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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, 11 February 2017

Saturday Walk -- Berwick Church, High and Over Hill, the Sea and a Full Moon (hopefully)

SWC Walk 90:  Berwick to Seaford via Berwick Church with Optional Moonlit Ending at Birling Gap/East Dean
Distance:  11.4 Miles or 18.4 km for those more metrically minded

Difficulty:  6 out of 10

Train:  Take the 9:47 AM Ore and Littlehampton train from London Victoria (stopping at Clapham Junction at 9:53 and East Croydon at 10:03), arriving at Berwick at 11:20 (with a change at Lewes, arriving 10:47; departing 11:09).  Return trains from Seaford are at 25 and 57 past the hour until 19:57; then 20:28; 20:57 and 21:28. For those doing the Birling Gap/East Dean ending, you will need to take a bus to Eastbourne from East Dean (best options are at 8:54pm; 9:24pm or 9:54pm).  Return trains from Eastbourne are at 19:55; 20:35; 21:35 or 22:18. Buy a day return to Seaford or Eastbourne, if planning on doing the alternate ending. 
Fingers crossed that Southern operates as advertised AND that the conditions are good for viewing the full moon. For a slightly different twist on this old favorite, we will take the alternate start route via Berwick Church – well worth a visit having been decorated by members of the infamous Bloomsbury Group.  The route then heads to charming Alfriston for lunch.  After lunch, we tackle High and Over Hill with commanding views out towards Cuckmere Haven and the sea beyond.  Upon arriving at the Cuckmere Inn (formerly known as the Golden Galleon), choices abound.  After considering these options over your beverage of choice, you can either (i) continue with the walk over Seaford Head and into Seaford; (ii) if conditions merit, when the lighting is sufficiently low, head East over the Seven Sisters towards Birling Gap to enjoy a moonlit walk along the Downs (note there are a couple of places where you could turn up towards East Dean on this route to adjust the length as desired) or (iii) shorten the walk by catching one of the frequent Bus 12s that stop in front of the Cuckmere Inn (you may even be able to position yourself in the pub to see the buses as they come around the corner into Cuckmere Haven).  You can find more information about the walk and download the walk instructions here.

The recommended lunch spot is the George Inn (01323 870 319) in Alfriston (4 miles/6.5 km into the walk). Tea and other late afternoon refreshments can be had at the Cuckmere Inn in Exceat (7.6 miles/12.2 km into the walk).  Additionally, the Tiger Inn in East Dean is a pleasant watering hole and various pubs are available in both Seaford and Eastbourne.    

Enjoy the walk (and watch out for the werewolves)!

1 comment:

Walker said...

N=12 on this walk and for all that it was w=a-bleak-and-cold-day-with-sleety-drizzle the pleasure of companionship kept us warm.

After a morning trudging over fields and briefly visiting Berwick church and its frescos (plus nice snowdrops), we had a very cosy lunch at The George in Alfriston, even if the delicious food did issue rather slowly from the kitchen. The walk along the river after lunch was slippery but even mist and drizzle could not eclipse the magnificence of the climb over High and Over Hill, which one of our transatlantic walkers rightly described as "the best of England".

At the Cuckmere Inn in Exceat we fragmented. Two at least walked onto Seaford, one took the bus, one set off for Birling Gap and six of us, after tea and puddings, also set off at 4.30pm to walk the Seven Sisters and then up to East Dean. Distance-wise this is no longer than the Seaford ending, though it is of course more uppy and downy. I may incorporate it as an official alternative ending for the walk.

We managed five of the Sisters in the fading dusk light, then did the last three and the walk to East Dean in the dark (and yes, there are EIGHT Seven Sisters: count 'em). After a drink in the Tiger Inn we went on to Eastbourne where we discovered a lovely friendly Thai restaurant in the former freight shed next to the station, finally catching the 9.35 train home.