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Through Stumblewood Common

23-Sep-11 • Sean O'Neill

swcwalk132, swcwalks, walkicon

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MacMillan Clump, Ashdown Forest

29-Sep-11 • Sean O'Neill

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Old Mill House, Horsted Keynes

02-Oct-11 • Sean O'Neill

swcwalk132, swcwalk141, swcwalk174, swcwalks, walkicon

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Old Mill House, Horsted Keynes

02-Oct-11 • Sean O'Neill

swcwalk132, swcwalk141, swcwalk174, swcwalks, walkicon

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Broadhurst Lake

02-Oct-11 • Sean O'Neill

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Horsted Keynes Station from Leamland Bridge

26-Aug-12 • Sean O'Neill

swcwalk132, swcwalk174, swcwalks, walkicon

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Horsted Keynes Station from Leamland Bridge

26-Aug-12 • Sean O'Neill

swcwalk132, swcwalk174, swcwalks, walkicon

Horsted Keynes Circular walk

A varied walk from the deep wooded valleys of the High Weald to the elevated heathland of Ashdown Forest, with a section alongside the Bluebell Railway. Travel by bus

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.

Updated: Fri, 20-Sep-19

Date # Post
Sat, 31-Aug-19 11

Saturday Walk – The Bluebell Railway and Ashdown Forest

Extra Walk 132a – Horsted Keynes [Station] Circular
Length: 16½ km (10.3 miles) if finishing in the village. Toughness: 5/10

For the cheapest (Thameslink-only) fare from central London, take the 09:00 Brighton train from St Pancras (Blackfriars 09:09, London Bridge 09:15), arriving Haywards Heath at 09:59. Alternatively, take Southern's 09:16 Eastbourne train¹ from Victoria (Clapham Jct 09:23, East Croydon 09:33), arriving at 10:01.

At Haywards Heath make your way to the Perrymount Road bus stop for the East Grinstead-bound Metrobus 270 at 10:18, alighting at Horsted Keynes Station (10:36) before the village (unless you want to do the slightly longer start). A return ticket on the 270 is £5.40, cheaper than two singles at £3.40.

[1] If you just miss the Eastbourne service, a Brighton train nine minutes later should still be in time to make the bus connection.

Buses from Horsted Keynes village back to Haywards Heath are hourly at xx:39 until 16:39, plus a final service at 17:52 (four minutes later from the station if you choose to complete a full circular walk, an extra 2¼ km). At Haywards Heath there are three Thameslink trains an hour back to London (at xx:16, xx:31 & xx:47) plus four Southern ones (at xx:14, xx:21, xx:44 & xx:51).

Apologies for the lengthy train info and the need for a bus, but I felt that this rather neglected walk deserved a rare outing when the heather on Ashdown Forest should still have some colour. I've chosen to start the walk from the Bluebell Railway station because this way you should get to see one or two steam trains on the morning stretch alongside the track, a southbound train just before 11am and a northbound one shortly afterwards.

After an undulating climb onto the fringes of Ashdown Forest you should reach the Red Lion in Chelwood Gate at around 12:30. There's an optional short cut at the start of the afternoon leg, but the full walk includes an attractive stretch through the gorse and heather. A gradual descent through woods and fields brings you back to Horsted Keynes, where a couple of decent pubs will be vying for your custom before the bus ride back to Haywards Heath.

In recent years the trend has been to substitute the second half of the Forest Row Circular walk after lunch, since the two share the same pub. If you're tempted by this variation, be aware that you might need to buy an additional ticket back from East Grinstead (the same applies if you choose to take the 270 in that direction at the end of the walk).

You'll need to bring the directions from the Horsted Keynes Circular walk page. T=swc.132.a
Thameslink return £7.85 from London with Network Card. Count me in. Thanks, Sean.
£7.85 was certainly good value for the train ticket for this walk a Super Off Peak Thameslink only Day Return with a Network Card (try saying that after a couple of glasses of wine). It was also nice to get on a Brighton train which was not packed to the rafters with summer beach goers and their kiddies. I might have known it would not last, though. The words “Thameslink” and “hassle free” are never long in each others’s company and on the 5.17 train back it was standing room only. Had there been a tsunami warning in Brighton? Was it the Hove Air Show? Was a fool giving away £50 notes in Borough High Street? We will never know, but we stood all the way back to London.

This apart, it was a nice day out. Nine assembled at Hayward’s Heath, most but not all arriving on Thameslink. Getting off the bus at Horsted Keynes station we were joined by the Walk Inspector, who took his duties unusually seriously today and did the whole walk. Finally one other regular turned up at lunchtime, having topped it the nob and taken the steam train from East Grinstead. (He got the 4.20 train to Sheffield Park at the end of the day and then the last train back up to East Grinstead to get full value from his Day Rover). So 11 in all, a very nice group size.

We dawdled long enough along the Bluebell Railway line to see a Down and Up train, the latter chuffing very prettily up the incline. The walk to lunch was uneventful and we had nice food in the garden of the pub.

After lunch there was some heather, though not lots, to be honest: this was more bracken heath than heather heath. It was sunny until 2pm, cloudy thereafter, but it did not rain (as it did on the journey home). There were some surprisingly stiff hill climbs or rather our leg muscles felt surprisingly weak doing them and we even had a sit down at one point.

All in all, by the time we got to Horsted Keynes village at 4pm we felt well exercised and deserving of the very calorific puds and tea in big pots offered by the Crown. We got the 16.39 bus to Haywards Heath.
Sat, 25-Nov-17 9

A Traverse of the High Weald and Ashdown Forest (Horsted Keynes to Forest Row or East Grinstead)

Saturday Third Walk – A Traverse of the High Weald and Ashdown Forest from Horsted Keynes to Forest Row (or East Grinstead) t=swc.132

SWC Walk 132 (morning) and 23 (afternoon)

Distance: 11.7 Miles or 18.9 km for those more metrically minded (or 14.7-16.7 miles/23.7-26.8 km if carrying on to East Grinstead)

Difficulty: 4.5 out of 10 (5.5 on the extended route)

Train: Take the 9:17 AM Eastbourne train from London Victoria (stopping at Clapham Junction at 9:23 and East Croydon at 9:33), arriving at Haywards Heath at 9:59 or the 9:12 AM Thameslink Brighton train from London Bridge (stopping at East Croydon at 9:25), arriving at Haywards Heath at 9:55; in either case, THEN, catch the 10:18 AM number 270 bus from the Perrymount Road stop a short distance from the Haywards Heath train station for a short journey to arrive in Horsted Keynes at 10:40.

To return from Forest Row, you have a choice: either take the 270 bus a short ride to East Grinstead at 16:03; 17:04; 18:03; 18:57 or 19:46 and catch a train at 07 or 37 past the hour until 22:37 OR take a longer 270 bus journey back to Haywards Heath at 16:19 or 17:33 and catch one of the fairly regular trains back to London. Buy a day return to Haywards Heath; however, if taking the train back from East Grinstead, you may need to purchase a supplement back as far as East Croydon.

This walk combines the morning of SWC 132 with the afternoon of SWC 23 to make a linear traverse across the High Weald and the heathland of the Ashdown Forest. With any luck we should be able to catch the last remaining colors of autumn in the High Weald without encountering too much mud across the heathland….For the more energetic, the walk can be extended with a late afternoon/early evening possibly nocturnal walk into East Grinstead either along a former railway line (approximately 3 miles) or more challengingly by using the afternoon instructions of SWC 40 (approximately 5.5 miles). You can find more information about the walk and download the walk instructions here and here. Don't forget both sets of instructions!

The recommended lunch spot is the Red Lion (01825 740 265) in Chelwood Gate (5.5 miles/9 km into the walk). Tea and other late afternoon refreshments can be had at various places in Forest Row.

Enjoy the walk!
Thanks with anticipation Stargazer!
At last a sunny Saturday gorgeous sunshine in fact: a magical windless day. 9 enjoyed it, three (four?) on the Victoria train, one on an earlier Thameslink train, making five who caught the bus to Horsted Keynes. “Events, dear boy, events” (Harold Macmillan, whose house is passed on this walk) meant four others who took the specified Thameslink train arrived late and had to share a taxi (no more expensive per person than the bus actually). They caught us up at lunch, but then as they were sandwich eaters left first and we did not see them again.

This combination walk produces a lovely contrast between morning (gentle Wealden fields, woods and hills) and afternoon (heathland with some extensive views). Autumn colour was over apart from some remaining dead leaves on oaks, but the heath in the afternoon was a symphony of browns. Lunch was nice but the two shared plates of “English tapas” (a sausage roll and a selection of Spanish tapas) was perhaps a bit much when one had jumbo fish and chips to follow.

In Forest Row three went to the Chequers Inn, two to Taeffels cafe. One got the bus back to Haywards Heath. Four of us walked under a pale crescent moon and stars up the old railway line to East Grinstead a lovely night walk, the first of many this winter we hope.
Sat, 22-Nov-14 14 Horsted Keynes Circular (short walk, starting from station)
Sat, 05-Jul-14 13 Horsted Keynes Station to Forest Row
Sun, 26-Aug-12 Horsted Keynes Circular, starting from station
Sat, 04-Feb-12 Horsted Keynes Circular [Haywards Heath]
Sat, 29-Oct-11 Horsted Keynes Circular [Haywards Heath]