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This Week's Walks - Archive

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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.

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Saturday, 12 December 2015

Saturday Third Walk -- Ho, Ho, Ho!

Combo Walk – Book 1 Walk 25 and Book 2 Walk 29:  Rye Circular – an interesting exploration of the hills, ancient towns and marshland around Rye finishing with some Festive Cheer at a Dickensian themed Christmas Festival in the historic town center of Rye

Length:  About 12 miles

Difficulty:  3ish out of 10 – largely flat with one hill

Train:  Take the 9:34 Faversham train from London St. Pancras, arriving in Rye at 10:54 (with a change at Ashford – arriving 10:11; departing 10:33). For those preferring the slow train, take the 9:10 Ramsgate train from London Charing Cross (9:13 from Waterloo East) to Ashford and connect with the 10:33 departure to Rye – but, beware, this has a tight connection at Ashford, arriving at 10:28; another option with a more forgiving connection time would be the 8:52 Ashford International train from London Victoria (arriving at Ashford at 10:21) and connecting with the 10:33 train to Rye.  Return trains from Rye are at 56 minutes past the hour until 21:56.  Buy a day return to Rye.

This walk is a “hidden walk”, created by combining two existing walks.  It is being posted specifically to coincide with the Dickensian themed Christmas celebration taking place this Saturday in historic Rye.  The walk essentially follows the 1066 trail from Rye to Winchelsea along the base of the bluff, it then goes through Winchelsea and climbs atop the bluff passing a windmill en route to the Book 1 Walk 25 lunch pub in Icklesham (on an alternative route to the one in Book 1).  After lunch, you then follow the Book 1 route to Pett Level where you pick up the instructions for Book 2 Walk 29 (just prior to [7] in the Book 1 instructions (at instruction point 57) and picking up with [4] in the Book 2 instructions).   The route is actually an oddly contorted figure of eight with Winchelsea in the center.   More information and details for this combination can be found here.  Also, do not forget the instructions for Book 1 Walk 25 and Book 2 Walk 29 (or relevant parts thereof).  More information and a schedule of events for the Christmas Festival in Rye can be found here.  For those interested in shortening the walk and/or spending more time in Rye at the Festival, it is possible to catch a bus at Pett Level (check the times at the bus stop near the Smugglers Inn) or Winchelsea in front of the New Inn (hourly at 49 minutes past; then 18:37 and 19:37) or catch a train from Winchelsea (15:50, 17:50 or 19:50) back to Rye.

The recommended lunch pub is the Queens Head (01424 814 552) in Icklesham (about 5.5 miles into the walk).  A booking for 8 at 1:00 pm has been made – which may need to be adjusted depending on numbers.  Tea and/or afternoon refreshments can be had in Winchelsea at the Winchelsea Farm Kitchen (possibly, if open – there has been some press that it is now closed) or the always  trustworthy New Inn, both passed as you follow the instructions back through Winchelsea in the afternoon (though the New Inn is first).  To round out the day, plenty of festive libations should be on offer in Rye.

Enjoy the walk and Happy Holidays!


Unknown said...

I will coming from Hastings

Walker said...

n=11 on this walk, w=grey-and-windy-but-mild. Most came on the high speed train, but a few on the slower option. We had a very pleasant walk out from Rye, including an interesting session of gender bias correction activities at the sign for Dumb Woman's Lane (there is a photo of this if anyone cares to post it up...). Though most seemed initially inclined to do the book 1 route from Winchelsea, they were prevailed to try the alternative route along the ridge to Icklesham and seemed to approve of it.

One is used to having lunch at the Queen's Head in Icklesham in high summer, sitting in its garden and enjoying the view of the valley below. But it was also a very cosy place to sit inside in winter. We did not emerge until well after 2pm and it seemed a bit implausible at this point that we would make it all the way to Pett Level (memories of summer swims!!) and back across the marsh to Winchelsea before dark, but we did just about manage it.

Most took the 4.49 bus here after a hasty tea in the pub, but four of us decided to walk, in the deep darkness, largely without use of torches, across the fields, which we managed to do thanks to cunning navigation by our resident Stargazer. I don't know if those who caught the bus managed to catch any of the Christmas festivities in Rye: we found the town looking very festive but empty of people, as the townsfolk had by now decamped to a carol service in the church. We looked in on this briefly but the charms of the Ypres Inn soon lured us away. Nice dinner there. 8.56pm train home.