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
. (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.
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