Length: 17.8km (11 miles) with an optional 5.5km (3.4 mi) extension to East Grinstead
Toughness: 5 out of 10 T=3.110 10.07
train from London Bridge
(10.22 East Croydon
) to Ashurst (Kent), arriving 10.57. **
Our resident train gnome suggests a day return to East Grinstead
as being slightly more expensive than one to Ashurst (Kent). There are also no barriers at Ashurst, though a very picky ticket inspector might make you pay the fare from Hurst Green to Ashurst on the outbound journey. Or do it the other way round (day return to Ashurst) and rely on your blue eyes and winning smile at the East Grinstead ticket barriers.
For walk directions
. For GPX
You might think you have done this walk but you very likely have not, as it takes a different route from other walks starting in Ashurst (obviously....Ed)
and has not had an outing for a couple of years.
After crossing pleasant lowlands, lunch is in a remote pub in Gallipot
, though a slightly earlier option is available in (the more familiar to SWC walkers) Hartfield. After lunch it is up onto the heathlands of Ashdown Forest
, which hopefully will be showing some nice heather
colour. I say "hopefully" because I never seem to time heather right. Like bluebells it always seems to be half out or half over. But this OUGHT to be about the right time.
When we did this two years ago the Ashdown Forest Visitor Centre
had a "pop-up cafe" (what we pre-millennials call a "tea van"), but if that is not there, Forest Row
is oozing with tea options. You can finish the walk here by taking the 270 or 291 bus
to East Grinstead, which go at 16.03, 16.27, 17.04, 17.26, 18.03, 18.35, 18.57, 19.49, 21.44
you can walk on to East Grinstead
via the old railway line - another 5.5km (3.3 miles)
- using directions provided in the walk document, making a total walk of 23.3km (14.4 miles) OR
- if you want to be really flashy - use the shorter afternoon of the East Grinstead Circular,
which is 8.9km (5.5 miles)
from Forest Row, making a total walk from Ashurst of 26.7km (16.5 miles)
. This starts in paragraph 89 on page 8 of this document
and you will need pages 8-10 (GPX here
). Early in this option you past Tablehurst Farm cafe,
a possible tea stop.
However you have got there, trains back
from East Grinstead are at 06
past. ** ** We were warned that on 20 May the times of every train on Southern would change. Well, the Ashurst train used to leave at 10.08 and it is now 10.07, while East Grinstead trains used to be 07 and 37 and are now 06 and 36. Try not to get caught out.