14km (8.7 miles)
17km (10.6 miles) using the morning of Stonegate Circular walk
|Toughness||4 out of 10: some hills, but relatively gentle gradients|
OS Landranger 199 covers the whole route from Stonegate to Robertsbridge
OS Explorer 136 covers all but the last mile into Robertsbridge
OS Explorer 124 covers Burwash to Robertsbridge
This is a hilly – but relatively gentle – walk through the High Weald, which is particular beautiful in April and late October or early November. In April it offers plenty of wild flowers and a rich array of hornbeam trees, which become a mass of catkins at this time, and during leaf fall it has plenty of fine autumn colour.
The walk shares a very short section of the Stonegate Circular walk on this website and like that walk visits the pretty ridgetop village of Burwash for lunch and Batemans, the former home of the writer Rudyard Kipling, now owned by the National Trust. But its route is otherwise quite different.
In the morning it takes a shorter route across a valley to Burwash and from Bateman’s onwards, the walk strikes out into completely new territory, climbing by gentle stages up onto a ridge that gives you a fine backwards view towards Burwash. It then crosses the country estate of Socknersh Manor before descending via another ridge, with fine views, into Robertsbridge.
|Walk Options||For a longer morning of 6.6km (4.1 miles), use the standard morning route of the Stonegate Circular walk on this site. This lengthens the walk to 17km (10.6 miles) in total|
|Travel||Stonegate is on the Hastings line and is served by hourly trains from Charing Cross and London Bridge taking one hour ten minutes. The first train after 10am will be quite adequate to get you to lunch in time, and as this walk has a short morning, you could even take a train after 11am. Buy a day return to Robertsbridge, which is two stops further down the line. There is ample paid car parking at Stonegate.|
|Lunch and tea||
There are two pubs in Burwash for lunch, 3.6km/2.2 miles into the walk. The most convenient is the Rose & Crown (01435 882600), which has both inside and outside seating, is open for drinks all afternoon daily, and does food 12pm-3pm Monday to Friday, all afternoon on Saturday and 12pm-3.30pm on Sunday. The Bear Inn (01435 882 540), 150 metres to the west, serves food 12-2.30pm Monday to Friday and all afternoon Saturday and Sunday. It is also open all afternoon Monday to Friday for drinks.
If you are planning to visit Batemans, it is only 1.1km beyond Burwash and has a National Trust tea room serving hot meals at lunchtime (until 2.30pm or so) and tea and cakes until 5pm March to October and 4pm November to February. To access the tea room, you have to pay to go into Batemans, however – unless you are a National Trust member.
For picnics Burwash churchyard or the fields between the village and Batemans are a good spot.
After that, there are no further refreshment stops until you reach Robertsbridge. Here the Ostrich by the station is a pleasantly quirky pub with a nice garden, or you can walk up to the village centre for other pub options, such as The George. The Bakery in the village centre also has two or three tables and is open until 5pm Monday to Saturday.
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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