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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, 26 March 2016

Saturday Third Walk [New Walk] - The Low Weald, South Downs views, big Country Estates, one the cause of a famous legal battle for access rights,Vivien Leigh’s last home, the Tickerage Stream valley & Buxted Park

SWC Walk 262 - Uckfield to Buxted
Length: 21.6 km (13.5 mi) [shorter walk possible, see below]
Ascent/Descent: 340 m; Net Walking Time: ca. 5 hours
Toughness:  5 out of 10 

Take the 08.57 train from London Bridge (platform 13, I'm told), arriving Uckfield at 10.21; change at East Croydon!: arrives  09.15, departs 09.23 [or take the 08.52 from Blackfriars, arrives  EC 09.18]. Due to engineering works there are no services from Victoria to EC today!, neither are there direct trains from LBG to Uckfield
Return trains: XX.38 hours (change at East Croydon, 79 minutes journey time)
Buy an Uckfield return.

First posting of this new walk, re-structured from one originally taken from a 3rd party website (SWC 201 - Uckfield Circular via van Hoogstraaten's Path), we will take the opportunity to check the walk directions.

To quote the write-up:
This undulating amble through some varied scenery in the Low Weald Countryside provides ample South Downs views in the morning from the Uck valley and on the way to and through the East Sussex National Golf Course, before turning north east through the High Cross estate, owned by property developer Nicholas van Hoogstraten, who was at the centre of various legal battles with The Ramblers after blocking or otherwise obstructing rights-of-ways across this estate.
You then pass a couple of manor houses, one with pretty ornamental lakes and ornate landscaped gardens, en route to lunch at the charming 14th century Blackboys Inn in Blackboys.
From lunch the route turns west along Vanguard Way and Wealdway for a long stretch through the tranquil valley of the Tickerage Stream, past Tickerage Mill, Vivien Leigh’s abode in the final years of her life, and finishes through Buxted Park, an old deer park in Ashdown Forest parkland, past the very large, elegant Palladian Buxted House (now a hotel) in its hilltop position. Disclaimer: there are plenty of stiles on this walk, and the morning section has some very mud-prone parts. A shortcut around lunch, routing through Framfield, reduces the length to 18.1 km and the rating to 4/10.

There is also an officially blocked footbridge near the end of the walk, due it having being lifted out of a level position by this winter's floods (see my photo in the photos section), but it poses no real problem: even the local dog walkers are going across it. Plus, by now the water levels should allow wading through the stream again.

The lunch stop on the full walk is The Blackboys Inn in Blackboys (14.1 km/8.8 mi, a table has been booked for 13.30 hours), or the Hare & Hounds in Framfield on the short walk (12.3 km/7.7 mi). For tea the choices are: The White Hart or The Buxted Inn, both rather gastro-ey pubs, both within minutes of the station.
Should you fancy the lunch pub in Blackboys, and a bit-part walk, but not the full walk and the high hard surface count of the morning route: take the 10.57 train (arrives Uckfield 12.21), then follow the walk directions to the bus station and take the Number 31 bus at 12.33, arrives Framfield 12.39 (and Blackboys 12.43). From Framfield re-trace the shortcut to where it diverges from the main route (have a look at the online map, ‘tis very straightforward), and pick up the main route from there. If doing that, please book an additional place at the lunch pub.

For walk directions, map, height profile, photos and gpx/kml files click here.


DAC said...

Intend going.

Karen said...

n=8 w=overcast-blustery-but-mostly-dry

7 off the train, met by one walker who missed the train in London yet through a combination of ingenuity and cunning, somehow beat the group to Uckfield. The day was overcast and cold, a great contrast to the previous day's sunshine, but at least the rain held off for most of the day. A little drizzle at one point in the afternoon, but no heavy rain until we were safely inside the pub at Buxted at the end of the walk.

In the morning, we had to cross some busy roads which wasn't particularly pleasant. Four stopped off for elevenses at The Halfway House at East Sussex National Golf Club. A friendly welcome and delicious Berliners. Five for lunch at The Blackboys Inn, two picnicked outside and joined for coffees. (The eighth walker had disappeared by then.) Lunch stretched to almost two and a quarter hours as service was quite slow. On the upside, the food when it arrived was very good. The two picnickers went on ahead and the pub diners stuck together for the rest of the day.

The walk was muddy in places with field crossings being quite sticky. Fenced-in grassy paths presented the usual problem: very muddy, squelchy patches that were impossible to avoid. One walker slipped and ended up getting up close and personal with one such muddy patch. A couple of bluebells were spotted and lots of bluebell shoots, so may be a nice walk for bluebell spotters in a few weeks time, especially if there is some good weather and the ground has time to dry out. The second half of the walk was particularly nice, with some nice views, rolling hills and wooded areas.

Just missed the 17:38 back to London. A pleasant hour spent in The White Hart before catching the 18:38.

(Other stats: 32 stiles, one horse with very short legs, one change of trousers, one sheep fatality causing slight delay to outbound train)