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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, 3 March 2018

Saturday walk - Eridge Circular - a short walk through an interesting part of the Weald

Length: 15km (9.3 miles)
Toughness: 4 out of 10

10.23 train from East Croydon to Eridge, arriving 11.03.

Suggested connecting train from Central London: 9.53 train from Victoria (9.59 Clapham Junction), arriving East Croydon 10.10

For walk directions click here. For GPX click here

I realise that with the snow forecast for Thursday and Friday it is touch and go if this walk will be possible. Much depends on the trains. I am tempted to change it for something closer to London but am aware that some adventurers may relish the prospect of a snow walk. So I will leave it up, but suggest that those setting out for it also bring directions for the Riddlesdown to Coulsdon South walk (book 2 walk 15) as a close-to-London back-up in case the Eridge train is not running. You could liaise with other walkers at the footbridge on platform 1 at East Croydon at 10.20.

If the train does run, this walk will provide an interesting and varied snowy winter outing in lovely quiet countryside that is actually not at all far from civilisation (Tunbridge Wells). The Uckfield line, being one of the very few in the south east to be diesel operated, should also be less vulnerable - famous last words - to disruption (no third rails to ice up etc).

Lunch is in either the Junction Inn (offering Malaysian food last time I looked) or the Crown Inn in Groombridge - both worthy pubs. Tea is in the delightfully remote Huntsman pub just next to Eridge station.

In the afternoon a short cut ending is possible which goes past Harrison Rocks - very fine scenery in its own right. Another alternative is to follow sections 13 and 14 of the Tunbridge Wells Circular walk into Tunbridge Wells, a distance of 6km (3.7 miles). You will probably need to buy another train ticket from Tunbridge Wells back to London, however.

Trains back from Eridge are at 20 past the hour. In the event of train problems, note that the station is just down the slip road from a big A road. A bus stop on the same side of this road has buses to Tunbridge Wells. T=3.120


4 comments:

JohnnyHastings said...

I have been using Southern and SE trains most of the week and things have been quite good overall. This would be a good walk in the snow!

Anonymous said...

There are now 2 footbridges at East Croydon. If the 10.23 train to Eridge is not running, I suggest meeting on the main entrance footbridge on platform 1 (up the ramp)

Walker said...

No, not the ramp, the footbridge - the new one, halfway down the platform. A footbridge is a footbridge and a ramp is a ramp. I meant the footbridge.

Thinking about it, if the Eridge train is not running (it was running on Friday), then a good alternative would be either Oxted or East Grinstead (eg the short circular): both have the advantage that they start and finish in civilisation while taking in good rural places in between. A day return to Eridge would be valid to Oxted and would be accepted from East Grinstead in the circumstances, I am sure. I am sure we will manage to find somewhere to walk.....cross fingers.

Walker said...

What a change from Friday! Arctic conditions in full retreat, w=quite-a-bit-of-sun, low single digit temperatures feeling positively balmy, flowers out again, birds singing once more....

The trains operated without a hitch. The Uckfield Line diesel was sat at East Croydon from before 10am, happily puffing out particulates, so we did not even have to wait for the connection in the cold. The sun came out as we headed south - a nice surprise. N=12 set out. Or was it 13? We met one SWC regular halfway round going in the opposite direction. Was he there at the start?

As soon as we got going, it was clear the snow was melting fast, but there was still a fair amount left. Some tricky navigation around pipeline works at one point, but otherwise a fine morning’s walk. Eight of us squeezed into a cosy sunny nook at the Crown (some non-SWC customers were even sat outside, which was tempting...). What a lovely pub this is: friendly, now with a whole gluten-free menu, bless them, and a vegan nut roast. One could have sat there all afternoon.

More cloud in the afternoon, and as the snow melted, more slush and standing water and mud. Various routes across Broadwater Forest seemed to be taken. Towards the end of the walk there was more sun and then dark clouds approaching but the rain very politely held off until we were in the Huntsman. Another lovely pub! Tea served cheerfully in huge pots. A blazing fire to sit by. Most stayed only until the 4.50 train, but two of us found the warmth of burning biomass too irresistible after the last week’s weather and stayed for the 5.50, spending the hour resolving Brexit and other pressing global issues.