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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

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Wednesday walk Berwick to Seaford - Berwick church, Alfriston, High and Over, Exceat and Seaford Head

SWC 90 - Berwick to Seaford

Length: 18.4 km  (11.4 miles)
Toughness: 6 out of 10    Attributable to the ascent of High and Over    Remainder 3 out of 10

London Victoria: 10-16 hrs   Eastbourne and Littlehampton service;   CJ 10-23 hrs,   EC 10-33 hrs
Arrive Lewes: 11-23 hrs  Change trains
Leave Lewes: 11-47 hrs       Hastings stopping service from Brighton
Arrive Berwick: 11-56 hrs

Return    Seaford to Victoria via Lewes:  25 and 55 mins past the hour

Rail ticket:  Usually, day return tickets to either Seaford or Berwick (Sussex) are accepted by on-board ticket inspectors.

This is one of my favourite walks in the entire SWC repertoire - and it's particularly enjoyable during early lambing season, when the new born lambs are first let loose outdoors.

The new Southern timetable means a later start than I would have liked, but the walk with the Berwick Church alternative start is still very manageable in daylight, although you will not be back in London today for early evening engagements, such as theatre visits.

Leaving Berwick station we head across fields and through a small section of light woodland to the pretty village of Alciston, with its attractive church (worth a visit). Then it's over vast fields to Berwick Church, which we visit to view the Bloomsbury Group's murals and artwork. Then it's down and up over another vast field then down the road into the village of Alfriston, where we will stop for lunch: I will make a reservation for us at the George Inn.

After lunch we enjoy an amble beside the Cuckmere River to the outskirts of the village of Littlington (the path can be muddy in places) which we by-pass today, because we are climbing up and down High and Over (hill) - worth the effort for its lovely views from on-top. Down now to Exceat bridge (pronounced "Ex-Seat") where you can take an early tea at its pub. Unless you are pooped from your walk so far, please do not be tempted by the frequent bus service to Seaford (or Eastbourne) but instead continue initially along the Vanguard Way until the first gate, We now turn right, off piste from the Walk Directions, and walk gently uphill through farmland fields where hopefully the farmer has let loose his new born lambs - a lovely sight. On then uphill to Seaford Head to re-join the Walk Directions along the classic cliff-top walk to Seaford. Trawlers fish and chip restaurant and several pubs and bars - all close to the railway station - await your custom for tea, before your journey home.
Walk Directions are here: L=swc.90


Walker said...

Just to be clear, you will be doing option a) the Alternative start - starting in paragraph 52 of the walk directions on page 7.

Walker said...

It was windy but not THAT windy. The severe warnings of the weather forecast did not come true. Instead we had a day of w=breezy-sun-and-cloud, not perhaps as much sun as one might have liked and feeling cold at times in the wind, but a typical March day. There were a few spots of rain but they never amounted to much.

N=11 of us assembled at Berwick station. The walk over the fields towards Berwick church was not too muddy and we actually managed to stop the traffic to cross the horrid A27. The Bloomsbury frescoes in Berwick church were worth a look, as ever.

Lots of signs of spring - leaves starting on bushes, daffodils, celandines uncertain as to whether to open. The wind stifled birdsong, although one or two larks were heard.

Nine ate at the George, a high proportion for a midweek walk, it was pointed out to me. Were the sandwichers put off by the windy forecast? Portions at this pub are massive: one walker even asked for a doggie bag. Others cleared their plates with ease, however.

On the wonderful climb over High and Over Hill a big surprise was how flooded the riverside meadows in the valley were. All the way from Alfriston to Cuckmere Haven was like a wetland. I had never seen it like this. The path was unaffected, however: this was a day of minimal mud.

We passed the Cuckmere Inn without stopping and embarked on our walk poster’s patent lamb excursion, which delivered in spades: a series of fields each packed with the little darlings, frolicking, frisking, collecting charmingly in groups. This was also an interesting variation on the usual Cuckmere route.

Only on Seaford Head did we finally get some serious wind. Walking into it was quite difficult. Oddly enough it died away once we were on the windward side of the hill, however. After a brief tea in a pub several of us got the 5.55 train, others of the party presumably getting an earlier one. And so back to London after an interesting and scenic day out.