had the briefest of drinks in The Bridge before getting the 6.17 train. Six of us lingered as instructed by the walk post, however, and four of us had dinner, catching the 8.29 (by which time it was impressively dark).