Burwash Weald & Bateman's
Standard walk: 15.5 km (9.6 miles) 4 hours 45mins. For the whole outing including trains, sights and meals allow 9 hours 15mins
Short walk: 10km (6.2 miles) 3 hours walking time.
Long walk: 29.5km (18.3 miles), 6 hours (fast pace) 9 hours (relaxed pace) walking time.
OS LandRanger Map No. 199. OS Explorer Map Nos. 136 and 124 (for part of the long walk). Stonegate (station), (map 199) reference TQ 659 272 is in East Sussex, 14km south east of Tunbridge Wells.
|Toughness||3 out of 10|
This walk is an good introduction to the Weald, a part of East Sussex which is less well known by walkers than the Chilterns. But its relative quiteness is one of its attractions. Passing over gentle hills and into tranquil valleys, through classic English wood and pastureland, its attractions include the unspoiled village of Burwash for lunch, and Bateman's, the one time rural retreat of Rudyard Kipling. In summer one stretch before lunch through Upper Collingtons wood can become quite overgrown with nettles and brambles, so wear long trousers and select a suitable stick on entering the wood. For those venturing on the long walk section after lunch at Burwash Common, this could with some justification be described as a wilderness walk.
You may reduce the length of the walk by over 4km to 10km (6.2 miles) by following the main route directions given until . Then follow the shortened route directions to then pick up the main route directions at 
Alternatively you may catch the 318 bus (Mon - Fri hourly service until 18.00, Sat every other hour until 16.00. Not Sun) from Burwash High Street to Etchingham station (one stop down the line from Stonegate) Traveline 0870 6082608. Note: Buy a return rail ticket to Etchingham.
Lengthening the walk You may increase the length of the walk by 14km to 29.5km (18.3 miles) by following the main route directions given until . Then follow the Lengthened route directions and then pick up the main route directions at . You may vary the end of this walk and finish in Wadhurst for tea. This increases the length of the long walk by 3km to 32.5km (20.2 miles). Follow the Lengthened route directions to [L5], then follow the Alternative Ending for the Long walk at Wadhurst directions, to link up with the standard Wadhurst directions at .
The Stonegate Variations document (see top of page) offers an alternative ending in Robertsbridge.
SWC Walk 112 Stonegate to Robertsbridge offers a different, more direct route to Robertsbridge.
Burwash dates back to Norman times. The Church of St. Bartholomew was built in 1090 although the tower is all that remains of the original Norman structure. The church houses the rare 16th century Geneva Bible discovered in 1954 among a collection of old books in the church vestry. During the late 17th and 18th centuries Burwash along with many other villages in the area was a haven for smuggling, a capital crime for which several villagers were executed. Originally the Revenue had been insistent that the smugglers may not be buried in consecrated ground; although a compromise was reached whereby their headstones were carved with the skull and cross bones. Several such headstones are to be found in the churchyard; although some are fairly weathered the marking is still quite distinguishable.
There is also a memorial plaque in the church to John Kipling (Rudyard's son) who was reported missing, believed killed at the age of 18, in his first battle (the Battle of Loos) on the Western Front in 1915.
Bateman's (tel 01435 882302, www.nationaltrust.org.uk) Bateman's House (former home of Rudyard Kipling) is now owned by the National Trust. Kipling lived at Bateman's from 1902 until his death in 1936. His wife, Carrie, who died in 1939, left Bateman's to the National Trust, as a memorial to her husband.
The house is open daily except Thursday and Friday from late March until late September 11am - 5pm.
Take the train nearest to 10.15am (before or after) from Charing Cross station to Stonegate. Journey time is just over an hour. Trains back from Stonegate run once an hour. If you are intending to cut the walk short at Burwash by taking a bus to Etchingham buy a day return to Etchingham.
Stonegate station car park currently costs £2.00 weekdays and is free at weekends.
Standard walk / Short walk The suggested lunchtime stop is the Rose and Crown (tel 01435 882600), 6km from the start of the walk, which serves pub food from 12 to 2pm Monday to Friday, and from 12 to 2.30pm Saturday and Sunday - 160 metres west down the High Street from the church. Alternatively you could try The Bear Inn (tel 01435 882260), 90 metres further west. Long walk / Standard walk late alternate The Wheel Inn (tel 01435 882299), Burwash Weald, 10km from the start of the walk, which is open all day and serves inventive lunchtime food from 12 to 3pm daily. (The Bell Inn, opposite the Church of St. Bartholomew has closed.)
Picnic Virtually anywhere along the route would be a good picnic spot.
Standard walk The suggested tea stop is at The Wheel Inn (tel 01435-882299) Alternatively, for those who visit Bateman's there is a tea-room in the grounds. Long walk / Short walk There is no tea stop after Burwash Weald / Burwash. However near the end of the walk at point  you may continue straight ahead (detailed in the instructions) to a Farm shop which sells cold drinks. (If finishing the Long walk at Wadhurst then there is the recommended Wealden Wholefoods Gallery Café or if closed then the White Hart pub.)
An earlier version of this walk was published in Time Out Country Walks near London volume 2. We now recommend using this online version as the book is now dated.
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Out (not a train station)
Back (not a train station)
National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline SE (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234
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Full directions for this walk are in a PDF file (link above) which you can print, or download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.
This is just the introduction. This walk's detailed directions are in a PDF available from wwww.walkingclub.org.uk