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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.

Blog Archive

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Saturday walk - Robertsbridge or Etchingham to Wadhurst - The High Weald in High Spring

From Etchingham: 17.1km (10.6 miles) to 23.3km (14.4 miles)
From Robertsbridge: 21.1km (13.1 miles) to 27.3km (16.9 miles)
Toughness: 5 out of 10 T=3.208

Etchingham start: 10.00 Charing Cross (10.03 Waterloo East, 10.09 London Bridge, 10.26 East Croydon) to Etchingham, arriving 11.31

Robertsbridge start: 9.00 Charing Cross (9.03 Waterloo, 9.09 London Bridge, 9.26 East Croydon) to Robertsbridge, arriving 10.34

The eagle-eyed will notice that these trains are travelling via the Redhill-Tonbridge line today, adding 20 minutes to journey times. But the extra time will pass swiftly in stimulating conversation and this routing means the trains also call at East Croydon.

Buy a day return to Etchingham or Robertsbridge, depending on where you plan to start.

For walk directions click here. For GPX click here.

The standard version of this walk, starting in Etchingham, makes a pleasant 10.6 mile Wealden walk, but to add extra spice to it you can take one of three extra loops that take you down to the edge of the Bewl Water Reservoir. These add 1-2 miles to the walk, or you can combine two of them to add as much as 3.8 miles.

It is also possible start this walk from Robertsbridge, adding 2.5 miles to the route. Conveniently, this takes about an hour to walk, so if you take the 9am train outlined above, you should arrive at Etchingham just as the later starting walkers are arriving there. You can then go on to do just the standard walk, or also one of the Bewl Water loops.

*** LONG WALK CHALLENGE: The longest possible combination of options is to do the Robertsbridge start and then BOTH the a) and b) loops to Bewl Water. This would make a total walk of 27.3km (16.9 miles). As far as I know, no SWC walker has yet done this.....

Whatever option you choose, lunch is at The Bell in Ticehurst or The Bull in Three-Legged Cross 1.1km further on. Both are often quite booked up, but the Bull in particular has been good in the past about squeezing us in. Having said that, The Bell has received good reviews from walkers in the past. The Greedy Goat Cafe in Ticehurst is, alas, only open to midday on Saturdays, which is not much use, but when I last looked the village did have a convenience store in case of emergencies.

For tea, Wadhurst has two pubs, both doing tea, and several shops. If you can get there before it closes at 5pm, Jempson's Cafe has good cakes. The Cottage Tea Room (if it still exists) is open to the same time. The Wealden Wholefoods Cafe stops taking orders at 4pm.

It is about 50 minutes walk by the back route or 40 minutes down the main road from Wadhurst to Wadhurst station. Time your arrival at the latter carefully as there is nothing to do but wait on the platform if you miss your train. If you are feeling lazy, there is a bus, the 254, from the stop just outside the Greyhound pub in Wadhurst village (on the same side of the road), at 05 past to 18.05, taking 5 minutes to get to the station (so connecting very comfortably with the 29 past train)

Trains back from Wadhurst are at 29 and 59 past till 19.29 and then hourly at 29 past till 22.29.


Unknown said...

Now I might do the Walk Tomorrow. But what I suggest is to take the 09:09 Train just Incase the 10:09 Train could be Delayed or something like that. You never know.

Dan D said...

Hi What's the plan. Can we meet to buy group save tickets together ?

Unknown said...

Well no not nessasery. But you hear about on the News about the Cancellations etc which is the thing.

Walker said...

12 on the early start from Robertsbridge arrived at Etchingham just in time to greet 10 on the later train, making n=22 on this walk in all. It was a lovely day, mainly w=hot-sun but with some cloud around lunchtime. Buttercups and other lovely meadow flowers were the chief nature feature of the walk - particularly on the Robertsbridge to Etchingham leg and also on the Etchingham start. Once we had to do some cattle herding and once we did a detour to avoid them.

I think we split fairly well between the two pubs. It was my first time at the Bell in Ticehurst and though staff were friendly, food service reasonably quick and their patio garden very pleasant, we all, I think, thought the portions small for the money - in one or two cases derisorily so. I hope the Bull lunchers had a good experience.

Four of us definitely did the full 16.9 mile long option - possibly others since some at the start had said they would do it. Several other walkers definitely did the first loop down to Bewl Water as we saw them ahead of us but never caught up with them. The start of the second, longer loop, is on a permissive path that seems to have fallen out of use, so sorry to anyone who tried to use that: I will amend the directions to a slightly different route on public footpaths.

In general, though, the sections beside the reservoir were an utter delight. They were knee high in buttercups and grasses and other flora, and Bewl Water itself - which was very low when we last walked along it in November - was full to the very top. The recent rain must have helped but I suspect also they have filled it from the River Medway (as they have the ability to do). Whatever, to see the water lapping right up to the path, flooding willow woods and filling every creek was charming. It did mean for some muddy patches on the path in places, which was an odd experience for June.

We four 17 milers got to Wadhurst at 6.30pm. All tea places were closed by then (it seems the Jempson's cafe has gone for good anyway), but we had tea/drinks in the Greyhound before the final walk down the back lanes to the station in beautiful golden evening light, catching the 8.29 train.

So pretty much a perfect day's walking. I would be happy to hear how others in the group got on, however.