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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, 17 February 2018

Saturday Walk - South Downs: Lewes to Seaford or Bishopstone (via West Firle)

Length: 23.3 km (14.5 mi) or 21.4 km to Bishopstone [shorter walks possible, see below]
Ascent/Descent:  500 m
Net Walking Time: ca. 5 ½ hours
Toughness:  8 out of 10 

Take the 09.17 Eastbourne train from Victoria (09.23 CJ, 09.33 EC), arriving Lewes at 10.24.
Return trains from Seaford: xx.25 (92 mins), xx.57 (90 mins), change at Lewes. [departure from Bishopstone is 2 minutes later]. Buy a Seaford return.

This walk, along with the shorter options below, is mainly along ridges and offers superb downland views throughout with an excellent lunch-time pub. The beauty of this walk is that you can see the way ahead so direction finding is fairly easy. In detail: The route crosses the River Ouse in Lewes’s centre and then climbs a lane to a golf club car-park. You then take a signposted path following a circular ridge route, with glorious views throughout followed by a long descent into Glynde. From Glynde pass the (now closed) Trevor Arms , go through the village to cross over the busy A 24 and then take a route passing Preston Court Farm. You go through the entrance to Firle Park, cross a field and enter the village of West Firle for lunch at the Ram Inn. From the pub you take the road through the village to start a long climb up to a spot near Firle Beacon. Follow a ridge top path heading for two large radio masts and then find a gently descending path which eventually brings you to Bishopstone and then along the coast to Seaford.

Two Shortcuts are possible
A – cut out West Firle (cut 4.3 Km, --> picnic lunch); 
B – start at Glynde station (cut 6.1 km) --> 10.50 train from Victoria, chg. Brighton, arr. 12.14

For summary, walk directions, map, height profile and gpx/kml files click here
Lunch: The Ram Inn, West Firle (9.0 km/5.6 mi, food to 15.00, bar menu all day). 
Tea: Plenty of choice in Seaford, the walk author recommends Salts Café. T=swc.181


Sandy said...

Are we sure the 0917/ CJ 0923 train is running? It's not coming up on my journey planner. Although I may go for the Balcombe walk anyway.

Thomas G said...

Comes up on my journey planner, yes. Failing that, next best is a 09.20 via Brighton...

Thomas G said...

13 walkers off the train, 2 more already in Lewes (there for the weekend), 1 more arriving from Brighton a few minutes later, and 1 other met at lunch, who had taken the late train and start from Glynde, i.e. n=17 in total in w=sunny-and-warm-for-the-time-of-year weather.
Fantastic day for a walk across two ridges into the sun and down to the sea, light on the mud-count due to the mostly chalky ground and with very fine views throughout, and only a very light breeze to contend with. The Ram Inn was fully booked inside but had ample space outside in the sun. Meals were of good quality, as was the beer.
Several people expressed that they'd preferred the walk author to copy and paste together the instructions from the various walks this is a combination of, as compared to the skeleton directions currently available. Such as it is, it is practically a map-led walk.
I especially liked the rim-top variant of the out-of-Lewes bit, providing for different views compared to the down-through-the-valley route and also making the approach to Mount Caburn hillfort more dramatic. But also the descent to and through Bishopstone was new to me and much liked.
The fast 7 narrowly missed a train, so took the time to have tea and cakes at Salts Cafe, and then linked up with the slighly slower next sub-group for the 16.25 train, but some of us got inexplicably 'lost' en route to the station and missed that train.
A walk well-liked by all that were there (incl. 2 first-timers).

Anonymous said...

Thank you Thomas for organising a most enjoyable walk with lovely views and very little mud.

One starter from Glynde and also myself got a later train.


Anonymous said...

It was a great walk and a beautiful sunny day, warm enough to eat lunch outside in the sun! I have found the South Downs too blowy on other occasions, but it was really perfect on Saturday.

I started at Glynde. I would suggest to other walkers to have an earlier start on this short-cut route if they want to hook up with walkers on the full walk. Great pub, definitely worth booking in advance and arriving before the lunch rush.

Thank you Thomas for finding me in the Ram to explain the afternoon directions, it was very much appreciated. Also to the walker whose GPS helped navigate the final part.


Karen said...

Very much enjoyed this walk. Lovely views. Kudos to the walk writer!