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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, 29 September 2018

Saturday walk - Balcombe Circular via Ardingly Reservoir (Summer walk) - The Weald before it gets muddy

Length: 19.3km (12 miles) T=3.22
Toughness: 7 out of 10 - some hills

9.20 Thameslink train from St Pancras or 9.35 London Bridge (9.24 Farringdon, 9.49 East Croydon) to Balcombe, arriving 10.16.

** Missed the train option: see end of post.

Buy a day return to Balcombe. If a cheaper "Thameslink only" ticket is offered you can buy it, providing you don't plan to make any connections from/to any other services on the outward or return journey.

For walk directions click here (you only need pages 1-3 and 7-12)For GPX click here.

This walk shares the same first mile or so as the Book 1 Balcombe Circular posted four weeks ago, but otherwise is completely different, looping back around the south of Balcombe to make a brief pass of the Ardingly Reservoir, then climbing up to the village of Ardingly for lunch at the Ardingly Inn.

After lunch you are in classic Wealden territory - hills, valleys, woods, views. This is a "summer walk" because this tends to get very muddy and soggy in winter: but that will not be a problem at this time of year when the soil is still hard.

Tea is mid afternoon at Wakehurst Place. This National Trust property is crossed by a right of way, which the walk route uses, but the cafe is about 100 metres to one side of this. This is usually not a problem but try not to be too obvious about it, since the NT are naturally a bit wary about people using this as a way to visit the property without paying. If challenged, point out very politely that you only want to provide the cafe with some extra revenue and be on your way (or flash your NT card if you are a member). If you want to actually visit the gardens, please enter by the official entrance. The cafe closes at 5.30pm

Otherwise in Balcombe there is the Half Moon Inn which does hot drinks and (sometimes) cakes.

Trains back from Balcombe are at 22 and 52 past. The prettier (and not much longer) back way to the station is recommended over the prosaic shortcut down the main road.

** Missed the train option: I shouldn't encourage slugabeds, but if you miss the specified train and catch the one half an hour later, you could do the first section of the Winter walk, which is 1.4 miles shorter, to catch up with the group: see page 3 of the walk directions.


Anonymous said...

Balcombe tea rooms is now a community run pub. They didn't seem to mind that we brought our own cakes to go with their tea last time. They do however do a great bowl of chips.

Walker said...

N=34 on this walk, including one late starter, on a w=lovely-sunny-day. Beautiful scenery, lovely weather, nice company, no mud yet: what more can one want?

Quite a lot of people seemed to have brought sandwiches. Maybe 15 ate in the Ardingly Inn but some did not like the offering and went next door to the Ardingly Cafe (which I have never noticed before).

Most seemed to bypass tea at Wakehurst Place, though some of us went there and enjoyed a new outside seating area in the sunshine. Groups of people coalesced at various times for drinks in the Half Moon Inn in Balcombe.

Thameslink trains operated without incident, which made a nice change, and the Thameslink-only fare with a Network Card was only £6.55.