Etchingham to Wadhurst via Ticehurst walk

Hilly Wealden landscapes, ancient villages and Bewl Water reservoir

Along Bewl Water (option b) Etchingham to Wadhurst walk
Along Bewl Water (option b)

Etchingham to Wadhurst walk

Jun-18 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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Buttercup meadows Etchingham to Wadhurst walk
Buttercup meadows

Etchingham to Wadhurst walk

Jun-18 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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Descending to Bewl Water (option a) Etchingham to Wadhurst walk
Descending to Bewl Water (option a)

Etchingham to Wadhurst walk

Jun-18 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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Bewl Water (options b & c) Etchingham to Wadhurst walk
Bewl Water (options b & c)

Etchingham to Wadhurst walk

Jun-18 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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Lane near Wadhurst at dusk Etchingham to Wadhurst walk
Lane near Wadhurst at dusk

Etchingham to Wadhurst walk

Nov-19 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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Sunset near Wadhurst Etchingham to Wadhurst walk
Sunset near Wadhurst

Etchingham to Wadhurst walk

Nov-19 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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Nice tree Etchingham to Wadhurst
Nice tree

Etchingham to Wadhurst

Mar-14 • moontiger on Flickr

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Main walk: 17.3km (10.7 miles)

With Robertsbridge start: 21.3km (13.2 miles)

Longer Bewl Water loop: + 3.5km (2.2 miles)

Shorter Bewl Water loop: + 1.4km (0.9 miles)


5 out of 10: quite hilly, but with mainly gentle gradients


OS Explorer 136, Landranger 188 (199 for the Robertsbridge start)


After a fairly flat start across the valley of the River Rother, this is a classic Wealden walk - a hilly mix of pasture and woodland, fine panoramic views across valleys, a succession of converted oast houses, a cobnut orchard, and the typical Wealden villages of Ticehurst and Wadhurst. The route also passes very close to the shore of the beautiful Bewl Water reservoir and there is an optional extra loop (see Walk Options below) which takes you down to hidden places on its shoreline.

While the walk is very rural throughout, there are three sections of road walking. One is a necessary 2km (1.2 mile) walk along the main road through the village of Ticehurst, which can be broken up by a visit to the pretty village centre (or even lunch at The Bell, though the Bull Inn in Three Leg Cross 1.1km (0.6 miles) further on is highly recommended). The other two are idyllic saunters down back lanes whose verges are alive with wild flowers in spring. The first of these is just after lunch, a 2.3km (1.4 miles) back lane which was cut off by the construction of the reservoir and is now something of a hidden lost world. The other is the 3.3km (2 mile) ending from Wadhurst village to Wadhurst station.

These road sections, and others on gravel tracks and lanes, make this walk fairly well suited to winter. At this time of year there could be flooding at the start of the walk, where it crosses the Rother valley, though there is a road alternative to this if necessary.

Easily the best time to do the walk is in spring, however, when the lanes verges are covered in flowers and this ancient landscape looks at its best. From mid May to early June there are also good displays of buttercups at the start of this walk, on the Robertsbridge start, and on the longer loop to Bewl Water. In addition, this is idyllic walk for a summer day, when there is ample daylight for a leisurely exploration of the margins of the reservoir, or in October, when the wooded landscape provides plenty of autumn colour.

Walk options

The main walk starts at Etchingham, which gives you 7.4km (4.6 miles) to walk to the recommended lunch stop. For those who prefer a longer morning, the Robertsbridge start makes a very pleasant 4km (2.5 mile) addition to the walk. Robertsbridge is the next station after Etchingham and this option takes an hour at a reasonable pace, enabling you to link up with less vigorous friends taking the train an hour later.

The main walk route takes you close to the edge of the picturesque Bewl Water Reservoir, but never actually visits it. These two options (one simply a longer version of the other) give you a chance to do just that:

- The Longer Bewl Water loop spends the most time on the reservoir's edge. It explores a remote promontory that sticks right out into the reservoir, with fine panoramic views of the lake as well as intimate close-ups of the water's edge. It adds 3.5km (2.2 miles) to the walk length.

- The Shorter Bewl Water loop is the ideal way to visit the reservoir with the minimum of effort. It is the last section of the longer loop and adds just 1.4km (0.9 miles) to the walk length.


Etchingham and Wadhurst are both on the railway line from Charing Cross and London Bridge to Hastings. Trains currently stop hourly at Etchingham and half hourly at Wadhurst, taking just over an hour from London.

The train that currently leaves London around 10.15am would be enough to get you to lunch in time, but if you want more time to explore Bewl Water in the afternoon, or if you want to get to the tearooms in Wadhurst before they close, the 9.15am train might be more advisable. Buy a day return to Etchingham.

For the Robertsbridge start get the 9.15am train and buy a day return to Robertsbridge.

The Stagecoach South East 1066 bus runs hourly Monday to Saturday and every two hours on Sunday between Ticehurst, Wadhurst village, Wadhurst station and Tunbridge Wells station, enabling you to start or finish at Ticehurst or save yourself the 3.2km (2 mile) walk from Wadhurst village to its station. Buses from Ticehurst go from the shelter roughly opposite The Bell Inn hourly at 54 past till 16.54, the 1816 and 20.03 Monday to Saturday, and at 15.01 and 17.01 on Sundays. Buses from Wadhurst go from the Greyhound Inn eight to ten minutes after the Ticehurst times. If you are heading for London, check if it is better to stay on the bus all the way to Tunbridge Wells station (about 20 minutes after Wadhurst) which sometimes has a much more frequent train service, and is a more pleasant place to wait if you just miss a train

To start the walk at Ticehurst (6.4km/4 miles into the walk) it is better to get the bus from Tunbridge Wells: it leaves from the far side of the main road on the east side of the station at 39 past the hour Monday to Saturday, and at 9.50, 11.50, 13.50 etc on Sundays. If you get off at the Bell Inn in Ticehurst and turn around to go back the way you have come, you are at paragraph 32 in the main walk directions on page 5.


There are two possible pub lunch stops for this walk. The first you come to, 6.4km (4 miles) into the walk, is The Bell in Ticehurst (01580 200234). It has a spacious interior and a nice patio area with outside seatings. The menu is rather on the trendy side, with prices to match, but service is efficient and friendly. It also has a room that can be reserved by groups.

The recommended lunch stop, however, only 1.1km (0.6 miles) further on, is the Bull Inn in Three Leg Cross (01580 200 586), 7.5km (4.6 miles) into the walk. This is a large walker (and dog) friendly pub in a pleasant rural location, with plenty of outside tables in summer. It majors on table service but you can also eat in the bar area, and even when fully booked they are good at squeezing people in. It serves food 12-9pm Tuesday to Saturday and 12-4pm Sunday: closed Monday.

Ticehurst also a cafe - the Greedy Goat (01580 200 955) - which does some hot food and is open to 3.30pm Wednesday to Friday, 3pm Saturday and 2pm Sunday. By the Weigh just beyond the Bell Inn is a "zero-waste shop" which does coffee and cakes. It is open to 4.30pm Monday to Friday and 3.30pm Saturday.

Ticehurst churchyard, just beyond the Greedy Goat Cafe, makes a very nice picnic spot, with pleasantly situated benches. There is a convenience store on the corner at the start of Church Street.


The best place in Wadhurst for tea currently seems to be the Artful Grocers, a food store with a cafe attached, which is open till 5pm Monday to Saturday. The Piccolo cafe nearby keeps the same hours. Otherwise the Jempsons supermarket has a tea and coffee machine and good selection of cakes (you could take them to the churchyard, where there is a bench), while the One Shop convenience store has a Costa Coffee machine. Both shops are open till 10pm Monday to Saturday.

Of Wadhurst's two pubs, the Greyhound, the first you come to, is currently (September 2023) closed and to let, but 100 metres up the road the White Hart has been revamped and is now quite smart, serving tea in pots.

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By Train

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Start TN19 7PA Map Directions Return to the start:

Finish TN5 6RZ Map Directions Travel to the start:


National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Traveline (bus times): 0871 200 22 33 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234


Apr-24 Peter

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Walk Directions

Full directions for this walk are in a PDF file (link above) which you can print, or download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.

This is just the introduction. This walk's detailed directions are in a PDF available from