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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, 27 October 2018

Saturday walk - East Grinstead Circular

Length: 17.9km (10.9 miles) or 20.2km (12.5 miles)
Toughness: 5 out of 10

9.51 train from Victoria (9.58 Clapham Junction, 10.10 East Croydon) to East Grinstead, arriving 10.50. T=3.40

For walk directions click here. For GPX click here.

Just to be clear, this walk was given a whole new morning route a couple of years ago, which is the one we will be doing today. The old shorter route across the fields to lunch got a reputation for being rather muddy in winter: but this is a completely different route, going out past the National Trust-run Standen.

Mud should in any case not be a problem today, which is one reason to give this pleasant and varied Wealden walk an airing now. It should make a good autumn outing, with a mix of small woods and open fields.

There are oodles of lunch options in Forest Row and after lunch you can choose between the main walk ending over gentle hills back to East Grinstead (the 10.9 mile version), or if you want to make the best use of the daylight on the last day of British Summer Time (it won't be light again till this late until late February), there is the longer afternoon route (the 12.5 mile version) which loops around the bottom of Bewl Water Reservoir, with a possible tea stop at Standen. On the main route you come back to East Grinstead High Street where there are plenty of places for tea.

Trains back are at 6 and 36 past the hour.


Sandy said...

I was thinking of joining this one on Saturday, SWR permitting, but I'm struggling to understand the map. Is the purple line the short morning and long afternoon? Sorry if I'm being dim.

Walker said...

Yes. The purple line is the short morning and long afternoon and the green line is the “main walk”

Walker said...

n=17 on this walk, I hear, with 3 doing the longer afternoon. If anyone who was on the walk wants to post a more detailed report, please do

Bill S said...

Didn't do a count up at the station but n=17 sounds about right. W=Initial-sunny-spells-becoming-more-overcast-as-the-day-progressed-with-a-chilly-breeze.

The Chequers Inn Hotel - the recommended lunch time stop - looked somewhat forlorn when I walked in: just one other customer tucked away in a side room, no one behind the bar and a sprinkling of Halloween decorations trying their best to brighten the place up. An overheard conversation between the owner(?) and a subsequent customer suggested that it had been without a chef for a while and had only recently started serving food again. That said, the veg lasagne I ordered from the specials menu was very good, though it bore more resemblance to a ricotta filled cannelloni (also on the specials menu) covered in a tomato and béchamel sauce, and the salad it was supposed to come with never appeared.

While I sat waiting for my food I saw half a dozen of our number - sandwich eaters I think - pass on the other side of the road, never to be seen again, at least not by me. The main contingent of our motley crew arrived some time later, bringing some much needed life to the pub, but by that time I had finished my meal (and a very nice pint of Harveys) and was keen to be on my way.

Two of us left the pub together and save for passing one late (or early?) starter encountered no other members of our group on the walk back to East Grinstead. On reaching the centre she stopped of for some retail therapy whilst I pressed on for the train, stopping at the Bluebell Railway buffet carriage (very cosy looking) next to the station for a takeaway tea and cake.

As to wildlife, Walker will no doubt be interested to know that it was limited to the odd buzzard, jackdaws, pigeons, cows (various), sheep and some fine saddleback and British Lop(?) pigs in a barn behind the farm shop and café just outside Forest Row.

Not a walk that I particularly enjoyed, though that probably had more to do with my mood and the weather than any shortcomings in the route. On which subject …

… the fenced orchard referred to para 42 of the instructions as being "to your right" in in fact to the left. And in a similar vein, in para 123 the instruction to "Veer slightly left across it [the field], to exit it in 130 metres by its far left-hand corner." should read "Veer slightly right across it to exit it in 130 metres by its far right-hand corner."

Sandy said...

I was in the "main contingent" and the group on the longer afternoon. Not much to add though, we went slightly astray near the phone mast in the morning hence the late arrival at lunch; I agree the proprietor of the Chequers only just seemed to be holding things together. Also agree that the walk wasn't a classic but the encroaching gloom didn't help. The three of us got to East Grinstead just before 5, failed to find an open tea shop and resorted to a swift half in the Ship before a surprisingly long walk back to the station; still got the 1736 though.
Trail notes - the stiles at the start of paras 181 and 182 are now solid metal gates and the field is a vineyard. Follow the left hand edge to get to the second gate.