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Ockhams pond

11-Dec-12 • Sean O'Neill

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Heathersome's Wood

08-May-13 • Sean O'Neill

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Looking back towards Ashdown Forest

16-Jul-16 • Sean O'Neill

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Crippenden Manor

03-Aug-16 • Sean O'Neill

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St Mary Magdalene church, Cowden

24-Aug-16 • Sean O'Neill

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Mistletoe at Christmas Place

11-Dec-12 • Sean O'Neill

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Christmas Mill pond

11-Dec-12 • Sean O'Neill

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Hever to Ashurst walk

A surprisingly remote part of the High Weald on the Kent/East Sussex border

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
Sun, 30-Apr-17 9

Sunday Walk – Bluebell woods in the High Weald

Extra Walk 175 – Hever to Ashurst
Length: 16¼ or 19½ km (10.1 or 12.1 miles). Toughness: 4 or 5/10

09:55 East Grinstead train from Victoria (Clapham Jct 10:01), changing at Oxted (arr 10:38, dep 10:43; same platform) for the Uckfield train, arriving Hever at 10:55.

If you're travelling to East Croydon the Uckfield train starts from there at 10:21, but changing there from the East Grinstead train this Sunday is not recommended as you'd have to change platforms with only 3-4 minutes to do so. If something goes wrong and you end up taking the train an hour late, you could do the walk's shorter start from Cowden and get to the lunch pub at about the same time as the main group.

Trains back from Ashurst are hourly at 01 minute past and go to Oxted, where you change for Victoria.

There are some nice bluebell woods in this quiet part of the High Weald, away from the tourist coaches cluttering up the roads around Hever Castle and Penshurst Place on the other side of the railway line. After two hours of walking through remote hills and wooded valleys you'll come to the Fountain in Cowden, an attractive village pub deservedly popular with other walking and cycling groups. It's got a new conservatory and a large back garden, but call ahead if you want to be sure of a table inside.

The lunch and tea places are not far apart but you can extend the afternoon section with an extra two miles along a river valley if you wish. Your reward is a proper tearoom at the Perryhill Orchard Farm Shop, which incidentally sells a tempting range of local ciders (which you can taste beforehand). Note that it's a fairly hilly 4 km onwards to Ashurst station – at least an hour – so time your departure carefully as there's nothing to entertain you there if you're faced with a long wait for its hourly trains.

You'll need to print the directions from the Hever to Ashurst Walk page. T=swc.175
Barbara, I lost your email I am afraid! I will be doing this walk on Sunday the 30th so hopefully can get it again! Jodi

I may join you tomorrow, driving to Hever station.

9 walkers on a cloudy dry day. There was plenty bluebells. And wild garlic. And celandine.And a few orchids that were early, purple and spotted so must have been early purple spotted. Little lambs skipped about. The Fountain was OK. Some had tea at Perryland at least one bought cider. Some got the 16:01(just!) others the 17:01
Beautiful walk as Ian said. Loads of wildlife and stunning bluebells.
Re Fountain Pub: Beware of publican. One member of our group needed pub lunch so when we purchased drinks we asked at the bar if we could eat our sandwiches in the (deserted) garden to keep her company and were told 'no problem' by a very pleasant member of the bar staff only for the publican to come out later and attempt to tell us off. Unfortunately, she was incredibly rude, so watch out for mixed messages from bar!
However, this did not spoil an amazing walk.
Sorry Liz, but I've got some sympathy for the publican. I know you were trying to be considerate when only one of you wanted a pub lunch, but I expect the publican flipped when she saw 8 out of 9 walkers eating sandwiches in her garden on a quiet Sunday when she probably had masses of unsold lunches in her kitchen. Of course she shouldn't have been rude (and the kindly bar staff will have been told off in no uncertain terms) but many pubs are being squeezed by rapacious pubco's and they need food sales to survive. If rural pubs like The Fountain close then this walk and many others in the SWC repertoire will become much less satisfying and might be dropped altogether. The FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page on our site says:

"The walk instructions assume that you will be stopping for lunch at a pub and one or more will be suggested. You can of course bring your own food, but please do not try to eat this on the pub's premises: find a quiet place nearby and then rejoin the others in the pub for a drink if you wish."

If publicans form a bad impression of walkers then other groups might be refused bookings or even turned away. Let's be discreet about eating our own food and try not to antagonise them.
Lots of room for sandwichers in the church porch or the covered bus stop outside it. Best to eat one's sandwiches first, then join one's companions for a drink afterwards.
Wed, 03-Feb-16 14

Midweek day walk - Hever to Ashurst

Hever to Ashurst

A surprisingly remote part of the High Weald on the Kent/East Sussex border

Book 3* Walk 175 * online only

Length : 15½ km or 9½ miles
Toughness : 4 out of 10
Getting there : Catch the 10:08 am train from London Bridge to Hever or
Catch the 9:54 am train from London Victoria (10:00 am Clapham Junction) and change at East Croydon, boarding the 10:23 train to Hever (advertised on platform 6 at the time of writing)
Meeting point : Hever Station at 10:49 am
Tickets : Buy a cheap day return to Ashurst

Brief Description

I'm proposing that Walkers do the Main Walk described in the walk details, However if the weather is inclement you could shorten the walk after lunch and end it at Cowden station.
You may find full details of this walk here

Suggested Lunch stop

The Fountain at Cowden t: 01342 850528

Suggested Tea stop

Perryhill Orchard Farm Shop & Tea Rooms t: 01892 770595 (Allow at least an hour to reach Ashurst station from here)

Maps

OS Explorer : 147 and 135

Return train times

Trains return from Ashurst at 55 minutes past the hour and travel to London Bridge. As usual, change at East Croydon to travel to Clapham Junction and Victoria.
lOVE this wakk but maybe muddy in places.
Wonderful inexpensive omelettes available a lunchtime pub.
jfk
Hoping to join you on Wednesday. Mud? Definitely.
What's the Pub Restaurant like inside?
Marc,
It's very pleasant with a couple of bars in the original building and a new conservatory section with a glass roof used as an extra eating area. Good beer and good food. Bit too cold for the garden just yet!
Photo's on the Pub's website here
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We did the Cowden to Ashurst version last Saturday (30 January). It was one of the most beautiful SWC walks we've done. But, it was very muddy, almost all of it. Furthermore, just before we arrived at Ashurst station, close to the Medway, we had to wade through water 15cm deep. We didn't have time to look for an alternative because we wanted to catch the train.
Thanks for the warning Catrien jfk

14 mild and mostly sunny

A very good turn out for this mud fest on a day when the sun shone and the temperature was mild for a winter's day, once out of the morning wind. The mud, of slubadub variety, was relentless, particularly in the morning fields and when it was safe to look up from submerged boots one noticed the route was pleasant, with some good views through lovely countryside. But progress through the wretched mud was darn hard work and it was with some relief when we reached the lunchtime pub, the Fountain in Cowden. Having forewarned the hostelry of our numbers and pending arrival we were not expecting the kitchen to be so disorganised: meals, when they arrived, were mostly excellent, but some of us waited for fifty minutes, which resulted in our group splintering, with 5 picnickers setting off in advance.
Post prandial, 3 headed for Cowden station, leaving 6 of us to venture forth on the afternoon leg, now in lovely winter sunshine, taking the direct route to Coomb Wood. We by passed the tea stop at Moat Farm and pressed on. Reaching the hill top above the Medway Valley we came across a prone ewe, injured and in severe distress, which was upsetting for us. 2 in our group made for the farm on the horizon to notify the farmer, and having done so they re joined us on the platform at Ashurst Station, in good time to catch the 16 55 back to London, with the train info notice stating "service on time".
The train never arrived.
It had broken down in Crowborough a dodgy door, or was it mud on the line, or both. A lady waiting on the platform very kindly gave lifts in her car to 3 in our group to East Grinstead, I believe leaving 3 of us to wait for the next train. Southern Rail came to our rescue by putting on an intermediate service to Oxted where we connected with the East Grinstead service to Victoria and home to brush off the mud.
An eventful day.

Hint to walk posters: Thinking this walk might be muddy, I instead went out to check and update my Maidenhead to Marlow walk (SWC 56) on Tuesday. Lovely day, beautiful walk, MINIMAL MUD.

Otherwise, bear in mind the two great maxims: "Never invade Russia" and "Weald walks are very muddy in winter".
Great turnout for a notoriously muddy walk. My tolerance of mud never high at the best of times and the fact I had other commitments on Wednesday meant I went out on Tuesday for a bracing 12 mile Thanet coast walk from Margate to Herne Bay. Beautiful day and for those wanting a respite from muddy fields this part of the coast is recommended.
Wed, 16-Sep-15 5

Hever to Ashurst


Hever to Ashurst

The High Weald on the Kent/East Sussex border

Book 3* Walk 175

* Online only

Length : 16 km or 10 miles

Toughness : 4 out of 10

Getting there : Catch the 10:08 am train from London Bridge to Hever

Meeting point : Hever Station at 10:50 am

Tickets : Buy a cheap day return to Ashurst

Brief Description

This walk takes in a quiet part of the High Weald near the borders of three counties: Kent, East Sussex and Surrey and you may find full details here

Suggested Lunch stops

The Fountain t:01342 850528 at Cowden

May I ask you to note that The White Horse Inn at Holtye is permanently closed

Suggested Tea stops

Perryhill Orchards (about an hour before the end of the walk to Ashurst)
As well as the Tea Room, there is a farm shop, traditional farm butcher and a fireplace centre which manufactures hand-made fireplaces.
Not the kind of article that will fit easily into one's rucksack, but nevertheless an interesting place to visit if you're looking for ideas.

Maps

OS Explorer : 147 and 135

Return train times

Trains return from Ashurst to London Bridge at the following times ...
15:55 | 16:55 | 17:53 | 18:54 - Victorians and Clapham Junctioneers may change at East Croydon
looks like horrible downpour on Wednesday unless it changes.. anyone going on this ?
If the weather forecast improves I hope to do it.
I am planning to do the walk whatever the weather.
If you look at the weather for Ashurst, it's not as bad as it initially seems; things brighten up by 10am and there are just a few showers late afternoon.
I'm planning on checking out my new waterproof on this walk.
get urself well covered then Arthur! accordin to bbc its going to pour all day..
For anyone wanting to travel from Clapham Junction in their goloshes and macs and wellington boots there is a train from clapham at 10 08 to East Croydon. there you need to change and get the 10 23 to Hever . Only 6 minutes changeover time jfk
Sorry guys but I won't be joining you today. Ive been twice recently with other groups and its very pretty. Last time however on a SWC walk it rained quite gently and no one kept dry because their jackets were inadequate and several walkers had to drop out at lunchtime. Heavy rain, gusting winds and thunder storms will require the best of waterproofs so don't chance it unless you're fully equipped! Good luck
5 hardy souls on this walk (some might say daft b***ars). The rain arrived as advertised, but was generally light with little wind.
The Fountain at Cowden was homely with excellent food and the only serious rain of the day came and went as folks ate under the glass roof of the conservatory.
As we left Cowden, an untended allotment provided foragers with an abundance of wild raspberries. There was a little excitement walking through a field of bulls and calves, but no one came to any harm despite the frisky nature of the bovines.
Peryhill Orchards provided a for a welcome tea and cake stop and rumour has it that one walker purchased a fireplace in the adjoining fireplace centre, whilst others purchased cider in the farm shop.
The rain cleared as the group approached Ashurst to catch the train back to London Bridge
Sat, 04-Oct-14 26 Hever to Ashurst
Sat, 05-Oct-13 26 Hever to Ashurst
Wed, 08-May-13 Hever to Ashurst