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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, 20 February 2016

Saturday Second Walk -- Great Lewes Circular

Extra Walk 47: The Great Lewes Circular (Anticlockwise) – An Energetic Walk over the South Downs with Great views, Three Hills, Three Pubs and a Ridge

Distance:  14 Miles (or 10.7 if stopping in Glynde) – for the more metrically minded, that would be, 23.5km or 17.2 km, respectively.

Difficulty:  7 out of 10

Train:  Take the 9:47 Bexhill/Littlehampton train from London Victoria (9:53 from Clapham Junction and 10:03 from East Croydon), arriving at Lewes at 10:47.  Return trains from Lewes are at 16 and 54 minutes past the hour until 19:54 when they become hourly at 54 past until 21:54; then a final one at 22:40.  For those opting to end the walk in Glynde, the trains from Glynde are at 23 minutes past the hour. Buy a day return to Lewes (or Glynde if planning to stop there). 
This is an energetic walk over three distinct downland ridges with magnificent views throughout.  For most of the day, you can see your onward route in front of you and your previous route behind.  While there are three substantial climbs, most of the walk is gently undulating across grassy downland – so should be mud free.  For those who linger over drinks at the Trevor Arms in Glynde, there could be an opportunity for a nearly full moon nocturnal walk over the last downland hill into Lewes.  The walk can be shortened by catching the train from Glynde back to Lewes.  Fingers crossed for some clear skies and dry weather to fully enjoy this epic walk.  Further information and the walk instructions can be found here.
The recommended lunchtime pub is the Abergavenny Arms in Rodmell (01273 572 416), about 5.5 miles into the walk.  Tea and other afternoon refreshments can be had at the Trevor Arms in Glynde.   Lewes also has a wide variety of tea shops, pubs and restaurants at the end of the walk.

Enjoy the walk!


Thomas G said...

n=20 w=overcast-to-misty-then-rainy-and-windy-then-very-windy
20 off the train (and also a similarly large group of younger walkers, which did the same walk, but thankfully in the opposite direction, so we didn't clash at the lunch pub). Good pace throughout, although inevitably the group disintegrated a little bit over the hours. Strong winds on the Downs, initially from the side. Lunch at Rodmell was tasty and reasonably fast in delivery, although the pub was heaving with lunchers. After Southease the rain started and the wind increased to gales(from the back now), so a tea stop at the Glynde pub was gladly taken by most of the faster walkers. Only a few then continued on to Lewes though, i.e. now into the wind and the ceasing rain. One - lightweight - walker got blown off a stile and kissed the mud on this stretch.
16.54 train, on which most of the Glynde-contingent were found.

All in all, a lovely, challenging walk, w/o many/any views due to the conditions. The "should be mud free" statement proved to be true on the top of the Downs, but far less so on the chalky approach paths and the slithery ascent from Glynde to Cabourn Castle (Wealden-type gooey stuff there). Combined with the - at times - horizontal rain and driving wind, this might sound like a perfect pre-pre-warm up walk for the Scotland trip in May, and it was.
As this is what I was looking for, I am: one happy customer.

Walker said...

8 of us followed you in doing the Glynde to Lewes finish, Thomas. A tough climb, firstly up a slippery mudfield with the wind blowing us backwards, then struggling like Polar explorers uphill on grass into the teeth of the gale. Intense winds on the top of the ridge, a tricky stile crossing (thankfully without being blown off), but we then kept straight on into the dip (departing from the walk route) where the winds eased a bit. Still just about light when we approached Lewes at 5.20pm. One of the more challenging SWC walks I have ever done, but exhilarating. Five of us stayed for an Italian meal.