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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, 13 April 2019

Saturday walk - Wivelsfield to Haywards Heath - Wooden Ms, possible early bluebells and a nice tea place

Length: 14.8km (9.2 miles) to 18.8km (11.6 miles)
Toughness: 5 out of 10. T=3.225

10.11 train from London Bridge (10.31 East Croydon) to Wivelsfield, arriving 11.11.

You can also get the 10.05 Thameslink train from London Bridge (9.50 St Pancras, 10.19 East Croydon), arriving Wivelsfield at 10.58: if you do this you can buy cheaper "Thameslink-only" tickets, so long as you come back on a Thameslink train from Haywards Heath (see below). What stops me making this the specified train is that it is a Bedford to Brighton service and I don't trust it to run on time. The 10.11 train above is a Southern service which originates at London Bridge.

Buy a day return to Wivelsfield

For walk directions click here. For GPX click here. For a map of the walk click here.

Confession time. I posted this very same walk on the same weekend last year. This is not because I am running out of ideas, but because all my other ideas this week were blocked by engineering works. And this walk was well-received last year, so why am I apologising?

The route gets you straight out into woodland, where there is a good display of wood anemones (I can vouch for this, having been there a week ago). Later in the walk there are some bluebell woods and though they are likely to be at an early stage, you may get a bit of a "blue fuzz" effect.

Otherwise the walk takes you over varied territory to the pretty town of Cuckfield ("Cook-field" apparently) where there are various lunch options. I moaned last year about the White Hart being a bit of a 1970s timewarp, but the walk report spoke favourably of it, so don't listen to me.

The shorter 9.2 mile version of the walk consists of short cuts to both the morning route and the route immediately after lunch, which should allow more relaxed walkers to catch up with their fellows.

In the afternoon you pass the entrance to Borde Hill Gardens, which you could pay to visit, but an even nicer attraction is Elvira's Cafe by the garden gates, a wonderful tea stop.

The last bit of the walk goes through woods into Haywards Heath and cunningly avoids that town's suburban sprawl for as long as possible. I used to say that the environs of Haywards Heath station had nothing to detain anyone, but there is in fact now a rather attractive cafe in the Waitrose next to the station. I don't know its opening hours but the store is open till 9pm.

Trains back from Haywards Heath all go to London Bridge today, due to engineering works on the line into Victoria. The 14 and 44 past are Southern services, taking 45 minutes and the 01 and 32 past are also Southern but take 55 minutes. The Thameslink trains are at 16 and 47 past and take 50 minutes.


Anonymous said...

Full walk is 11.7 miles.

Walker said...

Sorry: corrected

David said...

Thirteen walkers caught the overcrowded Thameslink service from London Bridge, to be joined by another fourteen on the later, but quieter, Southern service, so n=27 in all. The weather was initially w=overcast_and_chilly_but_slowly_improving_and_culminating_in_warm_sunshine. The walk itself is quite undulating, but with no steep gradients. It probably merits a 5 rating because of its relatively high number of stiles, one of which was completely broken. The sight of walkers crawling under the fence on all fours or trying to straddle it would have been a hit on You've Been Framed, but no-one was enterprising enough to film it. Four sandwich eaters chose the churchyard of Holy Trinity Church to have lunch and then joined others at the White Harte where, we were informed, a number of walkers had come and gone (presumably to The Talbot). Early bluebells and wood anemones were spotted en route in several locations, as well as some daffodils near the tea stop. Three of us stopped at Café Elvira, while others pressed on to Haywards Heath. If anyone knows the exact location of the broken stile, please post on the website and I'll report it to Mid Sussex District Council.

Anonymous said...

Just to add to the previous walk report, n=30, in fact, 27 on 'official trains' plus 1 on an earlier train (who met the group at the Talbot) and two on a later train (they met the group at Cafe Elvira). 8 ate at The Talbot - quite nice ambience, but food were basic, several sandwichers also joined for drinks at Talbot. 5 ate at the cafe. At least 12 others had tea in Cafe Elvira. People were catching different trains back from Haywards Heath but the last group just after 6pm.