Book 2, Walk 20, Robertsbridge Circular

19 March 2005

18-Mar-05 • MEW2005 on Flickr

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Book 2, Walk 20, Robertsbridge Circular

Mark R guarding the battlements of Bodiam Castle, 19 March 2005.

18-Mar-05 • MEW2005 on Flickr

book2 walk20 swcwalks tocw220

Robertsbridge Village

19-Mar-05 • Peter Conway on Flickr

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Bodiam Castle

19-Mar-05 • Peter Conway on Flickr

swcwalks book2 walk20

Bodiam Castle 2

19-Mar-05 • Peter Conway on Flickr

swcwalks book2 walk20

Bodiam Village

19-Mar-05 • Peter Conway on Flickr

swcwalks book2 walk20


30-Aug-05 • jamesrlmunro on Flickr

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Robertsbridge Circular walk

Quiet, rolling hills, Bodiam Castle (NT), with a gentler finish.


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: Thu, 17-Jan-19

Date # Post
Sat, 06-Oct-18 11

Robertsbridge to Battle


Length: 17km / 11m Note, this is version 2.20b of this walk !
Toughness: 4 / 10
Transport: Take the 9:15 train from London Charing Cross to Robertsbridge arriving 10:34. Return trains from Battle are at xx:07 with additional trains at 16:44, 17:37 and 18:37. Buy a day return to Battle.

This is a nice walk through rolling countryside with an equal mix of woodland and open meadows finishing at the place of that famous battle. The recommended lunch pub is the Queens Head at Sedlescombe which serves lunch until 16:00. The Cross Inn at Staplecross is too early in the walk.

10 on the scheduled train and 1 on a later train but caught up with the group at the lunch pub. 11. Weather held up for us, we had a complete dry morning till 2pm when we arrived at Queens Head at Sedlescombe. Whilst walkers on Aldermaston had a gourmet feast, only 3 ate in the pub, must be the record low for a saturday walk. Nevertheless, nearly all had a drink in the pub. Some drizzle in the afternoon but lasted only briefly. We got to the tea room in Battle about 4:30pm mostly dry, Hahaha.... Tea and cakes were consumed. One walker spotted an Ostrich earlier on the walk, two walkers were offered coke for refreshment by a farmer then a tour of his goats, cute! All agreed, the walk appeared longer and tougher than 'advertised'. One GPS registered 12 miles and the other 13 miles. The path in the afternoon was unrecognisable at the times, with high grass, high stalks left in the fields after harvest, making this walk more of 7/10 as oppose to 4/10.
Sat, 12-Aug-17 14

Robertsbridge Circular - gentle hills, a fairy tale castle and a steam train

Book 2 walk 20 - Robertsbridge Circular
Length: 19.3km (12 miles)
Toughness: 4 out of 10: gentle hills
10.15 (Hastings-bound) train from Charing Cross (10.18 Waterloo East, 10.23 London Bridge) to Robertsbridge, arriving 11.34.
For walk directions click here.

This Wealden walk makes a nice summer outing. Its original lunch pub has closed, but there are alternatives on the Hurst Green alternative route (see walk directions), 3.4 miles into the walk where Eurasia, an Asian style restaurant occupies a former pub, or at the Waterside Cafe in Hawkhurst Fish Farm, 5.3 miles into the main walk (ie no need to go to Hurst Green), which does proper meals until 4pm. You can book tables at either place.

Your arrival at beautiful Bodiam Castle is delayed until tea time, but this means you can take advantage of the lovely cakes at the National Trust tea room. Faster walkers might still get there in time to visit the perfect fairy-tale castle, which only takes an hour or so. Otherwise you can see it for free from public footpaths.

In the background at Bodiam you may hear the hooting of a steam train. If you fancy a ride on one, the Kent & East Sussex Railway has departures to Tenterden at 3.28 and 4.40. It is a glorious ride through remote countryside that takes a full 50 minutes and gives you the real feel of a Victorian branch line. There are buses from Tenterden to Headcorn (best option) or Ashford leaving as late as 18.44: search on Traveline for details. From Headcorn your Robertsbridge ticket might just past muster: from Ashford you would need to pay a single train ticket back to Tonbridge.

Otherwise, it is a pleasant evening walk back into Robertsbridge, where the quirky Ostrich pub by the station is a favourite SWC drink stop.

Trains back go at at 14 and 44 past the hour until 19.14 and then 14 past the hour until 23.14. T=2.20
About 14 on this walk on a warm and sunny day. Nice walk, and about 10 of us had lunch at Waterside Cafe and others picnic just outside the cafe and joined us for drinks. Unfortunately one walker with an extremely fit and well behaved dog was excluded from the cafe as 'No Dogs Allowed' signs sprinkled everywhere.
Tea at Bodiam Castle for some, and then 4 of us ran to catch train as it pulled into Robertsbridge station.
Sat, 27-May-17 18

Saturday Walk - Robertsbridge to Battle

Saturday Walk - Robertsbridge to Battle

Length 10.7 miles (17.2 km) 4 out of 10
4 out of 10 refers to the circular, and this is a mostly different walk.

Battle Abbey is English Heritage and closes at 6.00pm. With an hour for lunch you should get there around 5pm. "The Battle of Hastings, fought on 14 October 1066, is one of the best-known events in England’s history, when William of Normandy defeated the army of King Harold of England. The battlefield owes its survival to the founding by William the Conqueror of Battle Abbey on the site as penance for the bloodshed. Much of the battlefield became part of the abbey’s great park, which formed the core of a country estate after the abbey’s suppression in 1538."

Trains: CORRECTION. Get the 1019 Hastings train from Cannon Street station ariving 1134. Buy a return to Battle.
return trains are xx07 & xx37 until 1907 when they are hourly xx07.

Lunch: A late lunch. The Queens Head Seddlescombe, TN33 0QA (01424 870228), 7 miles (11.2km) from the start of the walk, food all afternoon and advertises a large garden.

Tea: The walk instructions suggest the Pilgrims Rest, but their website seems to be focussed on being a wedding venue. There is The Senlac Inn, 2 minutes from the station.

I have just checked the website for the trains out from Canon St and it looks like we need to change at Battle.
In at 11.03 and out at 11.07 and one stop to Robertsbrige arriving at 11.14
Or have I misread something ?
Ivor Chessticoff

Apologies for the mistake. I've opted for the later direct train. Thanks for noticing!

Link to walk directions for those new to the group (and welcome). Robertsbridge to Battle is one of the options outlined in this link: circular/TOCW2 Walk 20 Robertsbridge Circular.pdf
Simply Italian located in the George Hotel in Battle High Street does a pretty good tea/coffee and cake deal. There is a branch of Costa also.
Circle and District lines disrupted
18 (including one who did the Robertsbridge circular by mistake) sunny hot About 4 got the earlier train.
Chaos at Cannon Street with only one ticket window coping with a bank holiday queue and only one working machine. People were waved through in the end.
It sure is a long strenuous jomp to the “lunch” pub. The fastest got there about 2:15 Me? 3:15 (Though, to be fair, had we wished, we could have stopped at the Cross Inn sooner.) People seemed to like what they got in the Queens Arms. My peanuts were fine.
Some minor obstructions and obfuscations en route. But nothing that couldn’t be climbed over or untied. And whover owns that "bull" we had to "beware of", you'd better have a look, mate, it ain't there! There were lot of blue butterflies flying in one of the wildflower meadows. (The same field as the alleged bull if I remember right). And so to Battle where some retired to the George. A quick half in the Senlac for me.
Forgot to mention. One of them gizmo people had the walk length at over 12 miles
Sat, 14-Jan-17 22

Third walk

20b Robertsbridge to Battle

Length: 17.2 km (10.7 miles). Toughness: 3/10

Catch the 10:00 from Charing Cross (Waterloo 10:03 London Bridge 10:08) arrives Robertsbridge 11:34.

Longer walk option start at Etchingham: 22.2 km (13.8 miles). 3/10. Catch the 9:00 train from Charing Cross (Waterloo 9:03 London Bridge 9:08) arrives Etchingham 10:30.

Shorter walk option 20a Robertsbridge Circular: 14 km (8.7 miles) 1/10

Buy a day return to Battle (unless taking the short circular walk from Robertsbridge).

Return: Bus from Battle to connect with Robertsbridge train x:24 xx:54 18:54 xx:54 until 21:54, journey time 13 minutes.

Return trains from Robertsbridge xx:17 xx:47 19:17 xx:17 until 22:17

The intention is to stop at the The Cross Inn, Staplecross for lunch rather than the later pub at Seddlescombe. The Cross Inn caters for dining vs. the odd cheese roll of past times.

Important Note: Immediately after the Cross Inn, ensure you take the straightforward route (as marked by [I] in the directions dated 11 Jan 2017), which avoids the ongoing earthworks, poor waymarking. There is a right of way but it is not at all clear and possibly not helped by the odd local resident. (Too late in the day to get onto the local rights of way officer in Lewes, but I will be checking the situation out after lunch and getting in touch with the local rights of way officer should there still be a problem.) Thanks to Walker - ref. Walk Comments page - for the alternative route which will save a lot of hassle on the day.

For the main walk 20b Robertsbridge to Battle print out pages 1,6,7, 9-14, 17.

For the Shorter walk option 20a Robertsbridge Circular print out pages 1, 5-9, 17.

For the Longer walk option in addition to the pages for 20b, download the Wadhurst Long Walk option and print out pages 9 and 10. To link up with this walk section from Etchingham station head NE (away from Etchingham) along the main A265 road. After 400m, fork left up a minor road. In 180 m you pass by a Primary School on your LHS. In a further 400m pass by a lane off to your L. In 250m turn right at an easily missed enclosed footpath (marked by a yellow arrow on a footpath post to the left of the footpath entrance), your direction 160 degrees. to pick up the directions from [L5]. Once you arrive in Robertsbridge, pass by The Seven Star pub on your LHS and continue up George Hill. Immediately past a small bookshop on your left (and with the war memorial / clock tower on your right), turn left to pick up the directions page 7, 1st col, para 3 "Follow this fenced-in footpath, ignoring a left turn off after 160 metres...."

*** Alternatively for a shorter more direct route from Etchingham to Robertsbridge SWC 208d option in reverse.*** T=2.20
SE replacement buses are usually very good. Also I may have my car and give a few people a lift back to Robertsbridge station at the end.
Intend going on the main walk.
There'll be at least 3 of us doing the longer version starting in Etchingham at 10:30am
I would really like to walk from Robertsbridge to Battle (getting a bus back from Battle to Robertsbridge)10.7 miles. I’m really sorry, but I am a bit confused as to which walk I should I print from the website. I cannot find a page 14 or 17 on the links provided.
as always, click on the walk number in the blue field in the subject line, '2.20', and on the page that appears: click on 'Download Walk (pdf)'
thank you.
3 walkers off the early train to do the long walk option from Etchingham, who managed to get to the War Memorial in Robertsbridge in time to await the masses off the later train: all 18 of them. The walk poster and author himself got outfoxed by a late platform change at Charing X, and was therefore half an hour behind everyone, therefore 22 in total on a dry mostly sunny day. Snow visible on many tops in many directions, but never quite where we walked, unfortunately. Several (about 9) soon forked off to walk a Robertsbridge Circular, the rest mostly lunched at the under new mgmt for a year Cross Inn in Staplecross. Early arrivals hogged the table by the open fireplace and there was talk of staying there until last orders. Food was pub classics well executed, and staff were exceptionally nice. Quite a turnaround at this pub!
4 of us explored the rumoured to be impassable old route and found it brambles infested but just about passable, at least in winter (memo to future walkers: next time bring secateurs). We then encountered a Met Walkers group that was doing "a variation of the SWC Robertsbridge Circular", all 17 of them, and re united with the rest of our group a bit further along.
Plenty of views of rolling hills, many good examples of Kentish oast houses, thatched buildings and wooden cottages, some mud, nice woodland stretches, late on though a stretch of arable fields, producing mud agglomerations on boots.
We arrived in Battle for the 16.54 rail replacement bus, or the pub. 4 took the latter option, at The Abbey Hotel, to take a bus an hour later.
Very nice day out, and a good workout to counter the Xmas excess (aka the biscuit belly).

Sat, 22-Oct-16 14

Third Walk

CW2 Walk 20c - Robertsbridge Circular
Length: 19.3 km (12 miles). Toughness: 4/10

Catch the 10:15 from Charing Cross (Waterloo East: 10:18, London Bridge 10:23) arrives Robertsbridge 11:34.

The White Horse at Silver Hill really does looked to be closed for good now. Consequently the morning route will be via Hurst Green, with lunch at Eurasia at The Royal George PH.
Return from Robertsbridge xx:14 17:44 18:14 18:44 xx:14 until 22:14.
Intend going.
14 on a clear day
Sun, 14-Feb-16 9

Sunday Walk 2: Fancy Castle Magic

Robertsbridge Short Circular Book 2 walk 20a
14km 8.7 ml
Difficulty 2/10
Through the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to picturesque Bodiam Castle where you have a choice of lunch in either the Castle Inn or The National Trust tea rooms.
Trains: Get the 9:55 Robertsbridge train from Charing Cross (Waterloo East 9:58, Orpington 10:19). Does not stop at London Bridge. Arrives Robertsbridge at 11:17
Trains return from Robertsbridge at xx:14 and xx.44.
Lunch: The Castle Inn 01580 830 330 or the National Trust tea rooms at Bodiam Castle
Tea: The Ostrich Hotel, a quirky favourite, is close to Robertsbridge Station
Directions: are available here (on the Download Walk button) or in Book 2. We are doing the shorter walk, option a. Note that it starts differently to the full walk.
9 sun clouds some wind
A late start with the train cancelled because of a tree on the line. Sodden squelchy fields and flooded paths added to the adventure. But, by arriving late at the Castle we were able to get a table and quick service. Having just missed a train back, the Ostrich gave us a very warm welcome, despite us being quite muddy. Would recommend building a visit to this pub as part of your day out (they have a good choice of tea, but no cake).
Sat, 28-Nov-15

Saturday First Walk - Robertsbridge Circular (short Walk)

Robertsbridge Circular, Book 2 Walk 20 short walk
Length: 8.7 miles (14km)

The short walk is rated at 2, so a relative stroll through High Weald countryside, with a possible visit to Bodiam Castle (National Trust).

Trains 0915 Charing Cross to Hastings train arrive 1034. The optimum train would be the 0945, but this involves a 4 minute change at Battle. Return trains are among others at 1614, 1714, 1744, 1814. Day return to Robertsbridge.

Lunch The Castle Inn Bodiam or the National Trust Tea Room at Bodiam Castle (note that the usual tea room is being refurbished, so catering is more limited).

The walk standard timing assumes 3.35hrs plus 1.20 hrs for lunch, so with the early start, you could probably squeeze in a quick Castle visit at lunchtime.

Tea The Ostrich, a couple of minutes from the station.

I will coming up from Hastings! Best wishes, John
Does this section of The Weald tend to be soggy underfoot, like Stonebridge/Wadhurst?
I and my 'family' were on this walk and the weather was great in the morning with strong sunshine and little wind and no cloud but come the afternoon it was wet windy and grey.
9 of us made it too lunch at The Castle who were quiet but still took a while to serve us but the food seemed to be appreciated. Two joined us at the pub which is apparently acceptable.
After lunch not only did the ground feel muddier and the stiles even less accessible
but there were horses that growled.
A good day but lots of mud . Ideal terrain for gaiters
Thank you.   Ali
Sat, 18-Apr-15 25 Robertsbridge to Battle
Sat, 01-Nov-14 16 Robertsbridge to Battle
Sat, 16-Aug-14 0 Robertsbridge Circular
Sat, 17-May-14 18 Robertsbridge Circular (short walk)
Sun, 26-Jan-14 3 Robertsbridge Circular (short walk)
Sat, 31-Aug-13 15 Robertsbridge Circular
Sat, 20-Apr-13 30 Robertsbridge to Battle
Sun, 17-Feb-13 0 Robertsbridge Circular (short walk)
Sat, 20-Oct-12 Robertsbridge Circular
Sat, 07-Apr-12 Robertsbridge to Battle
Sun, 11-Mar-12 Robertsbridge to Battle
Sat, 02-Apr-11 Robertsbridge Circular (short walk)
Sun, 15-Aug-10 Robertsbridge Circular (short walk)
Sat, 19-Jun-10 Robertsbridge Circular
Sat, 10-Apr-10 Robertsbridge to Battle
Sat, 20-Feb-10 Stonegate to Robertsbridge via Burwash (main walk)
Sat, 23-May-09 Robertsbridge Circular
Sat, 23-May-09 Robertsbridge Circular (short walk)
Sat, 14-Feb-09 Robertsbridge Circular (short walk)
Sat, 01-Nov-08 Robertsbridge to Battle
Sun, 06-Jul-08 Robertsbridge Circular
Sat, 12-Apr-08 Robertsbridge to Battle
Sat, 15-Mar-08 Robertsbridge Circular
Sat, 19-Jan-08 Robertsbridge Circular (short walk)
Sat, 27-Oct-07 Robertsbridge Circular
Sun, 10-Jun-07 Robertsbridge Circular
Sat, 26-May-07 Robertsbridge Circular
Sat, 31-Mar-07 Robertsbridge to Battle
Wed, 27-Dec-06 Robertsbridge Circular
Sun, 05-Nov-06 Robertsbridge Circular (short walk)
Sat, 28-Oct-06 Robertsbridge Circular (short walk)
Wed, 18-Oct-06 Robertsbridge Circular