08-Apr-17 • stephenmid on Flickr

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Walkers on a ridge

08-Apr-17 • stephenmid on Flickr

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Old House

08-Apr-17 • stephenmid on Flickr

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Spindle tree near the railway crossing

06-Nov-11 • Sean O'Neill

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Shaggy parasols in field outside Burwash

06-Nov-11 • Sean O'Neill

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06-Nov-11 • Sean O'Neill

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06-Nov-11 • Sean O'Neill

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Stonegate to Robertsbridge walk

The High Weald, Kipling’s home, and panoramic views


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, 28-Jan-18 13

Sunday Walk: Stonegate to Robertsbridge

SWC walk 112: Stonegate to Robertsbridge via Burwash
13.7 km (8.5 miles) Difficulty 4/10

With gentle hills, classic woods and tranquil valleys, this walk's attractions include the unspoiled village of Burwash for lunch. Skull-and-crossbone tombstones in the churchyard mark the graves of executed smugglers, Burwash once being a centre for such activities. After lunch, it's off to Robertsbridge, along a beautiful route, which climbs up onto a ridge, has fine views to the north, then descends with panoramic views directly into the heart of Robertsbridge.
Anyone wanting a longer walk could substitute the morning of Stonegate Circular (Book 2 Walk 19) to increase the distance to 16.4 km (10.2 miles).
Trains: note corrected times
09:52 Hastings train from Charing Cross (London Bridge 10:01) arriving Stonegate 11:07
Return from Robertsbridge at xx14. Get a return to Robertsbridge.
Lunch: The Rose and Crown, Burwash (01435-882600) serves pub food from 12 to 2.30pm. It is west down the High Street from the church. The Bear Inn (01435-882260), is further along. The Lime Tree Tea Rooms, also on the High Street (01435-882221), serving light snacks and cakes, stays open to 4:30 Sundays. Bateman's, once the home of Rudyard Kipling, is a short detour shortly after Burwash. It can be a lunch venue or early tea-stop but, unless you're an NT member, you have to pay the £12 entry fee first.
Tea: The Ostrich (01580-881737), close to Robertsbridge station, is conveniently placed to act as your afternoon tea/beer stop. Or there's the George in the High Street.
Directions can be found here. Leave your best shoes at home.
I am interested in joining the walk and have gone through new members' instructions. I understand thisis not a led activity but not sure how to meet others who are going for the walk. The instructions says "look around you", I am not sure that would work in London Terminals..
I really don't fancy going for a walk alone in this weather :)
We meet up on the platform at the ARRIVAL station, in this case Stonegate. Trust me, no one else will get off here it is a remote country station so the group should be obvious.
Which train are people taking? It seems there is no 9:50 train from London Bridge but at 9:01 or 10:01.

Thanks Cool dont know if I put in the wrong times or the time table changed but they are now showing as Charing Cross 9:52 London Bridge 10:01 Return time unchanged.
See you tomorrow
Oks, sontrain has been cancelled.. is there a bavkup plan?
Sorry I havent got a crystal ball. You could check twitter to see if anyone else has a plan. My soggestion would be to get a later train and do the short Stonegate Circular. You might be on your own though. And be aware Stonegate has little by way of facilities while waiting for a train back
You were very unlucky. This almost never happens. For the record, I would have got the next available train and hoped some other walkers did too
As Cool reports, the specified train was cancelled, as were all others heading in the same direction until at least 1036. Website bulletins estimated that the problem would endure until 1115.

Notices implied that services were being diverted to and from Victoria, but it wasn't clear whether that applied to this issue or other weekend works long scheduled. Three regular walkers recognised each other and together went to Victoria to find what we could. Nothing on the departures board there was going towards Stonegate. The help desk suggested going to Orpington and changing there, but we had little confidence that we weren't being directed to connect to the service that had been cancelled; and even if we completed the journey, we would likely arrive too late to complete the walk in the light.

So we zipped two stops up the Victoria line to Oxford Circus, and then rode the Central Line to its western end, where we did a 7.5 mile walk I reserve for foul ups such as this, which included one of the best pub lunches I can remember. Notable roast potatoes.

I'm sorry this was Cool's first experience. I've walked with this group most weekends since 2001 and experienced complete cancellation of the service only about three times in that period. Please come and try us again.
There were problems with power supply, northbound, between Orpington and Charing Cross, so this affected those coming from central London and caused the cancellation of some trains. I had no problem getting to Orpington from Lewisham. The scheduled 10.21 Hastings train was there when I arrived (I think it must have started from Orpington). There were 13 walkers in total. 7 managed to get to Stonegate on the scheduled train and the other six caught a train an hour later. The weather was overcast in the morning but clearing nicely in the afternoon. Late January is the not the best time of year for this walk, especially a winter as mild and wet as this one. The first 2 miles or so to Burwash were heavy going, but it was better after lunch. Three of the early group visited the graveyard of Burwash church and found graves with skull and crossbone, but otherwise illegible. Mention must be made of three Chinese PhD students on the earlier train who, despite only having trainers, made it through all the mud to Burwash and found long sticks somewhere en route to help them negotiate the unfavourable conditions underfoot. I'm certain they would have made it to the end, though they weren't on the 16.14 back to London. One of the highlights of the walk was Socknersh Manor, bought in the early 1960s by Tom Jones and Englebert Humperdinck, with its impressive grounds and stone barn. There were also some excellent views during the day and nice woodland. Towards the end of the walk, we went past the oldest Bruderhof (Anabaptist) community in Europe on the outskirts of Robertsbridge... very interesting. On the approach to Robertsbridge station, we wisely opted for the winter diversion. The low lying (main) route was probably impassable. I hope this walk can be scheduled later in the year when the bluebells are out.
Some feedback on the walk: in para 11, the house passed is on the right (not the left). In para 14, the three armed footpath sign is lying in thick undergrowth, so almost invisible. Paras 53 55 can be condensed into the following single paragraph: "40 metres past the barn veer left between two parallel black metal railings, which have been helpfully constructed to help walkers through the manor grounds". From para 56, the directions are correct.
Thanks for the corrections to the directions: the pdf has been updated.
Skulls and crossbones were actually fairly common on gravestones circa the 17th and early 18th century. They were a reminder that no one gets out of this life alive our forebears were keen on correcting misbehaviour with such warnings. I seem to remember reading that there were pirates buried in the graveyard at Burwash, but I wonder if that was because someone these particular gravestones and thought they were Jolly Roger symbols.
Sun, 13-Nov-16 8

Sunday Walk 2 – Autumn colours in the High Weald

Extra Walk 112 – Stonegate to Robertsbridge
Length: 13.7 km (8.5 miles). Toughness: 4/10

09:55 Hastings train from Charing Cross (Waterloo East 09:58, London Bridge 10:03, Orpington 10:21, Sevenoaks 10:30), arriving Stonegate at 11:07. Buy a return to Robertsbridge, two stops further down the line.

Return trains from Robertsbridge are hourly at 14 minutes past.

This walk promises “plenty of fine autumn colour” and I'm hoping that the River Rother won't have begun its seasonal inundation of some fields you have to cross in the morning, which has spoilt one or two attempts to do this walk in winter. A comment last year also warned that the paths across these fields (between the railway line and the river) weren't marked out, so you might find it easier to go around the field edges.

The possible lunch stops on this walk come very early. If the going's good you'll reach Burwash around noon, where the most recent feedback favoured the Bear Inn over the Rose and Crown. The alternative is to carry on for another fifteen minutes to the National Trust's Bateman's, where visitors to the property can get a light lunch in its tea-room. As sunset is at 4.15pm and it's another 9.2 km to Robertsbridge, I suggest leaving Bateman's by 2pm to avoid finishing in the gloom.

You'll need to print the walk directions from this pdf document. T=swc.112
Hello, thanks for posting this walk.
I am new to this place and not exactly sure how to navigate my way around by myself.
if anyone is going on this walk, i would love to join.
please let me know if possible to connect with any potential fellow walkers.

thank you.
I will be joining the walk. Might be wet underfoot in parts. Just turn up at the station preferably with the walk notes.
Aritra, most people meet up at the destination. Just wait on the platform when you get off the train, and you should find people. Generally people stand in a circle and do introductions. You can try to identify fellow walkers on the train, but there are many people who go out walking so you may introduce yourself to people who are not going on the SWC walk. Definitely bring the notes though.
Hi all. It looks as though I'll be on a solitary walk as the train was cancelled from Charing cross and started instead from Orpington where I got train not stopping at stonegate!still at least I have the instructions.

But of course you were not alone Liz, as a group of seven somehow assembled after lunch. A lovely walk with great colours and a lake! Sadly The Lilac Tea Room closes for good later this month.

There were also 5 people who got to Stonegate at the posted time by taking a connecting service (in my case changing at Tonbridge not sure about the others). We separated before lunch, some going on to Batemans, at least one to the Rose & Crown. Lovely walk on a perfect autumn day.
so did the 7 include some of the 5 ? and also the solitary walker liz parker? or was it 13 in total, or even more? bamboozled...
Just to clarify, five walkers met on Stonegate platform, but the designated train from LB was cancelled which meant that three walkers were an hour behjnd but managed to catch us up after Batemans, as some of us had a look round! The sun was out and the colours of trees glorious. A great day out.

8 sunny
Wed, 09-Mar-16 5

Midweek day walk - Stonegate to Robertsbridge

Stonegate to Robertsbridge

The High Weald, Kipling’s home, and panoramic views

Book 3* Walk 112

* Online only
Length : 16 km or 10 miles

Toughness : 4 out of 10

Getting there : Catch the 10:15 am train from London Charing Cross (10:18 am from Waterloo East) to Stonegate

Meeting point : Stonegate Station at 11:26 am

Tickets : Buy a cheap day return to Robertsbridge

Brief Description

After last week's somewhat strenuous romp, I hope this weeks midweek offering will be somewhat easier and gentler.
If the weather is inclement, walkers may wish to downgrade to the shorter walk (about 2½ km less)
You may find full details of this walk here and download a PDF here

Suggested Lunch stops in Burwash

Rose and Crown, Ham Lane t: 01435 882600
Limehouse Tearooms t: 01435 882221
Bear Inn, High Street t: 01435 882540

Suggested Tea stops

Judges Bakery, 51 High Street Robertsbridge (open to 5 pm) t: 01580 880434
The Ostrich for something a little stronger- just by the station t: 01580 881737


OS Explorer : 136 and a wee bit of 124

Return train times

A train returns from Robertsbridge to London Cannon Street at 16:09
Other trains return from Robertsbridge to London Charing Cross at 16:42 | 17:08 | 17:43 | 18:14
Will be there, weather permitting.
"mud is now drying out as the days lengthen" Walker 27th Feb 2016
I should have sussed out there was going to be some major weather pattern changes when the Met Office started to name the storms coming in from the Atlantic. Anyhow suffice it to say there was a spot of bother with the river Rother which had become a veritable lake. In fact the whole of the Weald looked like a flood plain.
Anyhow 5 on this walk with the weather slightly overcast with a brief shower all made it to Burwash, had lunch and abandoned the walk.
I've never seen it so wet in that neck of the woods!
Apparently, Ladbrokes are no longer taking bets on when the next hosepipe ban will be brought in.
Sat, 10-Jan-15 8 Stonegate to Robertsbridge, via Batemans (alternative route)
Sat, 19-Oct-13 11 Stonegate to Robertsbridge, via Batemans (alternative route)
Sun, 17-Mar-13 7 Stonegate to Robertsbridge, via Batemans
Sat, 15-Dec-12 Stonegate to Robertsbridge, via Batemans
Sun, 13-May-12 Stonegate to Robertsbridge, via Batemans (alternative route)
Sun, 06-Nov-11 Stonegate to Robertsbridge, via Batemans
Sat, 26-Mar-11 Stonegate to Robertsbridge, via Batemans
Sat, 16-Oct-10 Stonegate to Robertsbridge, via Batemans