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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, 24 June 2017

Pulborough to Amberley - Gentle hills, an RSPB reserve, downland flowers

SWC walk 9 - Pulborough to Amberley
Length: 17.2km (10.7 miles)
Toughness: 5 out of 10: generally flat, but with one big climb near the end

9.36 train from Victoria (9.42 Clapham Junction, 9.53 to East Croydon) to Pulborough, arriving 10.49

Buy a day return to Amberley.

For walk directions click here.

It has been a while since this lovely walk had a Saturday outing. It starts with a gentle range of hills with fine views southwards towards our objective - the South Downs ridge. Just 3.4 miles brings you to the very characterful Rising Sun pub in Nutbourne, which has a lovely garden. It has sometimes been a bit slow about producing food in the past, so I thought an early arrival there would be no bad thing.

Alternatively, another 0.8 miles further on is the White Horse, which as far as I know no SWC-er has ever tried, but which may be perfectly nice too (albeit that it is on a main road, so less tranquil than the Rising Sun). But a large group might like to split between the two.

After the White Horse there is a complete change of scenery - out across the flat marshland of Pulborough Wild Brooks, which has a beauty all of its own. 1.5 miles of this brings you to the RSPB Visitor Centre, which has a self-service tea room and outside tables with panoramic views. It too can be a little slow serving, however (maybe it is a local trait...)

There is then a three kilometre section through the woods down a long and quiet straight road. You could call this section dull - or see it as relaxing (no need to focus on the directions). If it is at all hot, it offers nice shade. Finally, the dramatic finish: a steep climb onto the South Downs up a slope that should be alive with downland flowers and butterflies at this time of year (but you never know: these things are unpredictable) and then a short ridge walk with magnificent views to finish.

In Amberley, if you can get there in time, the Riverside Tea Rooms are a treat, but they shut at 5pm. The Amberley Village Tea Rooms (reached by a short diversion, given in the directions) stay open till 5.30pm. Otherwise the Bridge Inn is an SWC favourite: it is right by the station, has outside tables and serves gorgeous food (including some Greek dishes) from 6pm.

Trains back from Amberley are at 17 past to 17.17, then 18.59, 19.29, 19.52, 20.30 and 21.30 (last train).t=swc.9


JohnnyHastings said...

Having spent a few days in London and here in Hastings I can tell you that it is a bit cooler on the coast. Perhaps a coastal amble. Dover - Deal?

Anonymous said...

How about Sandgate to folkestone?

Anonymous said...

No cancel that, can't attend

Walker said...

N=29 on this walk, including 2 late starters but not including the "walk inspector", who only joined us for tea at the RSPB reserve. The weather was w=drizzly-at-the-start-and-finish-with-a-bit-of-near-sunshine-in-the-early-afternoon. In other words generally cloudy, but some were pleased not to be doing the walk in the heat we had earlier in the week.

Others should comment on the walk route not me, since I am its author, but in my hearing people reported themselves pleased with it. For me this was a walk of little pleasures - a meadow that was alive with chocolate-brown Ringlet butterflies, the flatlands of the Wild Brooks, loads of lesser stitchwort everywhere, the lush greenness of the verges and field corners.

14 or so of us lunched in the Rising Sun in its lovely garden. They huffed and puffed about the intrusion despite having almost no other customers but the food was good when it finally came. Some, I am told, tried the other pub. I would love to know how they got on, having never been there myself. It looked nice when we passed it and someone reported it had a garden.

I assumed most would stop at the RSPB centre for tea but only a handful did. It gets Brownie points for having vegan cakes. Those who did not stop had the Riverside Tea Garden at the end of the walk as their reward. Huge slabs of cake, I hear.

Some of us considered dining at The Bridge but it was too soon after tea so we took the 6.17 train instead. Seven of us then had a Thai meal near Victoria.