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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, 22 February 2020

Saturday Walk - Change of Plan necessary: The most diverse lunch pub selection - Wye Circular (Long or Normal or Short)

Update on 19/02/20: Brockenhurst to Lymington moved to 21 March due to rail replacement service Winchester - Southampton to fix damage to line after freight train derailment.
Length: 22.9 km (14.2 mi) or 17.7 km (11.0 mi)
Ascent/Descent: 423m or 419m
Net Walking Time: ca. 5 ¾ hours or ca. 4 ½ hours
Toughness: 7 out of 10 or 6 out of 10

[Short Walk: You can cut the 17.7 km version of the walk by 2.0 km by cutting the out-and-back to the lunch pub, or even by 3.2 km if taking the shortcut from the church in Crundale (ie cutting out the ascent to Sole Street). Picnic Lunch!]

Either the 09.34 Ramsgate train from St. Pancras I’nal (Stratford I’nal 09.41, Ebbsfleet I’nal 09.52), change at Ashford I’nal (10.11/10.35) onto the below Ramsgate train from Victoria.
Or the 09.01 Ramsgate train from Victoria (Bromley South 09.29, Sevenoaks 09.43 etc.), arrives Wye 10.41.
Return trains: xx.20 and xx.54.

This walk goes high up onto the North Downs and turns north along the Crundale Downs (“crun” in Old English meant chalk, and ‘dala’ meant dell or valley), with breath-taking views and continues to an isolated Norman church at Crundale, then on to an outstanding gastro-pub in a 15th century inn for lunch. The walk then passes Crundale House and the manor of Olantigh, crosses the River Great Stour and returns to Wye through its churchyard, for tea at a pub or a teashop on Church Street or at a pub next to the railway station.

The longer version stays along the North Downs for longer and passes two totally different pubs: the best beer pub in the area, and the (so far) quirkiest lunch pub of them all: The Timber Batts.

Lunch Long Walk: The Bowl Inn in Hastingleigh  (7.0 km/4.4 mi, food from 12.00): simple food choices, excellent beer choices. Or The Timber Batts Ale House & Forge  (8.9 km/5.6 mi, food to 15.00) in Bodsham: Pizze, Burgers and Cajun & Creole food. In a forge. Think quirky. Think very quirky.
Lunch Normal Walk: The Compasses Inn (food to 14.30), in Sole Street (8.6 km/5.3 mi). Consistently one of the best gastro-pubs in the UK. As per their website: “If planning to eat we strongly advise booking!”. And be there at the time of your booking, else you are asking for trouble!

For  walk directions, maps, height profiles, photos and gpx/kml files click here. T=1.53.a


Anonymous said...

plus 1 on earlier train doing Wye Circ

Thomas G said...

12 on the platform, 1 met on the bridge over the Stour (off the train an hour earlier up from 7oaks), who had met 1 other SWC regular on his train, who had announced she would walk (some version of) the walk, ie n=14 in w=overcast weather. All of us 13 walked the long version via Hastingleigh and Bodsham, although 1 or 2 took some improvised shortcuts in the pm to make early-ish trains to meet evening obligations. There was a 15 minute period of spittle, which - combined with the at the time (on top of the downs) hard wind - felt like rain but wasn't. Apart from the blustery period along the NDW on top of the downs the wind was not a big factor though. Mud: some unpleasant stretches in the bits of wood that we passed through, but a non-event on the downs and - surprisingly perhaps - neither in the many arable fields crossed. They looked soggy upon approach but proved to be carrying our weight w/o sinking in, and there were no mud agglomerations on boots either.
4 ventured into The Bowl Inn, which deserves any CAMRA accolade it gets in our views: welcoming, great beers, fine selection of snacks, a snug ('Adults Only'), shame it comes a bit early in the walk for a meal. On to the Timber Batts then, where all but the 5 picnickers had a meal (plenty of burgers and assorted other dishes, incl. one gumbo) and just as everyone was ready to move on (the picnickers had long left on account of the coffee machine being broken), one walker announced that he was not going to leave, come hell or high water, for at least another 10 minutes as he was following his football team's travails on the wifi-powered smartphone (loosing at home to their across-town smaller neighbours). That was enough of an excuse for everyone else to get another drink but eventually we moved on. We caught the others half-way through the pm and got to Wye in time for some to catch the 17.20 train. Others went to The Kings Head for a hot drink (mostly hot drinks anyway) and/or a quick pizza.
A fine route, less muddy than feared. Plenty of snowdrops, lots of crocuses, loads of daffodils in various stages of readiness, most beautifully in the churchyard in Wye, where they seem to plant more and more of them every year. Some wild garlic (more a scent than fully grown plants). Lots of beautiful quiet valleys (no roads through them, mostly). One Harris Hawk (in the aviary of the Timber Batts).