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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.

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Saturday, 22 June 2019

Saturday Walk - Lewes Circular (via Southease and Glynde)/South Downs Beer & Cider Festival

First Saturday outing in three years…

Length: 24.2 km (15.1 mi) [dropouts: at Southease or Glynde station; longer: via West Firle (29.7 km/18.4 mi)]
Ascent/Descent: 575m
Net Walking Time: ca. 6 hours
Toughness: 7 out of 10

Take the 09.46 Ore & Littlehampton service from Victoria  (CJ 09.53, EC 10.03), arrives Lewes 10.53 [train splits at Haywards Heath]. Return trains: xx.21 and xx.48.

This walk is written up in either clockwise or anti-clockwise direction. I am posting the anti-clockwise one, but – this being the SWC – you can of course do what you like… incl. walking a longer version via West Firle.

“This is an energetic walk over three distinct downland ridges, with magnificent views throughout. One of the pleasures of the walk is that the entire route is in view for much of the walk, so you can look back at the terrain you have already done or ahead to the delights to come. Navigation is easy, the walking is over wide and distinct paths, and while there are three substantial climbs, most of the walk is flat, gently undulating or downhill.
As well as plenty of grand downland walking, the route includes a start and finish in historic Lewes, quaint corners of which you see both at the start and end of the walk, an optional detour to Mount Caburn (Iron Age fort) with its dramatic viewpoint of the whole circuit, and the pleasant small village of Glynde. You also pass the remote station of Southease, with its YHA cafe nearby. The walk passes 2 train stations on the way between the 3 hills, so if you want to drop out, it’s quite easy.”

Today is the second day of the 23rd  South Downs Beer & Cider Festival at Lewes Town Hall. Ticketed entry to 18.00 hours, free afterwards.

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

Lunch: Abergavenny Arms in Rodmell (9.0 km/5.6 mi, food to 14.45) or The Ram Inn in West Firle on the long walk (20.0 km/12.4 mi, lunch served to 15.00, then the bar menu).
Tea: Plenty of options in Lewes. For details see the pdf. T=swc.47

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thinking about doing the longer version - anyone fancy an earlier start?
Rich

Thomas G said...

Half an hour earlier?

Thomas G said...

Plenty of walkers got off at Lewes Station off the crowded train (Tennis at Eastbourne apparently, and only the standard 4 car-train), with several groups assembling on Platform 1, so we moved our group huddle to outside the station. There I counted 14, with (to my knowledge) 4 others still using facilities at platform level, although someone later said there were 5 of them. 1 of us had arrived 30 mins earlier and seen 2 others disembarking and starting early (who were both met or caught by the group), and 1 other took a train to Southease (I believe) and walked up to the Rodmell pub from there to meet the pub lunchers. And then there was SWC stalward MG, who some of us bumped into at the YHA Courtyard Cafe at Southease. She had taken a train 60 mins earlier. So, all in n=22 (or 23) in w=warm-weather-with-a-welcoming-breeze.
There were 2 first-timers apparently, but I had overlooked their fingers when I had asked for just that at the group huddle, so apologies for not being especially welcoming to them.
2 dashed off at speed, several others kind of followed, and 3 of those regrouped after the pub or the courtyard cafe for the stretch to West Firle (in all, at least 7 walked the long version). We bumped into one of the early starters who had walked the long walk clockwise, and then paused at The Ram for a drink. 6 of us (by then) continued together for the last leg to Lewes, although only a few walked the out-and-back to the Hillfort on Mount Caburn. Those few then reached Lewes after the Beer Festival had already shut, so went for a convivial meal at The Rights of Man pub (recommended).
The views were stunning, as the air was very clear and the breeze helped enormously in the temperatures. There was a good showing of buttercups (especially in one field by Kingston Windmill, where there were tight clumps of them) and plenty of poppies (especially along a stretch on Front Hill in a large rapeoil seed field), some trefoil and some viper suchandsuch.
Dr. Botanicus also saw three types of orchids and went down Caburn Bottom to find a fourth, but all he collected were plenty of ticks (there were warning signs aplenty). Cue some diligent tick-removal action...
Plenty of skylarks and other songbirds about and one Red Kite was spotted.
A splendid day.