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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, 5 October 2019

Saturday Walk - Torchlit Procession, Bonfire & Fireworks in Eastbourne: South Downs Way final stage (Southease to Eastbourne)

Length: 27.3 km (17.0 mi) [shorter walk possible, see below]
Ascent/Descent: 607/601 m
Net Walking Time: ca. 6 ½ hours
Toughness: 8 out of 10

Sunset will be at 18.28, giving sufficient light for walking to 19.00 hours.
Processions will start at the Crown and Anchor  pub (Marine Parade, just beyond the pier) at 19.30 and 20.45, a beach bonfire  will be lit at 21.30, the fireworks start at 21.45 hours. Organised by Eastbourne Bonfire Society.

Take the 09.46 Ore & Littlehampton train from Victoria (CJ 09.53, EC 10.03, train splits at Haywards Heath), change at Lewes (10.53/10.59) onto the Seaford train, arrives Southease 11.06.
Should the Ore train miss the connection at Lewes, take the 11.15 Ore stopping service, arrives Glynde 11.21, and walk the alternative start route from Glynde.
Thameslink customers: take the 09.35 London Bridge train to Brighton, change at Gatwick (10.04/10.18).
Return trains from Eastbourne: xx.00 and xx.25 to 22.00. After that journey times get much longer (as you have to travel via Brighton): 22.11, 22.38 and 23.09. Buy an Eastbourne return.

This walk along the South Downs Way (SDW) consists of spectacular ridge walks with three steep ascents and a picturesque village in the middle for lunch and another one for tea, and with Beachy Head, Eastbourne promenade, beach and pier at the finish. It's a long but very rewarding walk. The route is well waymarked, the paths are easy walking, and the route is easy to follow. The South Downs are treeless and open, so there are good views throughout (weather permitting).
The walk starts at Southease Station, right on the SDW, and climbs the first ridge straight away, up to Itford Hill and then along the ridge to Firle Beacon, the highest point of the walk. There is an alternative start in Glynde in case the trains to Southease don't connect well.
At the end of the ridge you descend into Alfriston, a pretty village in the scenic Cuckmere Valley, with a village green dominated by a large church. Several good pubs and tea rooms and a village shop vie for your lunch business.
After lunch, follow the northern leg of the SDW up and over Windover Hill and down to Jevington (tea room and pub) before a final climb to head south along another ridge towards the coast.
There is an inland shortcut into Eastbourne if you're tired, but the suggested route is to continue along the ridge to the coast, to join up with the SDW's Coastal Route near Beachy Head. From here, head downhill into Eastbourne, where you follow the promenade along the beach into town towards the pier.

Walk Options:
Start at Glynde Station: similar distance, but connection at Lewes not so tight.
Shortcut into Eastbourne: descend earlier into Eastbourne and follow roads to the station rather than the seaside promenade (cut 2.5 km).
Start at Berwick Station: follow the waymarked Vanguard Way to Alfriston.

Lunch: plenty options in Alfriston.
Tea: tea room and pub in Jevington.

For summary, walk directions, map, height profile, photos and gpx/kml files click here. T=swc.25


Thomas G said...

n=12 on this (basically) map-led walk in w=overcast-but-dry conditions.
We had splendid views (despite the low skies) and cold north easterly winds (i.e. we were walking into it) and got to Alfriston for lunch some time just before 13.00, I think. Only 2 had a pub lunch, but we were belatedly joined by two picnickers having a coffee at our table. That aimlessly encouraged us 2 to get another half measure of liquid bread each and when we eventually set off, the other 8 had long gone. We saw one of those 8 waiting at the bus stop on the A259 just outside Eastbourne, and one other on a bench on the promenade, eating a healthy desert, while bridging the time to the commencement of processions, bonfire and fireworks.
Having arrived in E'bourne quite a bit earlier than estimated (just after 18.00), we decided to get on the next train rather than wait for revelries to start. [The punters arriving at Eastbourne off trains and buses (dressed for a heavy night out and full of intent) didn't scream "stay on here for a good time" anyway.]
So...18.25 train for at least 7, bonfire etc. for at least 1. What the other 4 did, I just don't know...

Anonymous said...

Presumably eating his sand-which.