Buttercup meadows

Etchingham to Wadhurst walk

02-Jun-18 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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Descending to Bewl Water (option a)

Etchingham to Wadhurst walk

02-Jun-18 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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Nice tree

Etchingham to Wadhurst

22-Mar-14 • moontiger on Flickr

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Summer snowflake

Etchingham to Wadhurst

22-Mar-14 • moontiger on Flickr

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A view unfolds

Etchingham to Wadhurst

22-Mar-14 • moontiger on Flickr

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Prominent tree

Etchingham to Wadhurst

22-Mar-14 • moontiger on Flickr

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Stating the obvious

Etchingham to Wadhurst

22-Mar-14 • moontiger on Flickr

book3 swcwalks walk208

Etchingham to Wadhurst via Ticehurst walk

Hilly Wealden landscapes, ancient villages and Bewl Water reservoir

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, 02-Jun-18 22

Saturday walk - Robertsbridge or Etchingham to Wadhurst - The High Weald in High Spring

From Etchingham: 17.1km (10.6 miles) to 23.3km (14.4 miles)
From Robertsbridge: 21.1km (13.1 miles) to 27.3km (16.9 miles)
Toughness: 5 out of 10 T=3.208

Etchingham start: 10.00 Charing Cross (10.03 Waterloo East, 10.09 London Bridge, 10.26 East Croydon) to Etchingham, arriving 11.31

Robertsbridge start: 9.00 Charing Cross (9.03 Waterloo, 9.09 London Bridge, 9.26 East Croydon) to Robertsbridge, arriving 10.34

The eagle-eyed will notice that these trains are travelling via the Redhill-Tonbridge line today, adding 20 minutes to journey times. But the extra time will pass swiftly in stimulating conversation and this routing means the trains also call at East Croydon.

Buy a day return to Etchingham or Robertsbridge, depending on where you plan to start.

For walk directions click here. For GPX click here.

The standard version of this walk, starting in Etchingham, makes a pleasant 10.6 mile Wealden walk, but to add extra spice to it you can take one of three extra loops that take you down to the edge of the Bewl Water Reservoir. These add 1-2 miles to the walk, or you can combine two of them to add as much as 3.8 miles.

It is also possible start this walk from Robertsbridge, adding 2.5 miles to the route. Conveniently, this takes about an hour to walk, so if you take the 9am train outlined above, you should arrive at Etchingham just as the later starting walkers are arriving there. You can then go on to do just the standard walk, or also one of the Bewl Water loops.

*** LONG WALK CHALLENGE: The longest possible combination of options is to do the Robertsbridge start and then BOTH the a) and b) loops to Bewl Water. This would make a total walk of 27.3km (16.9 miles). As far as I know, no SWC walker has yet done this.....

Whatever option you choose, lunch is at The Bell in Ticehurst or The Bull in Three-Legged Cross 1.1km further on. Both are often quite booked up, but the Bull in particular has been good in the past about squeezing us in. Having said that, The Bell has received good reviews from walkers in the past. The Greedy Goat Cafe in Ticehurst is, alas, only open to midday on Saturdays, which is not much use, but when I last looked the village did have a convenience store in case of emergencies.

For tea, Wadhurst has two pubs, both doing tea, and several shops. If you can get there before it closes at 5pm, Jempson's Cafe has good cakes. The Cottage Tea Room (if it still exists) is open to the same time. The Wealden Wholefoods Cafe stops taking orders at 4pm.

It is about 50 minutes walk by the back route or 40 minutes down the main road from Wadhurst to Wadhurst station. Time your arrival at the latter carefully as there is nothing to do but wait on the platform if you miss your train. If you are feeling lazy, there is a bus, the 254, from the stop just outside the Greyhound pub in Wadhurst village (on the same side of the road), at 05 past to 18.05, taking 5 minutes to get to the station (so connecting very comfortably with the 29 past train)

Trains back from Wadhurst are at 29 and 59 past till 19.29 and then hourly at 29 past till 22.29.
Now I might do the Walk Tomorrow. But what I suggest is to take the 09:09 Train just Incase the 10:09 Train could be Delayed or something like that. You never know.
Hi What's the plan. Can we meet to buy group save tickets together ?
Well no not nessasery. But you hear about on the News about the Cancellations etc which is the thing.
12 on the early start from Robertsbridge arrived at Etchingham just in time to greet 10 on the later train, making 22 on this walk in all. It was a lovely day, mainly hot sun but with some cloud around lunchtime. Buttercups and other lovely meadow flowers were the chief nature feature of the walk particularly on the Robertsbridge to Etchingham leg and also on the Etchingham start. Once we had to do some cattle herding and once we did a detour to avoid them.

I think we split fairly well between the two pubs. It was my first time at the Bell in Ticehurst and though staff were friendly, food service reasonably quick and their patio garden very pleasant, we all, I think, thought the portions small for the money in one or two cases derisorily so. I hope the Bull lunchers had a good experience.

Four of us definitely did the full 16.9 mile long option possibly others since some at the start had said they would do it. Several other walkers definitely did the first loop down to Bewl Water as we saw them ahead of us but never caught up with them. The start of the second, longer loop, is on a permissive path that seems to have fallen out of use, so sorry to anyone who tried to use that: I will amend the directions to a slightly different route on public footpaths.

In general, though, the sections beside the reservoir were an utter delight. They were knee high in buttercups and grasses and other flora, and Bewl Water itself which was very low when we last walked along it in November was full to the very top. The recent rain must have helped but I suspect also they have filled it from the River Medway (as they have the ability to do). Whatever, to see the water lapping right up to the path, flooding willow woods and filling every creek was charming. It did mean for some muddy patches on the path in places, which was an odd experience for June.

We four 17 milers got to Wadhurst at 6.30pm. All tea places were closed by then (it seems the Jempson's cafe has gone for good anyway), but we had tea/drinks in the Greyhound before the final walk down the back lanes to the station in beautiful golden evening light, catching the 8.29 train.

So pretty much a perfect day's walking. I would be happy to hear how others in the group got on, however.
Sun, 25-Feb-18 4

Sunday Walk: Etchingham to Wadhurst

Etchingham to Wadhurst SWC Walk 208
Length: 16.9km (10.5 miles)
Difficulty 5/10 hilly but gentle
This classic Wealden walk, a mix of pasture and woodland, features fine panoramic views, oast houses, and the villages of Ticehurst and Wadhurst. Optional loops will take you past Bewl Water reservoir.
Trains:
Get the 09:55 Hastings train from Charing Cross (London Bridge 10:04) arriving 11:12. Return from Wadhurst at xx:00 and xx:29. Get a return to Etchingham.
Lunch:
The notes recommend the Bull Inn in Three Legged Cross (01580 200 586)
An earlier quirkier option is the Bell in Ticehurst (01580 200234) quirky garden, quirky décor.
There is another (untried) pub near the Bell - the Chequers.
Tea:
You are unlikely to make Wadhurst’s teahouses before closing time (if indeed they open on Sunday) but there are two pubs, The Greyhound, encountered first, being perhaps the more amenable (serves tea in pots) and the White Hart a little later. Note that its still quite a trek from Wadhurst to the station so allow 40-50 mins minutes for the recommended route, 25-35 for the roadside route.
Directions: here
T=swc.208
I am going to get the earlier train so will start at 10:12 if anyone want so do the same and get an earlier lunch...

Rich
Just another fab 4 on this walk with me again as Ringo. (Can we stop this silly joke everytime there is just you and 3 other people on a walk! SWC Ed)

I'm glad there were a few nights of hard frost before doing this walk as this made the early fields passable but generally the ground was firm except for one short slippery slope and a couple of patches of black ice on the lanes. The weather was unbroken sunshine. At times in sheltered spots it felt almost warm and then a few yards further on you would be hit by a blast of wind just to remind you that the "beast" was on its way.
We had a short pit stop in Ticehurst but the Bell Inn had a "wedding fair?" on and as we were not quite dressed for the occasion we did not stop there. We pressed on where one of our number went to the Bull for a meal whilst 3 of us continued on to Wadhurst hopeful there would be a cafe open for tea and cakes. We were making good time so decided to do the last loop around Bewl water reservoir where the water levels were perhaps a bit lower than one would expect. We reached Wadhurst around 3.15pm but no cafe was open so we had a quick refreshment stop at the church. By setting a steady pace (or really fast as I have to call it now!) we did the stretch to the station in a little over 30 mins and caught the fast 4pm train with 5 mins to spare. An invigorating and convivial day out. (Did anyone take an earlier train from London?)
A few comments need to be made about the directions between Sheepstreet Lane and Ticehurst. In para 22, there is a suggestion to go uphill towards two solitary trees and then, beyond, to cross "two strips of land planted with maize". We followed the directions, but once across the strips of land realized that it would have been better to do two sides of a triangle (i.e. turn left with the footpath arrow on entering the field and then, once past the strips of land, turn right uphill to rejoin the path heading towards the clump of trees referred to in para 25. In para 28, we negotiated the "wooden hurdle" with difficulty only to discover there appeared to be a way of bypassing it by going over the "well made stile" to the left and then walking through a short patch of undergrowth to reach the other side of the hurdle. This needs to be investigated further. Finally, in para 30, I suggest removing the reference to the right of way crossing the field. The obvious route is up the righthand field edge, as mentioned later in the same paragraph.
Thank you for this feedback.

I am actually planning to give this walk a check in the spring, so I will check out these points then. I am aware of the ROW route on the map in para 22, but when I was researching the walk and tried it, this was blocked by barbed wire, while footpath posts marked the route I describe. Maybe that has now changed.

The walk author
Sat, 05-Aug-17 16

Saturday Walk – The High Weald and Bewl Water

Extra Walk 208c – Etchingham to Wadhurst, with a Bewl Water loop
Length: Around 18½ km (11.5 miles). Toughness: 5/10

10:15 Hastings train from Charing Cross (Waterloo East 10:18, London Bridge 10:23, Orpington 10:40), arriving Etchingham at 11:30. Buy a return to Etchingham.

Trains back from Wadhurst are at 29 & 59 minutes past the hour until 19:29, then hourly.

One of the first extra walks in the SWC repertoire included some attractive sections along the western side of Bewl Water and this walk extends that by approaching the reservoir from the south-east. You can choose whether to stick to the walk's main route and enjoy views of the water from the surrounding hills, or take one or two optional diversions down to its shoreline. As with all SWC walks you can decide for yourself what you want to do, but reading the notes I find option (c)'s “ideal way to visit the reservoir with a minimum of effort” particularly appealing, so I'll propose that as the basis for discussion.

In the morning you'll pass some refreshment places in the village of Ticehurst at around 1pm, but the notes urge you to keep going for another 15 minutes to the Bull Inn in Three Leg Cross: “very much the recommended pub stop for this walk”. Even if you take some detours in the afternoon you should reach Wadhurst's tearooms in good time (the Cottage Tea Room should stay open until 5pm), but in any case there are a couple of pubs as alternatives. As regulars will know it's a long way from the village to its station, but if you're pressed for time you can forego the pleasant back lane route and simply walk down the main road.

You'll need to download the directions from the Etchingham to Wadhurst walk page. T=swc.208
I'm planning to do a circular from Wadhurst and will look out for the group at the lunchtime pub.
16, including two late starters who caught up with us at the lunchtime pub. Mainly dry with a couple of sharp showers in the afternoon.
Sun, 25-Sep-16

Sunday Walk 1: Etchingham to Wadhurst

Etchingham to Wadhurst SWC Walk 208
Length: 16.9km (10.5 miles)
Difficulty 5/10 gently hilly
This classic Wealden walk is a hilly mix of pasture and woodland, fine panoramic views, oast houses, a cobnut orchard, and the villages of Ticehurst and Wadhurst.
Optional loops take you to the beautiful Bewl Water reservoir.
Trains
Get the 09:49 Hastings train from London Bridge (East Croydon 10:06) arr 11:12 Get a return to Etchingham.
Trains return from Wadhurst at xx:00 and xx:29
Lunch: The notes recommend the Bull Inn in Three Legged Cross (01580 200 586). Walker (and dog) friendly pub with an interesting and not overpriced menu.
An earlier quirkier option is the Bell in Ticehust (01580 200234) quirky garden, quirky décor, even a quirky gents.
This pub is also handy for a nearby picnic spot in the churchyard.
There is another (untried) pub nearby - the Chequers, if you want to chequer it out.
Tea
You are unlikely to make Wadhurst’s teahouses before closing time (if, indeed, they open on Sunday) but there are two pubs. The Greyhound, encountered first, is perhaps the more amenable (tea in pots) and the White Hart a little later.
Note that it is still quite a trek from Wadhurst to the station so allow 40-50 minutes for the recommended route, 25-35 for the roadside route.
Directions here
T=swc.208

Sat, 07-Nov-15 17

Saturday Second Walk - Wadhurst bonfire and fireworks

SWC Walk 208 - Etchingham to Wadhurst
Length: 16.9km (10.5 miles), extendable to 20.9km (13 miles)
Toughness: 5 out of 10: quite hilly, but gentle gradients

10.15 train from Charing Cross (10.18 Waterloo East) to Etchingham, arriving 11.30

Buy a day return to Etchingham

For walk directions click here.

(Longer walk option: 9.15 train from Charing Cross or 9.18 Waterloo East to Robertsbridge, arriving 10.34: Buy a day return to Robertsbridge)

In past years I have really enjoyed the Wadhurst Bonfire and Fireworks, a friendly village event that nevertheless boasts a good-sized firework display and a roaring big fire (and lets you stand close enough to feel the heat). Though it is very much a community undertaking, they don't seem to mind a few walkers joining them.

To get you there, this pleasant Weald walk which though it has had a Sunday and ?midweek? outing, has not, as far as I know, had a Saturday airing since its check walk in March 2014. While having plenty of fields and views, the walk has a decent amount of trees, which should be showing good autumn colour. It has several sections on quiet tarmac, keeping the mud count down.

The recommended lunch stop, the walker-friendly Bull Inn in Three Legged Cross, accommodated us even when fully booked on a Sunday back in February ("Don't worry: we WILL feed you"), but the posher Bell Inn a kilometre or so earlier in Ticehurst is also an option and has been recommended by some walkers.

In Wadhurst the Wealden Wholefoods Cafe is great if you can get there by before 4pm (last orders: closes 4.30pm). The White Hart pub sells tickets for the bonfire (though you can pay on the door), but we usually find the Greyhound down the road more congenial, and it serves tea in pots.

LONGER WALK OPTIONS:

  • You can take an earlier train (see above) and start from Robertsbridge (option d, page 10), adding 4km/2.5 miles to the morning of the walk (= 20.9km/13.9 miles in all). As the extension takes almost exactly an hour, it is possible to meet up with the main group at Etchingham. This route has not been checked since March 2014, so if you discover any areas that need correcting, please make a note of them.
  • Those starting in Etchingham can also extend the walk to the shores of Bewl Water Reservoir. Three options are given for doing this, but the easiest, for these short days, is c) (paragraph 54 of the directions) which adds just 1 mile (1.6km) to the walk length and is actually a slightly less strenuous way to Wadhurst than the main walk route.

THE BONFIRE AND FIREWORKS

Gates open 5.30, bonfire 6.30pm, fireworks 7.30pm: to find the site follow the crowds or ask a local

After the fireworks, you can walk down the main road to the station (pavement all the way, 2.2km/1.4 miles: allow 40 minutes) or follow the walk directions down the back lanes (torch needed: 3.3km/2 miles: allow 55 minutes: in para 76 ignore the stile into a field and instead take the next lane left, directly downhill, to come in about 400 metres to the T-junction mentioned in para 78).
Trains back are at 16.00, 16.29, 17.00, 17.29, 17.59, 18.29, 18.59, 19.29, 20.29, 21.29, 22.29






17 bloody awful in the morning wet and windy then drier in the afternoon
Wind and rain in the morning. The fields around Etchingham were flooded but we avoided them by following the recommeded detour. The ground on this walk was generally quite soggy so probably this walk s best done in drier times. At least 4 gave up after (a very delicious) lunch at The Bell and hopped on the bus to Tunbridge Wells for tea and cake. Others carried on and the weather improved in the afternoon, with less drizzle and eventually dry weather. Some stopped for well earned refreshment in the pub at Wadhurst before heading to the station or onto the bonfire and fireworks.
Five of us went to the Wadhust Bonfire (possibly three more who stated their intention to go over tea but were last seen deep in a bottle of champagne). As ever, this was an excellent event, well attended but not crowded, with a great big bonfire in whose heat one could sunbathe, and then a firework display as good as one can get anywhere. For me, however, the highlight always is, and was on this occasion, the walk down the back lanes in the deep dark (torches discouraged! They ruin your night vision!) to the station, a magical 50 minutes. We got the 9. 29 train home.
Sun, 02-Aug-15 11

Sunday walk 2 – Etchingham to Wadhurst

Etchingham to Wadhurst SWC Walk 208
Length: 16.9km (10.5 miles)
Difficulty 5/10
This classic Wealden walk is a hilly but gentle mix of pasture and woodland, fine panoramic views across valleys, oast houses, a cobnut orchard, and the villages of Ticehurst and Wadhurst.
Optional loops take you to the edge of Bewl Water reservoir.
Trains
Get the 9:55 (Waterloo East 9:58) Hastings train from Charing Cross arriving 11:12
Trains back at xx:00 and xx:29
Get a return to Etchingham.
Lunch The earliest option is the Bell in Ticehust (01580 200234 ) – this would also tie in well with the picnic spot in the nearby churchyard. (As a sign near the pub says, “12th C church that way, 21st C dingdong this way”) Gentlemen will be intrigued by the 'facilities' in the Bell. Once seen, never forgotten.
There is another (untried) pub nearby - the Chequers.
The notes recommend a later pub, the Bull Inn in Three Legged Cross (01580 200586), 1.1km/0.7 miles further on.
Tea
You are unlikely to make Wadhurst’s teahouses before they close (if indeed they open on Sunday) but there are two pubs, The Greyhound, encountered first, being perhaps the more amenable (tea in pots) and the White Hart a little later.
Note that it's still quite a trek from Wadhurst to the station so allow 40-50 minutes for the recommended route, 25-35 mins for the roadside route.
Directions here
Two great walks on Sunday. Difficult to choose. Thank you MoonTiger. Should you not be promoted to a Saturday walk poster position?
Yes, thanks Tigger. (However, any more fame and he's in danger of being stalked by that nasty dentist from Minnesota).
I always thought posting twice on a Sunday was far posher than run of the mill one on a Saturday
Mr Tiger ain't afraid of no dentist. Not unless he’s near his teeth he ain’t. Grrr!
11 walkers for this. very hot and sunny
One or two navigational challenges. We had to enveigle our way through the maize strips at point 24. This required an element of faith, there being no visible path. It’s fairly robust stuff so no damage done. Later we encountered an overgrown oat field.
Most went to the Bell for lunch, much to the surprise of one walker who had sped ahead to the Bull in the belief he had fallen behind. The Bell have an interesting back garden and provided some fairly posh grub that seemed to go down well. Starters, though, were described as “hit and miss”. The beetroot and quinoa salad was particularly minimal. More chutzpah than quinoa.
Some got the bus after lunch. For the remainder, on return, some went to the Greyhound, others the White Hart. Some went via the reservoir, some didn’t. Some went along the road to the station, some took the back way.

3 Only made it 4 miles to lunch in the first pub before quitting. Our waitress had to run us to Wadhurst station, on account of the next scheduled bus being Monday morning! The food in the pub was pretty average. Still I can't criticise the service!
Very hot and sunny????.Pleasantly warm and sunny I think is nearer the mark. Wadhurst church is lovely and worth a visit before the last leg along the lanes to Wadhurst station. The 2 teashops in the village are closed on Sundays but the Greyhound does a decent cup of tea for £2.
Someone didn't pay for their lunch. It was paid for by other walkers. She had Brixham Crab and a drink. Ring any bells? Please remember to pay for your food, drinks and service before leaving the pub. The Lunch Monitor.
Sun, 08-Feb-15 11 Etchingham to Wadhurst
Sat, 22-Mar-14 32 Etchingham to Wadhurst, with first Bewl Water loop
Sat, 22-Mar-14 Robertsbridge to Wadhurst