CIMG2055

Old railway embankment near Copyhold Lane

23-Mar-12 • Sean O'Neill

book3, swcwalks, walk174, walk225

CIMG2060

Old railway bridge at Copyhold Lane

23-Mar-12 • Sean O'Neill

book3, swcwalks, walk174, walk225

CIMG2060

Old railway bridge at Copyhold Lane

23-Mar-12 • Sean O'Neill

book3, swcwalks, walk174

CIMG2065

Towards River's Farm

23-Mar-12 • Sean O'Neill

book3, swcwalks, walk174

CIMG2068

Ardingly branch line

23-Mar-12 • Sean O'Neill

book3, swcwalks, walk174

CIMG2072

Through River's Wood

23-Mar-12 • Sean O'Neill

book3, swcwalks, walk174

CIMG2074

Ardingly College

23-Mar-12 • Sean O'Neill

book3, swcwalks, walk174

Haywards Heath to Balcombe via Ardingly walk

An undulating High Weald walk with a contrasting section alongside Ardingly 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, 20-May-17 8

Horsted Keynes-Balcombe Walk – Water features in the High Weald

Extra Walk 174b – Horsted Keynes Station to Balcombe
Length: 18 km (11.2 miles). Toughness: 5/10

09:25 Brighton (Thameslink) train from London Bridge (East Croydon 09:42), arriving Haywards Heath at 10:10. If it's more convenient you can take the 09:17 Eastbourne & Littlehampton train from Victoria (Clapham Jct 09:23), arriving Haywards Heath at 09:59. However, note that there are no Thameslink services through central London this weekend. Buy a return to Haywards Heath (if you're travelling to/from London Bridge you can take advantage of a cheap Thameslink-only ticket).

At Haywards Heath make your way to the Perrymount Road bus stop near the station and take Metrobus 270 towards East Grinstead at 10:21, arriving Horsted Keynes Station at 10:36 (single fare £3.20). If you forget to get off at the Bluebell Railway station you can start the walk from the Church Lane stop in the village instead.

Short Walk Option: Take the train/bus one hour later than all the above times and do Option a, a 13 km (8.1 mile) walk. You might well bump into the main group as it loops back to the point where the two routes meet.

The Thameslink trains back from Balcombe are hourly at 22 minutes past until 19:22, then a long gap and hourly again from 20:59. Change at East Croydon for Clapham Junction or Victoria.

Walks requiring a bus journey to the start aren't ideal, but starting from a heritage railway station in the middle of nowhere is more interesting than the suburban environs of Balcombe or Haywards Heath. In the morning you'll have an undulating walk across typical Wealden countryside, going via the hamlet of Highbrook to a pub lunch at the Ardingly Inn. The afternoon is less strenuous, with an unusual section through the grounds of a leading independent school and a long final stretch alongside Ardingly Reservoir. You should reach the Balcombe Tea Rooms before 4pm, but they'll usually stay open later if called in advance. There are several possible routes from the village to the station so you can choose the one which best coincides with the arrival of the hourly train.

You'll need to print the directions from the Horsted Keynes to Balcombe Walk page. If you print the full document (instead of clicking the “Stn.” Option first) you could switch to the Haywards Heath start if the 270 bus doesn't turn up. T=swc.174.b
5 plus 3 turning up for lunch only, fine (as told by a Glencoe tripper)
Glencoe tripper's report was a little unfair on the three "lunchers", who in fact all did the Balcombe Circular version of the walk (in my case because local train cancellations made getting to Horsted Keynes too much of a pain). So I'd have said 8.

I've belatedly concluded that the transport arrangements for a Horsted Keynes to Balcombe walk are too awkward generally, so the Haywards Heath and Balcombe starts been promoted and Horsted Keynes relegated to an alternative ending.
Sun, 31-May-15

Sunday Walk – A variation on a theme

Extra Walk 174c – Balcombe Circular, via Ardingly
Length: 16½ km (10.3 miles). Toughness: 5/10

10:27 Brighton train from Victoria (Clapham Jct 10:33, East Croydon 10:43), arriving Balcombe at 11:17.

Trains back from Balcombe are hourly at 30 minutes past.

The main Extra Walk 174 requires a bus journey to the starting village of Horsted Keynes, but as these no longer run on Sundays I've chosen this walk's circular option. In the last ten years there have in fact been nearly 40 “Balcombe Circular” outings of one sort or another, and I hope the author of the original walk via Ardingly Reservoir forgives the shameless way in which this one mixes'n'matches chunks of its route as well as (in reverse) part of the Book 1 walk. I thought walkers ought to get the chance to try this one before the fracking industry returns to Balcombe with a vengeance and little oil wells start popping up along the walk route.

For the time being, then, there should be good views from the mainly high-level route to Ardingly. In the afternoon you go through the grounds of a leading independent school, followed by a long (and doubtless familiar) section alongside Ardingly Reservoir.

Unless the Oak Inn has reopened Ardingly now has just one pub, the Ardingly Inn. You should get there at around 1.15pm; make a booking if you want a table inside. Faster walkers should reach the ever-popular Balcombe Tea Rooms by 4pm but call ahead if you won't: they may stay open later. The Half Moon Inn is a good alternative. The walk document gives several possible routes from the village to the station so you can choose the one which best coincides with the arrival of the hourly train.

You'll need to print the directions from the Extra Walk 174 page. Clicking the 'c. Circular Walk' option will save a good few pages on this multi-option walk. If you also bring along the directions for Extra Walk 22 you'll find that you can switch between the two at several places, eg. if you want to do a longer afternoon route via Wakehurst Place.
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Mon, 05-May-14 Haywards Heath to Balcombe via Ardingly
Sat, 22-Mar-14 5 Horsted Keynes to Balcombe
Sat, 23-Mar-13 Horsted Keynes Station to Balcombe (long walk)
Sat, 09-Feb-13 18 Haywards Heath to Balcombe via Ardingly