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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, 24 August 2019

Saturday walk - Glynde to Seaford - a downland classic, ending at the sea

Length: 23km (14.3 miles) for the whole walk: 16.2km (10 miles) if you get a bus from Exceat

9.46 train from Victoria (9.53 Clapham Junction, 10.04 East Croydon) to Lewes, arriving 10.53, changing there for the 11.15 to Glynde, arriving 11.21. T=1.31

Buy a day return to Seaford. This should also be accepted for the short hop from Lewes to Glynde unless you get a ticket inspector in a bad mood.

For walk directions click here, for GPX click here, for a map of the route click here.

An old favourite, not done in summer for a while. It is a fine downland walk with gorgeous views, and even in the early days of the SWC, when 12 miles was an epic adventure, we always used to think the miles flew by on this one.

I personally would skip the jiggery-pokery through allotments at the start and head straight up the road to cross the A27 at the junction, where a central reservation enables you to tackle one lane of the incessant traffic at a time. After that all is tranquil. A very early lunch would be possible at the Ram Inn in West Firle after just 2.2 miles: otherwise it is around 4.8 miles more (so 7 miles in all) to Alfriston, which has lots of lunch options, of which the usual SWC haunt is the George Inn with its very nice garden. They have a lovely website, full of interesting information about the area, but alas no information about their meal service times. But no matter: Alfriston is full of pubs and tea rooms, so you won’t starve.

Tea at the Saltmarsh Cafe in Exceat, open till 5pm (in earlier, innocent SWC days we considered this the best tea stop on the walks) from where you can get very regular (every ten minutes or so) number 12 buses to Seaford, if you want to finish the walk here. The Cuckmere Inn down the road is another possible tea stop, though I find the staff here unhelpful and unsmiling, and the rules about where and when they do it do not deign to serve food byzantine. The bus stop outside this pub was also out of action due to road works a few weeks back, though these may now have finished.

Those that don’t take the bus here will continue down to Cuckmere Haven and up over Seaford Head, a 6.3km (3.9 mile) walk of great beauty. In Seaford the Trawlers fish and chip shop near the station (not the more standard one down the road) is the best there is. There is also a lovely little bar in the station itself which is worth missing a train or two for.

For sea swimmers, the tide will perfect for a swim, conditions permitting, at Cuckmere Haven, with high tide at 6.33pm. A swim is also possible at the end of the walk at Seaford.

Trains back are at 25 and 53 past the hour till late, changing at Lewes. There are no longer any trains in the evening which require a change at Brighton instead. 

5 comments:

Unknown said...

Hello from Charleston SC, USA. I will be in London all of next week until Sunday and would love to join you on this hike.

Booking to Seaford and jumping on the Glynde train instead is okay? Anyone planning on leaving earlier and doing the 3.1 mile stretch from Lewes to Glynde?

What time do you generally finish this adventure in Seaford?

I have Friday free as well. Would you recommend I do the Seaford to Eastbourne section on Friday or would you recommend I do something entirely different? I'm looking forward to this and thank you in advance!

Walker said...

You are very welcome to join us. It is a fabulous walk and a lovely slice of England.

Regarding the train ticket, it is very very very unlikely that any “on board train staff” will appear between Lewes and Glynde and even more unlikely that they would object to a Seaford return, and if they did you would be in good company because all of us in the group will have the same ticket. If you find anyone willing to start from Lewes, you would have no problem at all as the Seaford return is valid via there.

Seaford to Eastbourne repeats the last 3.9 miles of this walk, but in the opposite direction, in which you actually have the amazing view in front of you. If Glynde to Seaford has one flaw, it is that on then last section you keep wanting to stop to look behind you. So yes, I would say that Seaford to Eastbourne is a perfect thing to do on Friday. It is considered to be one our out finest walks.

Walker said...

Do be aware, by the way, of how our walks work: we have no leaders.

This explains it all:

https://www.walkingclub.org.uk/swc/index.shtml

Anonymous said...

Intend to leave the walk at Exceat and catch a bus to Eastbourne. If cafe is busy at Exceat might break journey at East Dean for tea there

sylvia said...

The Litlington Tea room, after Alfriston and before Exceat, was always a lovely place to visit. I don't think it would be far off the route.