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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, 14 August 2019

Wednesday Walk Balcombe Circular via Ardingly Reservoir (Summer walk)

Balcombe Circular via Ardingly Reservoir (Summer walk) T=swc.22

Length: 19.5km (12.1 miles), with various shorter options.

"Balcombe is a great place to walk - the one stop on the Brighton line that feels truly remote and rural. The moment you leave the station you are in a Wealden wonderland of hills, woods, pasture and hidden farms. These walks also feature Ardingly Reservoir, romantically set between steep hills."

This walk has two versions, the summer one is longer with more hills and the winter one is designed to have less mud. After lunch at Ardingly you can make a choice about the return leg.

Trains: Get the 1005 Thameslink Brighton train from London Bridge (St Pancras 0950, East Croydon 1018 plus other stops) arriving 1046. Return trains xx22 & xx32. This train has an off-peak return fare of £12.50 (valid Thameslink only).

Lunch: The Ardingly Inn (01444 892 214), 10.1km (6.3 miles) into the Summer Walk, serves a basic menu, but with good quality and hearty portions. Next door is the Ardingly Cafe (01444 891 113), which serves sandwiches, salads, soups and light meals.

Tea: The Half Moon Inn in Balcombe is a possible tea stop for both walks.


Gabriella said...

Only four hardy souls braved the bad weather forecast to meet at Balcombe, but I for one was eagerly envisioning enjoying the sight of a misty and mysterious reservoir through the drizzle.
Unfortunately however, we never got to Ardingley, as fairly soon into the walk we went wrong and got hopelessly lost in the woods. But beautiful woods they were, of fragrant ferns and gaggles of grouse, so we voted to go with the flow and see where the path would take us, rather than retracing our steps.
( Although we all had paper instructions, none of us GPS or even a map, so once we were lost there was no way of knowing our location.)
References to the Blair Witch Project were made, and much merriment was had when hopelessly hailing for help a helicopter heedlessly flying overhead. Finally we found a road, and ended up in Staplefield, a charming village on a cute green, with the added bonus of an excellent pub, the Victory Inn. Two of us savoured a delicious repast and were soon joined by the packed lunchers, forced in by the driving rain, after which a pleasant hour or so was spent chatting and imbibing. There is always a silver lining to life's disappointments, and in many ways we lucked out, as I am reliably informed that the Victory is a far better hostelry than the recommended options in Ardingly. Indeed, we all agreed that it would be wonderful if a walk could be put together including the Victory as the lunch stop. Any takers ? Eventually at 3 pm we shared a taxi to Crawley and took the train home from there. Looking at the map later it transpired that we had gone wrong at point 97 on the summer walk, by turning direct right rather than diagonally right, thus going through the wrong metal gate and taking the wrong gravel path. Lesson learnt ....

Marcus said...