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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, 4 November 2017

Wadhurst via Bewl Water Circular - for the bonfire/fireworks and full moon

SWC walk 5 - Wadhurst via Bewl Water Circular
Length:         - main walk: 16.9km (10.5 miles)
                     - short walk: 12.9km (8 miles)
                     - long walk: 19.3km (12 miles)
Toughness:     5 out of 10

9.53 (Hastings-bound) train from London Bridge, (10.11 East Croydon), arriving Wadhurst 11.06

For walk directions click here. For GPX file click here.

This is a pleasant and gentle Weald walk with a choice of a shorter and longer route in addition to the main one. You don't have to make this choice till mid afternoon (about an hour after lunch at the Old Vine in Cousley Wood) and it basically involves how long you want to spend walking along the shores of the picturesque Weir Wood Reservoir.

Once this decision used to be swayed by the desire to get to the Wealden Wholefoods Cafe before it stopped taking orders at 4pm. But now there are later tea room options, including a very nice Jempson's cafe, which is open till 5pm. There are also two pubs.

The big reason for choosing this walk today, however, is to coincide with the Wadhurst bonfire and fireworks, an event that combines a good-sized bonfire and a full scale fireworks display with a friendly village atmosphere - well-attended without being crowded. I cannot find the ticket price online but in the past it was £5-7 or so and we never have never had any trouble getting them on the day. Doors open 5.30pm, the bonfire is lit at 6.30pm and the fireworks are at 7.30pm.

Whether you do or not not go to the bonfire, you have a choice after Wadhurst village of going a very nice way down back lanes to the station (3.2km/2 miles) or down the main road - a pavement all the way but rather tedious - (2.2 km/1.4 miles): it is best to allow one hour for the former and 45 minutes for the latter: they can be done quicker if you walk briskly but you don't want to just miss a train at Wadhurst, as there is nothing to do in the vicinity of the station until the next one.

There is also a 254 bus at 04 past the hour till 18.04 from outside the Greyhound pub in Wadhurst to Wadhurst station (6 minutes). If it looks like you are just about to miss the train, you could stay on this bus another 18 minutes to Tunbridge Wells station: you probably won't get to London any quicker, but you will be warmer while you wait.)

Trains back from Wadhurst are at 21 and 49 past till 17.49, then 19 and 49 past till 19.49, then hourly at 49 past till 22.49.

Alert readers will see that if you go to the bonfire and stay for the fireworks, you probably want to leave fairly smartly afterwards if you are going to catch the 20.49 train (arr London Bridge 22.00). At this time of night walking down the main road is obviously the easier option, but for those who enjoy walking the back lanes in the dark - always magical - note that there will be a full moon today, so if that is not obscured with cloud it might be even more magical.... T=3.5

1 comment:

Walker said...

N=13 on this walk. W=Mainly-just-grey, despite a forecast of rain: we had a tiny bit of precipitation at the beginning and, surprisingly, also in the early evening after the skies had looked to be clearing. But never anything worth worrying about. Just as well, as it was weirdly mild for early November - too warm for wearing waterproofs really.

The walk was pleasant, not too muddy and with all trees now showing some autumn tints (I still predict next weekend for peak colours). Nearly all of us, I think, did the long version of the walk, which gave us lots of opportunities to wonder at the astonishingly low water levels in Bewl Water Reservoir. Large portions of it were green valleys, with lush grass growing for some way below the high watermark, suggesting it has not been full for a long time.

We got to Wadhurst just as it was getting dark, which was just too late for Jempson’s tea room. The White Hart did tea, but not in pots alas, and tasty, though overpriced puds. Nine went to the Wadhurst Bonfire, which was as delightful as ever: a massive great blaze - “the last sunbathe of the year” - and fireworks that would not disgrace a city event.

By the time it was over the full moon was emerging from the cloud. Six of us walked the back lanes in the magical moonlight and deep November night, serenaded by lots of hooting owls. We met the other three bonfirers, who had walked the main road route, on the 20.49 train, and polished off two bottles of red wine on the journey home.