Backup Only

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, 13 October 2018

Saturday Walk A Safari in Sussex at the Knepp Castle Re-wilding Project

SWC Walk 283: Christ’s Hospital to Billingshurst T=SWC.283

Distance:  16.9 Miles or 27.1 km for those more metrically minded (with shorter bus options available)

Difficulty:  4.5 out of 10

Train:  Take the 8:46 AM Portsmouth Harbour train from London Victoria (stopping at Clapham Junction at 8:53 and East Croydon at 9:03), arriving at Christ’s Hospital at 9:49.  Return trains from Billingshurst are at 28 and 57 past the hour until 22:28. Buy a day return to Billingshurst.

This walk has only ever had one Sunday outing which was well received. It very interestingly spends about 6 kilometers exploring a 10-year old re-wilding project taking place a Knepp Castle, featuring Old English Longhorn Cattle, Tamworth Pigs, Fallow Deer and Exmoor Ponies (unfortunately, no native elephants or giraffes…) As an added bonus at this time of year, we may be lucky enough to see some deer rutting taking place…..Although long, the route is more or less flat, so probably not as challenging as you may think just looking at the numbers…..You can find more information about the walk and download the walk instructions here.

The recommended lunch spot is the Crown Inn (01403 710 902) in Dial Post (what a name!) (8.9 miles/14.3 km into the walk), food served until 2:00pm. Tea and other post walk refreshments can be had at the Railway Inn across from Billingshurst Station.

Enjoy the walk!


14 comments:

Walker said...

I want to see the Knepp Wildlands but not walk 16 miles. There is an option for a 10.5 mile walk with a bus to Horsham and an earlier lunch stop. Is anyone interested?

Anonymous said...

If only 10 miles, surely one can start an hour later - are you up for this? That is the swing factor for me to join you.

Anonymous said...

would like 10 mile walk but what time would you start? 8.46 or 9.46am?

Walker said...

I take your point about the later start, but if I go on the 8.46 at least I get to socialise with my friends in the rest of the group on the way down. If I take the latter train I am relying on two anonymous people deciding to turn out, who may not...

Anonymous said...

Definitely up for the 10.5 mile option with earlier 08.46 train
and see Knepp Wildlands don't mind an earlier lunch stop

Sandy said...

Hi, I went on the previous Sunday outing (albeit it was the Sunday before the August bank holiday) and don't remember the full walk finishing too late, even though we dallied to observe magnificent beasts gathering by a watering hole - and I don't mean the pub at the end. Anyway it's highly recommended.

Anonymous said...

To walker, are you planning to walk from Christ Hospital to George and Dragon at Dragons Green for lunch (5.2miles), then to Knepp Castle? Where do you plan to take the bus to Horsham? In addition, if you take early train, you will arrive at the pub prob at 12pm or even before. A later train seems a better option. The Crown Inn would make the morning too long 8.9 miles in a 10.5 miles walk

Walker said...

Lunch at the pub at Dragon's Green, yes. Arriving there about midday, yes, which does not seem too tragic. Easier to get a table, faster to get served. A 2.5 mile an hour pace suites me fine. The bus location is described in the walk directions - I intended to do the slightly longer route via the Dial Post pub. The bus is hourly, more or less on the hour at 3pm, 4pm, 5pm, 6pm - also 6.30pm and 7.30pm - and it goes to Horsham.

I would like to get the 8.46 train in the morning for the reason already explained. If others want to get the 9.46, don't let me stop you. I was just pointing out what I am going to do and inviting anyone who wants to join me.

Anonymous said...

A few of us will be taking 9:46am train from Victoria and doing a short cut about 10 miles with lunch at Dragons Green (~5miles into the walk) and catching bus # 23 at Perryland Farm near the Crown In at Dial Post (4:02pm, 5:02pm, 5:59pm)to Horsham. Buy a day return to Christ's Hospital. All welcome to join us.

Walker said...

Just to say, I may not be on the walk after all. I have been in the gluey phase of a cold since Tuesday and it shows no signs of letting go. I hope those who take the 9.46 train have a good day.

Sean said...

Anyone who went on this walk (or regrets missing it) should listen to Radio 4's Today program, which had a long report about Knepp and re-wilding this morning (0810-0826). Stargazer chose an opportune day to post this walk!

Anonymous said...

N=7 walkers took the later train. W=warm_with_sunny_intervals. Good pace in the morning, except in one field where we were greeted by a large hurd of cattles in our path, then they started to run back and forth, thank to our cattle protection officer, we managed to across the field in one piece. Arrived at George & Dragon at 12:30, only to learn the pub was fully booked by the classic car club, absolutely no food will be served before 2pm. No despire, off we went to Countryman, near Shipley (only about 1 mile or so on the country lane - but off the main path). We lost 1 walker By then. Nice lunch at Countryman with huge portion for starters. Another short cut on the country lane after lunch to join the official route. Soon we entered Knepp Safari park, the ‘highlight’ of the walk, but safari appeared to have gone vegan. We only saw two deers in the distance, swans and ducks on the lakes, but no farm animals....After a quick visit to Knepp Castle, we decided to call it a day, caught 4:06 bus to Horsham. Drinks at the atmospheric Black Jug - 5 mins from the train station, then caught 17:30 train back to London.
Four of us visited Mr Tiger who has been well looked after by the hospital staff and more importantly has kept his humour and sharp wit. We hope he will be back to full health soon.

Stargazer said...

7 early risers emerged on the platform at Christ's Hospital with 1 more who missed the train catching us as we were leaving the lunch pub (using some creative means), making for 8 early risers, together with I understand to be 8 on the later train, making for a total of n=16 on this very interesting Sussex Safari under W=warm-savannah-skies. One more doing a separate circuit (not included on the official count) also joined the early risers at the lunch pub. I believe the early risers managed to tick off the "Big Four of Sussex" -- Tamworth Pigs, Long Horn Cattle, Ponies and Fallow Deer. This is a very interesting walk which I would recommend again -- even outside the rewilding project, there is a sense of wildness with the lovely South Downs always in the distance. Also, seeing the pigs and cattle wandering about doing their own thing is really very special...Lacking a mid-afternoon refreshment stop, 4 of the long walkers enjoyed a brief break on a bench at the Quaker House before the final push into Billingshurst for refreshing bevies before catching the 18:28...Would be interesting to hear how the late starters enjoyed their day....

Stargazer said...

I see our reports crossed last night....so, the correct figure is n=15 for the combined long and short versions of the walk. Sorry to hear the late starters did not see many critters...maybe all the short cuts bypassed them.....