Ardingly Reservoir

Ardingly Reservoir

Balcombe Circular walk

11-Dec-05 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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Book 3, Walk 22, Balcombe Circular

Book 3, Walk 22, Balcombe Circular

Cock, Westup Farm, 5 May '07

05-May-07 • mew2005b on Flickr

summer book3 walk22 midsussex swcwalks balcombecircular

Book 3, Walk 22, Balcombe Circular

Book 3, Walk 22, Balcombe Circular

5 May '07

05-May-07 • mew2005b on Flickr

summer book3 walk22 midsussex swcwalks balcombecircular

Book 3, Walk 22, Balcombe Circular

Book 3, Walk 22, Balcombe Circular

5 May '07

05-May-07 • mew2005b on Flickr

summer book3 walk22 midsussex swcwalks balcombecircular

Book 3, Walk 22, Balcombe Circular

Book 3, Walk 22, Balcombe Circular

Homeward bound, 5 May '07

05-May-07 • mew2005b on Flickr

summer book3 walk22 midsussex swcwalks balcombecircular

Book 3, Walk 22, Balcombe Circular

Book 3, Walk 22, Balcombe Circular

Balcombe, 5 May '07

05-May-07 • mew2005b on Flickr

summer book3 walk22 midsussex swcwalks balcombecircular

Book 3, Walk 22, Balcombe Circular (winter)

Book 3, Walk 22, Balcombe Circular (winter)

Some of the walkers had long suspected that Sean was an angel incarnate. Here was the proof, 6 Jan '08.

06-Jan-08 • mew2005b on Flickr

winter westsussex balcombe book3 walk22 swcwalks tocw322

Balcombe Circular via Ardingly Reservoir walk

Two interlocking circular walks (one for Summer, one for Winter) around Balcombe, taking in Ardingly Reservoir, the Ouse Valley Viaduct, and fine Weald territory.

History

This is a list of previous times this walk has been done by the club (since Jan 2010). For more recent events (since April 2015), full details are shown.

Date # Post
Sun, 06-Nov-16

Figure of Eight Wealden walk around Balcombe

Download walk 22a Balcombe circular via Ardingly Reservoir (short walk)
Distance 16.2km (10.1m); toughness 4/10
Trains: 09.32 London Victoria (Clapham Junction 09.38, East Croydon 09.48) arrives Balcombe 10.27.
Return trains from Balcombe to London Victoria at xx:30
This is a figure of eight walk taking in some fine Wealden scenery. You will be doing the shorter winter walk option but faster walkers may wish to tackle the summer version which is 12.6m.

Click here for further information about the walk and the pdf tab giving full walk instructions and the refreshment options.
When you alight at Balcombe be careful not to get swept up by a Ramblers group (the Capital Walkers) doing a similar Wealden walk. They'll be setting off on a more northerly route via Wakehurst Place, but you'll have the opportunity for another skirmish at Ardingly when your paths cross at lunchtime.
I am not quite sure why the home page for this walk describes this as a figure of eight walk because it is no such thing. It is two interlocking circular walks. The circular walk has three segments and on each segment you have a choice of two routes. The "winter walk", as chosen here, is the recommended walk for shorter days but those wanting a longer walk could try the summer start. Whatever you choose to do you will be doing a circular walk, however, NOT a figure of eight (which would be having the same place for lunch and tea as on Saturday's Wadhurst walk).

All this being said, it is a very nice day out.
OMG Sean, I wont know which group to walk with!!!
Hayley
Wed, 25-May-16 5

Midweek day walk - Balcombe Circular

Balcombe Circular via Ardingly Reservoir

Two interlocking walks in a figure of 8 around Balcombe (one for Summer, one for Winter), taking in Ardingly Reservoir, the Ouse Valley Viaduct, and fine Weald territory

Book 3* Walk 22 * online only

Length : 20 km or 12½ miles ( A shorter 16 km / 10 mile variant is possible if the weather is inclement)

Toughness : 8 out of 10 ( 4 out of 10 for the short 'un )

Getting there : Catch the 9:42 am Brighton train from London Bridge to Balcombe (9:56 am from East Croydon if you're travelling from Victoria or Clapham Junction )

(From Horley catch the 9:45 am Horsham train to Gatwick Airport and change there catching the 10:12 am Brighton train to Balcombe)

Meeting point : Balcombe Station at 10:22 am

Tickets : Buy a cheap day return to Balcombe

Brief Description

The trains to Balcombe are hourly (some walkers may recall that one failed to stop there on one occasion!) so a slightly earlier start today. The Ouse Viaduct carrying the London to Brighton Railway is a spectacular engineering achievement and worth a photo or two as you walk underneath.
Ardingly Reservoir and the Weald also make for great scenery and there's a chance to visit the National Trust's Wakehurst Place for an afternoon cuppa with the Millennium Seed Bank adjacent.
Mike from Vancouver may join us on this walk. If he does, please make him feel welcome.

As usual, you may find full details of this walk here and a PDF here

Suggested Lunch stop

The Ardingly Inn t: 01444 892 214

Those with a packed lunch may enjoy eating by the side of the reservoir.

Suggested Tea stops

Wakehurst Place (mid afternoon)
The Balcombe Tea Rooms t: 01444 811777 closes at 4:30 pm
The Half Moon Inn t: 01444 811582

Maps

OS Explorer : 135

Return train times

Trains return from Balcombe to London Bridge at the following times 15:22 | 16:29 | 17:28 | 18:22
Change at East Croydon for London Victoria.
Apologies for Southern Train services.
The 9:42 became initially delayed then mutated into a "fast" service to Brighton.
The next train was at 10:42 but there was no guarantees that wouldn't suffer a similar fate.
In many ways the Southern Staff "sicknesses" are worse than a strike at least with a strike the you know for certain your train will be cancelled!
In the mean time I'm going to avoid posting any more walks using this train service until Southern Rail resolves this conflict.
On a final note, I find it reassuring to have a guard/ticket inspector on longer journeys, what do you think?
it was jinxed because you posted a pre 10 o'clock walk start Arthur !
5 overcast cool breeze
When the 9:42 became a "fast" service, Thameslink heeded a protest from one walker at East Croydon and got the next Brighton bound train to make an unscheduled stop at Balcombe. Two walkers who stayed on the original train were able to change at Gatwick and join two others who boarded the later train at East Croydon, thus starting the walk only half an hour late. Unfortunately others must have given up at London Bridge without waiting for news of the alternative service. A fifth walker coming from the south coast caught up with the rest during the morning. All did the longer "summer" version of this lovely walk in perfect walking conditions and most got back to Balcombe for the 16:29 train home.
Sat, 05-Dec-15 11

Saturday Second Walk - A viaduct and a reservoir

SWC walk 22 - Balcombe Circular via Ardingly Reservoir, winter walk
Length: 16.2km (10 miles)
Longer option: 18.1km (11.3 miles): see ** below
Toughness: 4 out of 10

9.12 train from London Bridge (9.25 East Croydon) to Balcombe, arriving 9.51

For walk directions click here (you only need pages 1-8, unless you want to do the longer option).

It has been a couple of years since the Balcombe Circular winter walk had an outing. It is designed to make use of lanes and firm tracks as much as possible, but it does inevitably have some mud. You start with a walk along quiet lanes and then pass under the magnificent Ouse Valley Viaduct on the Brighton Line (more interesting than it sounds: see comments for this walk), then passing Ardingly Reservoir to climb up to Ardingly village for lunch.

Here the Ardingly Arms is now the only lunch option. Its website has gone a bit more fancy so I am not sure if the food has done the same, but in the past it served hearty meals.

I have picked a train to get us to the pub early in case there is competition for tables (though this has never been a problem in the past) and also because after lunch it is 4 miles to Balcombe village and it is nice to get to the Balcombe Tea Rooms in time. They close at 4.30pm, but will sometimes stay open a bit later for a group if you phone them to say you are coming. Otherwise, the nearby Half Moon Inn sometimes has some of the tea room's cakes on offer at its bar, plus tea.

Trains back are at 22 past the hour. In the dark it is tempting to use the main road route to the station, but the recommended route down the back roads is only a bit longer and is very atmospheric at night.

** Longer option: Hard nuts and those keen to put the mud-resistant qualities of their boots to the test can, if they wish, do the summer afternoon of this walk (pages 12-16 of the walk document). It is only 1.3 miles longer, but is a squelch-fest in winter (as the walk author can attest, having researched it in a long-ago January. He reckons this makes him the only SWC-ite who has ever done this route in winter: YOU could be the second!!). It is also much more hilly. Astonishingly, the Wakehurst Place Cafe is still open in winter (until 4.15pm), though you will have to be a speedy walker to both complete the walk route and get your chocolate cake in. Nevertheless I have given you an early train, so it might be possible.
Sounds great. A good viaduct, often travelled on it but not under it.
It is the CHRISTMAS PARTY on Thursday don't forget!! See listing below
11 on this walk Windy cloudy mild As walk poster I have to concede that a train an hour later would probably have been better since we were leaving lunch by 1.30pm and finishing the walk by 3pm.

Since the whole aim of the earlier start was to go to the lovely Balcombe Tea Rooms before they closed at 4.30pm, it was disappointing to find them shut. They obviously HAD been open as there were sounds of washing up coming from beyond the shutters, but they presumably had had little business that afternoon and decided to shut early. Lack of tea room caused most to go straight for the 3.20 train but four of us stayed and parlayed with the pub, who let us buy mince pies from the local shop to go with our tea, and we had nice comfy sofas to sit on as we consumed them, so maybe that was better.

The lunch pub, the Ardingly Arms, was unchanged,despite posher website (or did I look at the wrong website?). As usual we were practically the only customers and as usual the food was hearty. In the morning the Ouse Valley Viaduct was a highlight, as ever, causing mobile phone cameras to be brought into play.

Two did the summer afternoon route and reported it not so muddy really. They also finished easily in the daylight. We just seem to whip through these walks nowadays....

Those of us who did the main route had to contend with gunfire from a shooting party across the water. One walker reported that stray shot came across the path in front of him. The rest of us discussed the ecology, politics and morality of hunting as a pastime.

At least four of us took the back way to the station in the intense dark. For me, this was one of the loveliest bits of the day and all too short.


Apart from the yells and gunshot from the deranged bloodsport enthusiasts near Ardingly Resevoir, it was a very enjoyable walk!
aha! walker 'concedes' that this walk would have been better with a later start... Some of us agree.

a vote for later starts please..
Sat, 18-Jul-15 10

Balcombe Circular via Ardingly Reservoir

Length: 20.2km (12.6 miles), Toughness: 8/10

Features: Ardingly Reservoir, Wakehurst Place

Trains: 10:12 from London Bridge to Balcombe arriving at 10:51. Buy a day return to Balcombe. Return trains are at xx:22 (40 minutes to LBG) until 19:22 then xx:57 (about 1h10 to LBG, change required).

Options: There are various options to reduce the walk length. Refer to the instructions for details.

Lunch: The suggested lunch stop is The Ardingly Inn (01444 892 214) in Ardingly about 10km into the walk. Food served 12:00 - 14:00.

Tea: About half-way through the afternoon section there's a cafe at Wakehurst Place. In Balcombe, The Balcombe Tea Rooms (01444 811 777) tends to close early. The Half Moon Inn also serves tea.

Directions: For more information including directions, maps, GPS etc. see SWC.22

The Half Moon also serves some cakes from the Balcombe Tea room, after the tea room has closed. In the past, they have also been ok with us buying cakes from the shop next door to have with our tea.
Just checking the trains, and it seems cheaper to buy a return from London Bridge rather than a return from East Croydon (the zone 6 boundary). Odd!
Thameslink only tickets are **much** cheaper.
10 walkers. Sunny all day. A core group of seven stayed together most of the day, with three opting for variations including one who managed to combine both the winter and summer variants of this walk. The Ardingly Inn has good variety on its menu but the quality was somewhat lacking. Tea at the Wakehurst Place cafe after having been told off (at length) for entering through the wrong door.
Sat, 26-Jul-14 12 Balcombe Circular via Ardingly Reservoir
Sat, 05-Apr-14 30 Balcombe Circular via Ardingly Reservoir (short walk)
Sat, 21-Sep-13 7 Balcombe Circular via Ardingly Reservoir
Sat, 29-Dec-12 Balcombe Circular via Ardingly Reservoir (short walk)
Sat, 25-Aug-12 Balcombe Circular via Ardingly Reservoir
Sat, 03-Mar-12 Balcombe Circular via Ardingly Reservoir (short walk)
Sat, 23-Jul-11 Balcombe Circular via Ardingly Reservoir
Sat, 05-Mar-11 Balcombe Circular via Ardingly Reservoir (short walk)
Sat, 26-Jun-10 Balcombe Circular via Ardingly Reservoir
Sat, 13-Feb-10 Balcombe Circular via Ardingly Reservoir (short walk)
Sun, 04-Oct-09 Balcombe Circular via Ardingly Reservoir
Sat, 20-Jun-09 Balcombe Circular via Ardingly Reservoir
Sat, 17-Jan-09 Balcombe Circular via Ardingly Reservoir (short walk)
Sat, 04-Oct-08 Balcombe Circular via Ardingly Reservoir
Sun, 03-Aug-08 Balcombe Circular via Ardingly Reservoir
Sat, 24-May-08 Balcombe Circular via Ardingly Reservoir
Sun, 06-Jan-08 Balcombe Circular via Ardingly Reservoir (short walk)
Sat, 05-May-07 Balcombe Circular via Ardingly Reservoir
Sat, 17-Feb-07 Balcombe Circular via Ardingly Reservoir (short walk)