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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, 31 March 2018

Saturday walk - Ashurst to Eridge - the Weald, tea in a hospital and Wooden Ms

Length: 21km (13 miles) - though shorter routes available
Toughness: 5 out of 10

10.23 train from East Croydon to Ashurst, arriving 10.58.

Suggested connecting train: 9.53 (East Grinstead) service from Victoria (9.59 Clapham Junction), arriving East Croydon 10.10.

Also possible, though with a tight connection, is the 9.42 from St Pancras Thameslink (9.46 Farringdon, 9.52 Blackfriars), arriving East Croydon at 10.18.

Buy a day return to Eridge.

For walk directions click here. For GPX click here.

The magic of evaporation is now at work and I am taking a punt that the Wealden winter mud will now have dried out to allow us to do this fine walk in comfort. It boasts plenty of nice hills and pastures and views, probably some lambs and doubtless multiple signs of spring.

Lunch is at a pub in Spedhurst that accommodated us perfectly well on a previous outing (though it was sunny and we sat in the garden). Tea is bizarrely in the cafe of a country hospital - at least if you can get there by 4.30pm. Otherwise, there are pubs in Groombridge or by Eridge station. There is a shorter ending (15.8km/9.8 miles) to Ashurst station but this has no tea, or you can cut out the hospital tea and go straight to Groombridge (18km/11.3 miles)

Towards the end of this walk there are also good displays of wood anemones - both above Harrison Rocks (note, take the path along the top of the rocks for the best displays) and in the lane leading down to Eridge station. They may not yet be at their best, but there should be more than were evident on the Cuxton walk last week. Only on reasonably warm days do the flowers open up and give the best effect, however. (Will we ever have a warm sunny day in this country?)

Lonely Eridge station and its lovely adjacent pub are a great place to finish the walk. Trains back are at 50 past the hour, serving Ashurst five minutes later. T=3.236

1 comment:

Walker said...

N=18 on this walk. There were flashes of brightness as we got off the train and the six of us who persisted to Eridge enjoyed full sunshine for the last half hour. But stow your jealousy because otherwise the sky was that familiar w=grey we have grown to know and love in this winter without end. At least it did not rain, except for briefly during tea, sending those rash fools who had sat outside in the mistaken belief that it was spring scuttling back inside.

The Good Friday deluge had alas turned the top layer of soil to slithery mud. Otherwise I do believe the walk might have been reasonably dry. The lunch pub spurned us, then relented, so ten ate there. About half had the vegetarian strudel.

There were masses and masses of bluebell woods on this walk - not out yet, of course. This made the walk poster feel guilty that he had not picked this walk for three week’s time. There were lots of wood anemones towards the end but all closed up in the cold. I twice heard a chiffchaff, our first migrant bird visitor, an unimpeachable harbinger of spring.

One walker was bitten by a dog. I was not there to see it but blood was drawn. Its owner explained that the animal was a rescue dog that did that sometimes. It was not on a lead. We hope its victim managed to get a tetanus shot. Shots of another kind came to my mind when contemplating its owner.

Lots of us got to the hospital for tea (some of us after forking too early and ending up at a pub called the Red Lion, not in the walk notes: we had to backtrack). Some headed for Ashurst after tea, some without having tea. Six of us went to Eridge, just before which is a charming stone basin with a stream gushing out of it in which we washed out boots. Could a network of these be set up near rural stations?