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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, 10 August 2019

Saturday walk - East Grinstead Circular - gentle Weald and an Arts & Crafts house

Length: 17.6km (10.9 miles) or 20.2km (12.5 miles) T=3.40
Toughness: 5 out of 10

9.50 train from Victoria (9.57 Clapham Junction, 10.10 East Croydon) to East Grinstead, arriving 10.50.

For walk directions click here, for GPX click here, for a map of the route click here (the green line is the main walk, the pink line shows the shorter start and longer afternoon).

This gentle little Weald walk has had various incarnations, but the current main walk morning route, which to date has not had a summer outing, takes you out past the National Trust-owned Standen House. Those that wish to visit it can either do a short circular walk back to East Grinstead (4.8 miles), or finish in Forest Row (5.4 miles) and get the fairly frequent buses back to East Grinstead - see walk options in the walk directions for details. Or you could treat Forest Row as a tea stop and finish the main walk (another 5.5 miles) after tea: perfectly doable as an evening walk at this time of year.

Otherwise after lunch in Forest Row (various eating options - see the walk directions or home page), you have a choice between the main walk ending (5.5 miles) and a 7.1 mile longer afternoon route that loops around Weir Water Reservoir (though only once actually gets down to the edge of it). The latter repeats tiny bits of your outward route and may just get you back to Standen in time for tea (it closes at 5pm). Otherwise the pub at Old Dunning's Mill or the various tea options in the historic centre of East Grinstead are your backstop, depending on which route you take at the end of the walk (the walk directions explain these).

Trains back from East Grinstead are at 06 and 36 past the hour till as late as you like.


Walker said...

N=18 on this walk, on a day that was W=windy-with-intermittent-light-rain, but far from the storm apocalypse forecasted by the weather people. Only once or twice were there gusts that were somewhat worrying, bending the trees to an alarming degree, but the showers rarely lasted more than a few minutes, even if they came quite frequently. A bit more sun would have been nice, though. Once or twice it seemed to be about to break through, but only late in the day did the weather really clear.

We got lost once in the morning because I misread my own directions. See? I can admit it. There were gripes about the complexities of the various options on the GPX, but there is not much I can do about that as they all overlap. All I can say is the written directions explain everything perfectly clearly....

Funny to see this walk at the height of summer, with the Himalayan balsam and bracken head high, brambles groaning with blackberries. There was a bit of mud on the paths to remind us that autumn is near.

We arrived in Forest Row to be told the “whole village” was suffering a power cut. This left the Chequers and neighbouring lunch places in darkness. But our informant was telling porky pies because walking 100 metres up the high street we found the electricity was on. Five of us went to the Hopyard Brewery. They have a nice concept, which is allowing independent Thai and pizza concessions to operate in their bar: we sampled both and the food was delicious.

What happened to everyone else? Did you get food? We saw half a dozen pass us on the way to do the main walk and one of our number joined them. The remaining four of us set off to do the longer afternoon and we saw no other members of the group after that.

A pleasant and uneventful two hour walk got us to Standen at 4.10pm, where we found the back gate locked and the gardens apparently deserted. We debated whether to hop the gate regardless, but did, and found that parts of the garden had been closed due to the high winds. But the tea room was open and we had a cosy tea. (Cosy. That is a word I have not used since March.)

We stopped at Dunnings Mill on the final leg for a snifter and got the 18.36 train. It would be nice to know how the other fourteen of you got on. Majority report needed!

Anonymous said...

All National Trust and English Heritage sites with gardens across the country were shut on Saturdays due to high wind.

Walker said...

Err...not all, since Standen was open. Only parts of its garden were closed.