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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

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Wednesday Walk - Cinque Ports and Steep Glens

Book 1, Walk 25 - Rye to Hastings

Length: 24 km (14.9 miles)
Toughness: 10 out of 10

London St Pancras: 09-37 hrs
Arrive Ashford International: 10-14 hrs
Leave Ashford International: 10-33 hrs  Brighton service
Arrive Rye: 10-54 hrs

Return: Hastings to St Pancras via Ashford International:  17-09, 17-36 , 18-36, 19-37 and 20-36 hrs.
Return: Hastings to London Charing Cross: direct trains at 17-50, 18-46, 19-50 and 20-50 hrs.
Return: Hastings to London Victoria: direct trains at 17-55, 18-55, 19-55 and 20-56 hrs.

Rail ticket: buy a day return to Hastings, with a HS1 supplement.

This is the toughest walk in Book 1 - and possibly the toughest in the SWC repertoir, with most of the hard work - up and down steep glens - coming towards the end of a long walk when a walker is already tired. But the walk in rewarding and worth the mega effort for its variety and views !

Your long day's walk starts in the pretty Cinque Port of Rye, where you take the 1066 path into Winchelsea, once a port but now landlocked. Then its over farmland, fields and water meadows to Icklesham for an early lunch at the usually excellent  Queens Head pub tel: 01424-814552. Please 'phone ahead with numbers - your e.t.a should be just before 13-00 hrs.
After lunch you descend to Pett Level and the sea, where a later lunch option is available at the Smugglers Inn. Onwards now into the National Trust's Fairlight Estate, where you soon find yourself dodging landslips as you make your way towards the Glens, and the hard work descending and ascending them. In recent times you have to take a diversion around Ecclesbourne Glen to avoid a land slip: all will become clear when you get there ! Eventually you arrive on the grassy cliff top above Hastings for your final, level walk into Hastings, for much needed refreshments in one of the pleasant pubs in the Old Town,
Today's walk is not suitable for anyone with evening appointments back in London: you will not make it to Hastings much before 6 pm, and probably later.
Walk directions: here L=1.25

Next Week, Wednesday 31 May : SWC 263c - Haslemere to Midhurst


Unknown said...

Sadly I can't join you in this occasion. Last time I led a small group of tired walkers from the Coastguard Tea Rooms (up for sale by the way) back to Hastings by avoiding the glens. Happy to advise but reluctant to suggest a less strenuous route.

Anonymous said...

Managed to go straight through the glens last time in spite of signs trying to frighten people off jfk

Anonymous said...

One of the best walks and best pubs in SE Britain....

Brid said...

Anybody doing this walk?

Marcus said...

Brid - there should be a few takers

Marcus said...

7 of us were on the scheduled train from St Pancras and Ashford, to start the walk in Rye, whilst 2 took alternative trains to start their walk from Winchelsea station, joining the rest of us at lunch, so that's n=9 on a w=hot-and-sunny-day-but-with-a-relieving-breeze-on-cliff-tops.
The morning leg from Rye to Icklesham on the flat was most pleasant, with late lambing in this part of the world adding to the peaceful, bucolic scenery. Up a hill to the Queen's Head pub, as busy as always, where 8 of us dined (7 satisfied customers: the chef's concept of a cheese sandwich left our eighth diner bemused - she returned it). A good choice of beer, though, and friendly staff, so having rehydrated we set off on the long, demanding afternoon leg. We took on board more liquid at the customer friendly Royal Oak Inn above Pett (Note: a good alternative lunch stop, particularly at weekends when the Queen's Head is heaving). We now said goodbye to one walker who took the bus from Pett to Hastings, to be in time for a London evening appointment, and when we reached Pett Level, another colleague opted to return to Rye on the Book 2 walk - we met him on the evening train home to Ashford. Fairlight and the glens proved to be hard work in the heat, as expected, and after much head scratching most opted to walk down and up Ecclesbourne Glen, still officially closed following land slips. It was passable, but on reflection we should have stayed on the upper glen and diverted around the closed glen. However, no harm done, but we were now behind schedule and on arriving in Hastings most of us headed straight for the railway station, taking much needed liquid there before catching the 18-36 train back to Ashford. A short wait for the Javelin train and I was soon in my local in Pimlico in time to watch the denouement of the Ajax -v- Manchester United game - accompanied by a beer or two. Verily, it had been a hot day - and I was still thirsty !