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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, 2 November 2019

Saturday walk - Robertsbridge or Etchingham to Wadhurst - but sadly NO BONFIRE due to adverse weather conditions

Length: 17.1km (10.6 miles) from Etchingham (14.8km/8.6 miles with bus at end), or 21km (13 miles) from Robertsbridge
Toughness: 5 out of 10

Robertsbridge start: 9.15 train from Charing Cross (9.18 Waterloo East, 9.24 London Bridge) to Robertsbridge, arriving 10.34.

Etchingham start: 10.15 train from Charing Cross (10.18 Waterloo East, 10.24 London Bridge) to Etchingham, arriving 11.30.

Buy a day return to Etchingham or Robertsbridge, depending on which station you intend to start from.

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

The Robertsbridge start adds (on past experience) exactly an hour’s walking, so that you arrive at Etchingham station just as the main group are arriving.

This pleasant Wealden walk, with all the usual delights of hills, woods and views, brings you to the village of Wadhust for tea. The original idea was to then go to the Wadhurst bonfire and fireworks but sadly due to weather conditions this event has been CANCELLED. T=3.208

Lunch is 4 miles in at the Bell in Ticehurst or in another 1.1km (0.6 miles) at the Bull in Three Leg Cross. Both are nice: if planning to eat at the Bull ring to check they have a table as they are quite popular (but usually also very accommodating).

You get to Wadhurst after 8.6 miles from Etchingham or 11.1 miles from Robertsbridge. Tea will probably be in one of the two pubs since the Wealden Wholefoods Cafe shuts at 4.30pm and the Cottage Tea Rooms seems to have permanently closed. There are shops in the village where you can buy cakes or snacks, however.

From Wadhurst to Wadhurst station via the main road there is a pavement all the way, so this can easily be done after tea in the dark (2.2/1.4 miles - 40 mins). Doing the main walk route, via the back lanes is 3.3km/2 miles - 55 mins.

There is also a bus from Wadhurst village to the station: it leaves outside the Greyhound pub on the hour until 6pm, reducing the walk (from Etchingham) to 14.8km (8.6 miles).

Trains back from Wadhurst are at 00 and 29 past till 19.29, then 29 past only until 22.29.


Anonymous said...

Hey everyone, I am planning to join this walk and the bonfire, and since I am new to SWC, I was wondering what would be the best way to meet people at the train station at Charring Cross.


Walker said...

Hi, Carmen: it will be great to have you along.

We meet on arrival at Etchingham (or Robertsbridge, depending on which start you aim to do). The group will be obvious as both are quiet rural stations. Otherwise, if you walk down the train during the journey you may see a group of people who look like walkers, but we are often scattered here and there throughout the train.

If you have not already, do read this;

Anonymous said...

Thanks for getting back to me! Since it seems that at least some people are going to Etchingham, I will plan to meet you there. I will wear a red jacket. Looking forward to it!


Anonymous said...

I have been checking the weather for this one for the last day or two and it's not looking promising. Does anyone know if it will impact the bonfire/fireworks?


Walker said...

Thanks for asking, Karen. I checked and sadly the event has been CANCELLED due to the weather forecast.

Walker said...

The 10.15 train is starting from London Bridge (10.24)

Anonymous said...

I, Karen, am on the 10:24 train from LB to Etchingham. I hope other people have made it too!

Walker said...

So often on the walks we are threatened with dire weather and it proves to be a lot less dire. But not today. W=Strong-wind-and-heavy-rain was forecast and that was what we got. Despite this an impressive n=12 walkers turned out, 5 doing the longer Robertsbridge start and 7 the later Etchingham one. As predicted, the longer walkers arrived at Etchingham just in time to meet the later starters, and we walked together till lunch.

The weather was as described, though the wind almost never felt dangerously strong. At times I suspected the rain was not that heavy either, only that it was driven by a strong wind and so seemed more pervasive. But approaching lunch in Ticehurst it definitely sheeted down, turning the main road into a lake at one point. I think almost everyone found their wet weather kit deficient in several places.

Gratefully gaining the sanctuary of The Bell, we were told the arrival of a wedding party was imminent, but they sped our orders through to be ahead of it and the very nice food came quickly. A blazing fire might have also been nice, but you can’t have anything.

After lunch the Etchingham Seven all decided to take the bus to Tunbridge Wells for tea. The Robertsbridge Five carried on with the walk. The rain was now much less and there were even dry periods, but on the road section mid afternoon there were some amazing floods, a little side stream at one point bursting onto the lane and turning it into a river, which for forty or fifty metres we just had to wade through (I will try to put a video on the group Facebook page). Towards Wadhurst we did the short extension along Bewl Water which was very scenic. Despite all the rain the reservoir is still some way from being full.

I have not so far mentioned the autumn colour, which was spectacular, when the driving rain allowed one to raise ones eyes to look at it. Oaks are now turning en masse, producing gorgeous orange tints. Norway and Field Maple are not just yellow but an almost unprecedented gold. Sweet chestnuts and beech were glorious in yellow, gold and brown. I predict that next weekend will be the best for colour - if the wind does not blow everything off first.

Approaching Wadhurst at 4.15pm, one of the party went straight to the station to finish the walk in the daylight, while the remaining four of us went to the White Hart with the opposite intention. The pub was eerily quiet on what is usually a busy night, the last minute cancellation of the Wadhurst Bonfire having stripped it of clientele.

We set off again at 5.30pm and had a magical walk down the back lanes in the deep darkness - always a treat - at one point seeing a crescent moon (well, two of us did). We caught the 6.29 train and dried off with a bottle of red wine.