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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, 27 March 2019

Wednesday Walk - Lewes Circular (via West Firle)

Length: 24.8 km (15.4 mi) [three ways to shorten  substantially, see below]
Ascent/Descent:  398 m [three marked ascents]
Net Walking Time: ca. 6 hours
Toughness:  7 out of 10 

Take the 10.16 Eastbourne & Littlehampton train from London Victoria  (10.23 CJ, 10.33 East Croydon), arriving Lewes at 11.23.  
Return trains: xx.21 & xx.45.

The walk starts in the historic town of Lewes with the early section having fine views over the town and castle. After reaching a secluded valley, you rise up Mount Caburn with its Iron Age hillfort site, and descend to Glynde to continue to West Firle for lunch. After lunch ascend the South Downs main ridge and turn right, with extensive views from Beddingham Hill and Itford Hill, both inland and towards the port of Newhaven with the Channel beyond. Descend to Southease (station and café) and return to Lewes along the River Ouse.

Shorter Walk
start from Glynde (cuts 6 km), finish at Southease (cuts 6 km), or walk to Berwick w/o scaling the downs again after lunch (described in the pdf, you pass several more pubs on that variation).

Lunch: The Ram Inn in West Firle (9.7 km/6.0 mi, food to 15.00, bar food all afternoon).
Tea: Courtyard Café at YHA Southease (6 km from the end, but only open to 16.00), plus plenty of pubs in Lewes (you’ll be too late for the cafés, at a guess).

For summary, walk directions, map, height profile, photos and gpx/kml files click here.  T=2.25


tartanrug said...

Think I will take a later train and join the walk at the Glynde station. The 10.46 from London Victoria arrives at Glynde station at 12:21. It usually takes the group an hour to get over the hill.The Lunch Monitor.

Marion said...

I will be joining you at CJ 10.43 and finish ar Southease for tea.

Marion said...

SorryI meant 10.53

Thomas G said...

10 off the train, 1 already waiting on the platform (up from Sevenoaks via Warrior Squ.), 1 other outside (over from Brighton). 1 of us had to frequent the local WHSmith and PO to send an urgent card. For the rest, the sky was blue and there was hardly a breeze, so the first bits of Downs' ascent were easily negotiated. Most of the troopers walked the out-and-back to the hillfort site on Mount Caburn for the sensational views from it. We saw plenty of just-born cattle and lambs in the pastures.
At The Ram Inn we met 2 late starters, who had both intended to start at Glynde station together, but 1 of them had invented a quite sensational new way of missing a train (and I know a LOT about missing trains from personal experience!): she stood on the platform at CJ when the train arrived, but let it go as she was not realising it was the one going to Lewes... Cue - later on - a taxi ride from Lewes to The Ram Inn.
The group set off from the pub in spurts, as food arrived in a sequential manner, wearing out the picnickers and early finishers. So I can only report on the tail-enders (someone bought coffees as well). The sky was now overcast (and temps certainly were NOT what my forecast had predicted, a "feels like 14°"). [Only late on the sun was making some appearance again, through a few holes in the clouds, lighting up the walls of the chalk pits near Lewes quite beautifully.]
Skylarks were larking, the paragliders were packing up, and hardly a soul about on the paths.
Several - if not the majority - took the train from Southease, giving up on the easy/tranquil/meditative/boring (delete as appropriate) end along The Ouse towards Lewes. I had bad memories of it myself from years ago, but on second look today, liked it (apart from the last 10 minutes, right into Lewes): it was High Tide, the water wasn't moving hither or thither, in fact The Ouse seemed more a canal than a river. There were Egrets, and then one tiny bird flying out of the bank, with blue-ish feathers, not light blue not dark blue, but glistening. Not a Kingfisher, surely?
Downs on the left, Downs and Chalk Pits on the right, the Kingston Windmill on the hills to the left, Lewes Castle ahead. Not a bad finish actually, I thought.
And then I saw the 17.21 pull out as I walked down to the platform. Off to the café...
w=sunny-then-overcast n=14

Sandy said...

Three impatient picnickers left West Firle at about 1.35 and got to the Courtyard Cafe in plenty time for a very pleasant tea and cake in the cafe garden before catching the 1605 from Southease and the very busy 1621 from Lewes, along with the majority of the rest of the group. Thanks for a most enjoyable day out.