Burgess Hill to Hassocks

View of water tower from path over railway near Burgess Hill. D.Allen Vivitar 5199 5mp

01-Jan-06 • magyardave2002 on Flickr

watertower book3 swcwalks walk108

South Downs from Park Barn Farm on the Sussex Border Path on the Burgess Hill to Hassocks (extra) walk 108

Mud to die for on the SBP between Ditchling & the South Downs. D. Allen Vivitar 5199 3 March 2007

01-Jan-06 • magyardave2002 on Flickr

england sussex book3 swcwalks walk108

Burgess Hill to Hassocks - Sussex Border Path

View from top of the South Downs towards Indian War Memorial (just over the horizon as you follow the line of trees along the Sussex Border Path). D.Allen Vivitar 5mp

01-Jun-06 • magyardave2002 on Flickr

downs sussex sbp book3 swcwalks walk108

The Hassocks PH

Hassocks, West Sussex

01-Jun-06 • magyardave2002 on Flickr

book3 hassocks swcwalks walk108

Saturday Walkers Club Book 3 (extra) walk 108 - Burgess Hill to Hassocks: The Bull Inn & The Post Office Ditchling Sussex

The Sussex Border Path is an integral part of the Burgess Hill to Hassocks walk (via the South Downs) that goes through the charming village of Ditchling. As of May 2015 the building far left on the corner is now a cafe! D.Allen Vivitar 5mp

03-Mar-07 • magyardave2002 on Flickr

sussex bull book3 ditchling swcwalks walk108

South Downs ascent

It's That Man Again! Ascending the South Downs on the Sussex Border Path near Ditchling Beacon. Photo By D.Allen Vivitar 5 mp

01-May-07 • magyardave2002 on Flickr

book3 swcwalks walk108

Ditchling gig

Summer Fete at St. Margaret's, Ditchling Sussex. D.Allen Vivitar 5199 5mp

26-Jul-07 • magyardave2002 on Flickr

book3 ditchling swcwalks walk108

Burgess Hill to Hassocks walk

A long almost circular walk via the Sussex Border Path, Sussex Villages, and the South Downs Way ridge from Ditchling Beacon to Wolstonbury Hill

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
Sat, 19-May-18 30

Saturday walk - Burgess Hill to Hassocks - Buttercups and the South Downs

Length: 27.8km (16.8 miles) for the whole walk, but shorter options from 13.4km (8.4 miles) to 20.2km (12.6 miles)
Toughness: 8 out of 10 T=3.108

9.50 train from Victoria (9.56 Clapham Junction, 10.06 East Croydon) to Burgess Hill, arriving 10.35.

Buy a day return to Hassocks

For walk directions click here. For GPX click here

I have the happiest memories of doing this walk at this time of year in 2015, when the early part across the fields to Ditchling were awash with buttercups. The central part of this walk is then a climb up onto the South Downs, before descending over Wolstonbury Hill to the lowlands again for the final section.

Ways to shorten the walk include:

- Have an early lunch at the Bull in Ditchling, four miles onto the walk, and then once on the downs depart from the walk route and follow the South Downs Way to the Jack and Jill windmills. Descend the downs from there to the village of Clayton and follow a path alongside the railway line to Hassocks. This is a 13.4km (8.3 mile) walk from Burgess Hill. Once up on the downs you are off the walk route but you could probably follow this route pretty easily even without a map.

- Alternatively, continuing on the walk to the Plough in Pyecombe (the recommended lunch stop for the main walk, or a possible tea stop for those who have lunched in Ditchling), and then carrying on beyond it, you find yourself on Wolstonbury Hill, which is on the Hassocks to Upper Beeding walk. Should you a) have a map or b) be familiar with the route of that walk you can reverse its start to Hassocks, making a total walk of 18.8km (11.7 miles).

- Alternatively, continue with the walk route to the pleasant village of Hurstpierpoint, 20.2km (12.6 miles) from the start of the walk. From the war memorial in this village you can get bus no 33 at 4.50pm to Hassocks station, or bus 273 at 4.54pm or 6.13pm. It is otherwise a 2.7km (1.7 mile) walk down the road from Hurstpierpoint to Hassocks and there are some paths that would take you off the road if you have a map. Hurstpierpoint has pubs.

Trains back from Hassocks are at 36 past to Victoria (48 minutes - the fastest option) and 15 and 45 past to St Pancras (the last day of the slow service between East Croydon and Blackfriars before the new Thameslink timetable kicks in tomorrow... but these trains are reasonably fast to East Croydon, taking 40 minutes)
30 or so walkers on this day of warm sunshine and gentle breezes and lots of buttercups in the fields as promised. Some did the short walk, some the 12 miles and others went for the full monty.
Sat, 11-Mar-17 20

Saturday Walk - Burgess Hill to Hassocks

SWC Walk 108 - Burgess Hill to Hassocks (or Hurstpierpoint)
16.8 miles/26.7km - see below for shorter options

A long almost circular walk via the Sussex Border Path, Sussex Villages, and the South Downs Way ridge from Ditchling Beacon to Wolstonbury Hill.

There are numerous ways to shorten the walk - the simplest being to head straight back to Hassocks after lunch at Pyecombe, this reduces the distance by about a quarter. Or take a short bus journey from Hurstpierpoint to Hassocks to skip the last few miles, this service runs hourly til 16:47.

Trains: Take the 09:12 Brighton (Thameslink) train from London Bridge, arriving at Burgess Hill at 10:01. Return trains from Hassocks are at xx15 and xx45 to St Pancras/Blackfriars (Thameslink), xx36 to Victoria (Southern). Buy a day return to Hassocks - a Thameslink only ticket is the cheapest option.

Lunch: The Plough at Pyecombe, 01273 842796

Hurstpierpoint has several pubs, and by Hassocks station you will find The Hassocks pub and Carol's Café.

Click here for full walk details T=swc.108
Thinking of doing this walk tomorrow. Does anyone know if an off peak or super off peak return to Hassocks will be valid on the 09.12 to Burgess Hill? It seems to be on a different route. Not sure which ticket to get.
20 warm and sunny
The sun quickly burned through the early morning mist and it continued to shine until evening when it gave way to the rising moon. This was a lovely walk with great views from the downs and varied lowland paths with daffodils, birdsong and regular stretches of very sloppy mud. Most did the full 16.8 miles. Some ate their sandwiches up on the downs while others sat around a tombstone in Pyecombe's churchyard. Some delicious brownies were bought from a table outside someone's house on the way up to the church. A few dined at the Plough. After lunch, three opted for the short route to Hassocks. The fast walkers set off apace and were not seen again. The rearguard of eight completed the route to Hassocks via Hurstpierpoint at a brisk enough pace to catch the 5.15 train to London, all very pleased to have covered the distance.
Sun, 12-Jun-16 9

Sunday First Walk - Sussex villages and the South Downs

Extra Walk 108 Burgess Hill to Hassocks
Length: 26.7km (16.8 miles) with shorter options. Toughness: 8/10 (less for shorter versions)

09:37 Thameslink Brighton train from London Bridge (East Croydon 09:56) arriving at Burgess Hill at 10:31.
Or 09:32 Southern Brighton train from Victoria arriving at Burgess Hill at 10:28.

A Super Off-Peak Day Return from London Bridge appears to be about half the price of an Off-Peak Day Return from Victoria, but the former is valid only on Thameslink trains.

Return trains from Hassocks to London Bridge are at xx:23 and xx:53 (journey time 57 minutes), and to Victoria at xx:09 (journey time 69 minutes).

This walk takes in a fine stretch of the South Downs with superb views to the north and south as well as some more gentle countryside to the north of the downs, and passes several Sussex landmarks and some delightful villages. There are several options for shortening the walk by between 2 and 4 miles, which are described on the Walk 108 page that also includes the Walk Directions.

The recommended lunch pub is The Plough (01273 842796) in Pyecombe after 8.4 miles. Or you could take an early lunch at The Bull (01273 843147) in Ditchling after 4.2 miles, especially if you’re doing one of the shorter options.
I intend to go.
I will be joining this walk
9 on this walk with the weather rain to start then dry and humid. At the start I think most of us were making plans for doing a shortcut as the weather looked to be rainy and the tops of the Downs shrouded in low cloud. However after lunch at the Bull good portions of fish and chips the weather brightened up but 5 of the group decided to take a short route back to Hassocks. 4 of us pressed on enjoying the now improving weather but at Wolstonbury Hill I had no real wish to visit Hurstpierpoint and do the big loop back to Hassocks so I descended the hill essentially doing the first part of the Hassocks to Upper Beeding walk in reverse. (How nice to descend this hill after toiling up it numerous times!) to get back to Hassocks for a quick cuppa and the 16.53 train.
Within the last 4 months new signposts have been put up and the rights of way have been changed in one place making the gpx inaccurate but not the instructions.
At least two of us completed the circular. The afternoon cleared up nicely and the very wet morning was a distant memory as we took had a refreshment (or two) in the sunshine outside the the pub next to the station in Hassocks. Took the very crowded 18:23 back to London.
Correction obviously not a circular... we did the long walk from Burgess Hill to Hassocks.
Sat, 23-May-15 20

Downland and lowlands

SWC walk 108 - Burgess Hill to Hassocks
Length: various options from 13.4km (8.3 miles) to 26.7km (16.8 miles): see below
Toughness: 6 to 8 out of 10 (mainly due to one big climb onto the downs)

9.12 train from London Bridge (9.25 East Croydon) to Burgess Hill, arriving 10.03

or

9.16 train from Victoria (9.22 Clapham Junction, 9.32 East Croydon) to Burgess Hill, arriving 10.08

London Bridge walkers please wait for the Victoria train before starting!

Buy a day return to Hassocks

For walk directions click here.

This walk had a truly horrid outing in February due to some of the worst weather I have ever encountered on a Saturday walk. I thought it deserved an outing in better conditions and at a nicer time of year, so am crossing my fingers that the weather today is more clement…

The full walk in the walk document is a very long one, and in February some of us shortened it by starting it from Hassocks. But this time I have a different idea. With everyone starting from Burgess Hill, the normal start, you have a four mile walk across the lowlands to the village of Ditchling, where more relaxed types may like to try The Bull pub for lunch (there is also a nice deli, or there used to be).

Faster walkers can hammer on, climbing up onto the South Downs escarpment by a very scenic path to have lunch at the Plough in Pyecombe, a nice pub with a fine menu, but eight miles into the walk (nevertheless a good few got there in February in reasonable time).

Those who lunched in Ditchling will do the climb onto the South Downs after lunch. Once up there it is relatively easy to depart from the walk route and follow the South Downs Way to the Jack and Jill windmills. descend the downs from there to the village of Clayton and follow a path alongside the railway line to Hassocks. This is a 13.4km (8.3 mile) walk from Burgess Hill. Once up on the downs you are off the walk route but you could probably follow this route pretty easily even without a map, providing conditions are clear.

Alternatively, continuing on the walk 108 route to Pyecombe (a possible tea stop for those who have lunched in Ditchling), and then carrying on beyond it, you find yourself on Wolstonbury Hill, familiar from Book 2, walk 23 Hassocks to Upper Beeding. Should you a) have a map or b) be familiar with the route of that walk you can reverse its start to Hassocks, making a total walk of 18.8km (11.7 miles).

Alternatively, continue with the walk 108 route from Wolstonbury Hill brings you to the pleasant village of Hurstpierpoint, 20.2km (12.6 miles) from the start of the walk. From the war memorial in this village you can get bus no 33 at 4.54pm to Hassocks station. There is no later bus from Hurstpierpoint, but you can either walk another 2.7km (1.7 miles) down the road from Hurstpierpoint to Hassocks station, or walk 1km or so west along the main street of Hurstpierpoint to the village of Albourne and get a no 100 bus from there to Burgess Hill station at 17.45 or 18.43.

Or you can finish the walk as specified to Hassocks, 26.7km (16.8 miles).

Trains back from Hassocks are at 06 and 38 past the hour to London Bridge and 34 past the hour to Victoria until 19.06, then at 19.40 and 20.12 to Blackfriars and St Pancras, 20.30 to Victoria, 20.40 to Blackfriars and St Pancras (after that check for yourself!): all trains go to East Croydon.




I was in Ditchling last Friday with the Friends of The Courtauld and visited The Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft, finalist in Museum of the Year by the ArtFund in 2014. It is a delightful small local museum, next to the church, showing works by local crafts people such as sculptor Eric Gill (as on old BBC building), Edward Johnston (designed typeface for London Underground), printer Hilary Pepler and weaver Ethel Mairet; well worth 30 minutes if you have time to spare. Small cafe with best cakes in 20 miles (no need to pay entry for cafe). lovely shop.
Intend going (and maybe a little surreptitious walk checking?)
Saturday 23 May: Burgess Hill to Hassocks. 20 on this walk. Sadly cloudy all day apart from brief sun at lunch but a lovely day out otherwise. May suits this walk, especially the early part to Ditchling which was awash with buttercups and had nice distant views of the downs to start.

The Bull in Ditchling was friendly and did lunch for about half of us. Menu a bit fancy but the food tasty. The lovely graded climb up onto the downs was sublime. Four peeled off here and went via the Jack and Jill Windmills to Hassocks. Six of us descended to Pyecombe for tea in the pub. Two then went to Hassocks direct, four via Wolstonbury Hill (and a dramatic steep descent down it front) to Hurstpierpoint for another pub stop, then a back path to Hassocks (14 mikes in all).

This leaves ten unaccounted for who were presumably faster walkers. Did they complete the full 16.8 mike route?
In reply to Anonymous question:
Did they complete the full 16.8 mike (sic) route?

Indeed I did and it was a lovely walk, especially the 360° view from Wolstonbury hill in the wind and the steep descent afterwards. I missed the 15:38 train back to London Bridge but got the 4:06 one.
Sat, 28-Feb-15 15 Burgess Hill to Hassocks
Sat, 28-Feb-15 Hassocks to Hurstpierpoint
Sat, 01-Feb-14 20 Hassocks to Hurstpierpoint
Sun, 10-Feb-13 0 Burgess Hill to Hassocks (short walk)
Tue, 27-Dec-11 Burgess Hill to Hassocks (short walk)
Sat, 09-Apr-11 Hassocks Circular
Sun, 30-Jan-11 Burgess Hill to Hassocks (short walk)
Sat, 06-Oct-07 Burgess Hill to Hassocks
Wed, 16-May-07 Burgess Hill to Hassocks