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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.

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Saturday, 5 November 2016

Saturday Second Walk - Wealden woods and the Wadhurst bonfire

T=3.05.c SWC Walk 5 (option): Wadhurst Figure of Eight
Length: 17.6km (10.9 miles) or 19.9km (12.3 miles)
Toughness: 5 out of 10

9.53 train from London Bridge (10.11 East Croydon) to Wadhurst, arriving 11.09.

(The sharp-eyed will notice that this train is slightly diverted from its normal route due to engineering works: but this does make it more accessible to East Croydon types.)

Buy a day return to Wadhurst.

I make no apology for once again picking the Wadhurst bonfire and fireworks for 5 November, since this is a charming and pleasant village event, big enough to have a large blazing bonfire that you can get close enough to to "melt your goretex", as one walker charmingly phrased it to me the other day, and with a substantial fireworks display too, yet (in past years at least) not crowded or over-marshalled or full of loutish urban youth.

The event costs £6, gates open 5.30pm, the fire is lit at 6.30pm and the fireworks are at 7.30pm. Since this is a Figure of Eight walk (see below) you could buy your ticket in advance at lunch time from Wadhurst Ironmongers, The Co-op or Jempsons, but in truth we have never had a problem paying on the gate.

The Figure of Eight walk, which covers charming Wealden territory with lots of hills and woods, and later skirts the Bewl Water reservoir, works like this:

- First you do Book 2, Walk 18a, the Wadhurst Circular shorter walk. Directions for this are here and you only need print pages 2-3 and 7-8. You start off on the main walk, then when prompted at point [3], switch to the short walk directions.

- By this route it is 7km (4.3 miles) to lunch in Wadhurst, where you can choose between the traditional Greyhound pub, the White Hart which was revamped last year and now looks rather gastro, or the Wealden Wholefoods Cafe which has some light lunch options.

- After lunch you switch to the directions on page 8 of the SWC Walk 5 directions - here: print the whole document. These take you down the hill to join the afternoon route of this walk where in due course (paragraph 41 on page 5) you have a choice of routes:  The main walk is 7.4km (4.6 miles) from lunch back to tea in Wadhurst and takes in a short section of the shores of Bewl Water. The longer walk takes in a much longer section of the reservoir shore and is 9.7km (6 miles) from lunch to tea.

- Tea is then back in Wadhurst - the same places as for lunch - and you can either go onto the fireworks or not. Afterwards you can walk down the main road to Wadhurst station - there is a pavement all the way and it is 2.2km (1.4 miles). But more interesting is to follow the main walk route down the back lanes - 3.2km (2 miles) - a lovely walk, perfectly doable in the dark (with or without a torch, but a torch is obviously useful).

If you are not going to the fireworks, you can also get a number 254 bus from Wadhurst village - outside the Greyhound - to Wadhurst station, or Tunbridge Wells station which has a more frequent trains service. This goes at 02 past the hour until 18.02.

If walking the back lanes in the dark, note that the field crossing in paragraph 66 can easily be avoided by staying on the road and taking the next road left. Follow this to the very bottom of a steep hill and turn right and then resume the directions in paragraph 69.

I always reckon to allow 45 minutes for the main road route to the station and an hour for the back lanes route. Every year people say they do both quicker, but the point is that you don't want to just miss a train at Wadhurst, as there is nothing in the vicinity of the station and it is a cold place to wait for the next train.

Trains back from Wadhurst are at 19 and 49 past until 19.49, then hourly at 49 past until 22.49


MoonBrain said...

Lovely autumn colours.
Very nice lunch at The White Hart in Wadhurst at a reasonable price.

PeteG said...

n=30 Hugely enjoyable walk. The group got split up around The White Heart, The Greyhound and cafes in Wadhurst. After lunch a group of us set off with to do the extended walk around Bewl Water getting more fragmented on the way. Six of us going to the bonfire arrived back in Wadhurst at dusk, filling in an hour at the Greyhound. The Bonfire was spectacular, as were the fireworks. We only saw two others at the event. Deciding not to rush we headed down the back lanes for the 2149 via The White Hart. A great day out!

Anonymous said...

At least 5 from White Hart pub went home after lunch perhaps for even more spectacular firework displays elsewhere. Five of us did the short version in the afternoon, met one walker who was wondering in the woods aimlessly. Two more walkers who did the longer version caught up with us just before Wadhurst. After a quick visit to Paramor outdoor shop, we decided to catch 5:19pm train with take away tea from a grocery shop as some of us had other bonfire parties to go to. Nice autumn colours with occasional slippery path, an enjoyable walk.