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This Week's Walks - Archive

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Saturday, 1 August 2020

From an Ancient Town to a Cinque Port Town via a Mediterranean Dip

SWC 316: Winchelsea to Hastings (via Three Oaks) T=swc.316

Distance:  16.4 Miles or 26.4 km for those more metrically minded (with options to shorten to about 8 miles by starting or finishing in Three Oaks -- see walk notes)

Difficulty:  8 out of 10

Train:  Take the 9:34 AM train from London St. Pancras to Ashford International and change onto the Southern service to Brighton (arriving 10:11 and departing 10:25) to arrive in Winchelsea at 10:51.  Return trains from Hastings are regular and varied:  to Charing Cross 17:18; 17:50; 18:18; 18:50; 19:50; 20:50 and 21:50 to Victoria 17:23; 18:23; 19:23; 20:23 and 21:26 and to St. Pancras (via Ashford) 17:27; 18:27; 19:27; 20:27 and 21:27. Buy a day return to Hastings. 

This walk features a new twist on an old favorite.  It starts off rather innocently in a gentle (almost misleading) way across Romney Marsh on the 1066 path from the delightful Ancient Town of Winchelsea and finishes with a bang with a few steep climbs along coastal cliffs and an opportunity for a cooling idyllic swim in an almost Mediterranean cove towards the end (who needs Spain).  You can find more information about the walk and download the walk instructions here.

Lunch is probably still advised as a picnic – but the Three Oaks Pub in, well you guessed it, Three Oaks (01424 813 303) about 8 miles/12.9 km into the walk is open according to its website. Although sadly, I think the Coastguards Tea Room is closed, the old port in Hastings offers a variety of refreshment options at the end of the walk.

Enjoy the walk and swim!

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Due, probably to the coronavirus, the last bus out of Fairlight is now 16.58 (5 o'clock) and not 18.58 (7 o'clock) as indicated in the walk notes.

Gavin said...

Just rang The Three Oaks and they are doing food. I'll eat there. Lovely pizza last time I was there. Gavin

Dirk said...

I just checked the tides at Hastings for tomorrow: Low tide at 15:58. Dooh. No swimming at Fairlight Glen then. Hastings beach might still be fine.

Gavin said...

Why is low tide not good for swimming.

Gavin said...

Why is low tide not good for swimming.

Stargazer said...

As for tides, I think low tide will actually be an hour later, taking in BST....which should make it ok...very low tide means you can negotiate out through the rocks, as they will be exposed....the problem period is mid-tide when you can't see rocks...but the tide is not high enough to swim out over them....

Walker said...

Low tide is 16.56 BST, according to the BBC

Dirk said...

Yes, low tide is 15:58 GMT, i. e. 16:58 BST. Didn't read this correctly. Let's see how it will look.

Stargazer said...

Gosh, where to start....a really fab day, aside from a somewhat crowded train from London and a very crowded one from Ashford to Winchelsea....in the end 17 emerged on the platform at Winchelsea and set off breaking into smaller groups under W=fine-clear-skies-with-a-cooling-sea-breeze. In Winchelsea we encountered 2 regulars who joined us for a spell before they circled back to Winchelsea at Icklesham. The rest set off into what was new territory for some with lovely rolling hills and great views. Most picnicked a top a hill with vast views about a mile before the pub in Three Oaks, then went to the pub for a drink and met with the pub lunchers. The walk then climbs up to the cliffs from the back which provided an interesting perspective. Once on the cliffs, most opted for the slight short cut to head direct to the swimming cove...though a few opted for an easier finish avoiding the big dips along the coast into Hastings....As for the swimmers, on the beach we found one early starter and two late Three Oaks starters...the tide was at the "peak" of low and one could easily walk around the rocks into the the very pleasant (though slightly lively) water with a very Mediterranean backdrop...absolutely gorgeous....After our refreshing dip, we continued into Hastings and reconnected with some who had done the easier finish, most caught either the 19:27 fast or 19:50 slow coach....a trailing group of 4 who had some navigational problems finished a bit later also after a visit to the swimming cove....so, all in all...n=22 with 10 swimmers and 2 paddlers...

Dirk said...

And I stand corrected: It is perfectly possible to swim at high tide and low tide at Fairlight Glen. In fact at low tide the beach is transformed into a shallow sand beach. Only in between tides will you scrape your knees and stump your toes on the rocks ....