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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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Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Tuesday Walk - Up and Over the South Downs - and a novel route into the centre of Brighton

SWC 50 - Hassocks to Brighton

Length: 22.5 km (14 miles). Hassocks to Falmer: 12.5 km (7.8 miles)
Toughness: 7 out of 10 (one steep ascent up onto the Downs, but otherwise 4 out of 10)

London Victoria: 10-20 hrs  Brighton service. CJ 10-26 hrs, EC 10-36 hrs
Arrive Hassocks: 11-07 hrs

Return: Brighton to Victoria:  Direct trains at 16-18, 16-48, 17-28, 17-50, 17-58, 18-18, and 18-28 hrs

Falmer to Brighton: 05, 20, 35 and 51 mins past the hour - journey length 9 mins.

Rail ticket: buy a day return to Brighton

Walk Directions: a complete re-write will be ready and up on the website by mid-afternoon, Monday 08 May. I will be on the earlier 09-21 train on Tuesday to update the alternative Jack and Jill start to this walk.

Setting out from Hassocks you head for the village of Ditchling, then cross fields and walk through woods before you arrive at the foot of the South Downs. Then it's a steady but steep climb up to the top, which you cross, to descend in a southerly direction as you head for High Park Wood, with its lovely bluebells. You now proceed across fields and through woodland to the village of Stanmer, with its cafe (an early lunch option) before you pass Stanmer House and walk through the extensive grounds of the University of Sussex. You now head uphill to the village of Falmer, chopped in two by the A27 road, and your suggested lunch stop, the Swan Inn. Last orders are at 2-30 pm and you should make the pub with time to spare. Don't expect gourmet cuisine - but the filling pub grub on offer is served with a smile, and the draught beer is good.
After lunch you cross a footbridge over the A27 to the other part of Falmer. You can terminate your walk here by heading for the nearby Falmer railway station for its frequent service to Brighton. Otherwise, you pass a farm shop - open for fresh food and snacks - and then you pass the impressive, new Amex Stadium, home of Brighton & Hove Albion FC.  It's now across fields with views to the village of Bevenden, which you walk through then head up to Brighton Racecourse.  You traverse the length of the course and then take a path which, to everyones surprise, comes out near the centre of Brighton, by Brighton College. You then walk through the centre of town to the railway station. There are plenty of tea options in the Lanes of Brighton or the surrounding streets.
Your walk directions are here: L=swc.50


Mike said...

Looks like we'll have to go some to get to the pub for 2pm. Would there be any mileage in getting an earlier train? PS Can I propose a walk for my birthday (17th June)?

Marcus said...

Mike, Yes - we have to walk briskly to get to the lunch pub in time - but I have managed it before. Unfortunately, train times are not helpful today. Services from London Bridge and Blackfriars do not get you to Hassocks much before the posted service unless you leave London before 09-30 hrs when senior railcards come into play. The best earlier service is from London Victoria at 09-21 hrs, but this will require an anytime single to East Croydon before your senior railcard can be used.
Your Birthday falls on a Saturday this year and I am sure the walk posters for 17 June will oblige by posting your choice of walk provided you give them plenty of advanced notice.

Mike said...

What's a senior railcard? Mine's a 16 to 25!

Marcus said...

Wrong Mike: the SWC one I know is 50 years too old for your whippersnapper pass.

Sean said...

Not necessarily, Marcus. Bona fide mature students are also eligible for a 16-25 Railcard. A friend of mine studying at college for a new career in later years was able to move smoothly from a 16-25 to a Senior Railcard when he finished his course.

Anonymous said...

Marcus, is there no wed. walk this week?

Marcus said...

Yes - both a daytime walk (Bekesbourne Circular) and an evening walk (Queensway to the Thames)

Anonymous said...

I may take an earlier train from East Croydon and start to walk earlier at a steady plod.


Marcus said...

8 walkers on the scheduled train, and I was one hour ahead, booking checking, so that's n=9 on a mild to warm day that w=started-overcast-but-sunny-after-lunch. The "mature student" with the student's pass zoomed ahead of the group and caught me up just before Stanmer Village. The rest joined me at the Swan Inn, Falmer North, having enjoyed their morning's walk and the stunning bluebells in Highpark Wood, above Stanmer. A few of us partook of the pub grub at the Swan and supped some good draught beer, before I said farewell to my colleagues and headed for Falmer Station, leaving them to wend their way over more downs and Kemp Town Racecourse in sunshine to Brighton.
With the bluebell season now coming to an end, today's walk was the last in the schedule of additional mid-week walks in our Spring programme. If numbers on Wednesday walks become unmanageable again in the coming weeks, the additional mid-week walks will resume at the start of our Summer programme, which starts in July.