Stonegate to Robertsbridge walk

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

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.

Date Post # Weather
Sun, 07-Aug-22 Sunday Walk: Stonegate to Robertsbridge 3 hot and sunny
Sat, 10-Oct-20 Saturday walk - Stonegate to Robertsbridge - a gentle walk in the High Weald 24 cloudy with sunny periods
Sun, 18-Nov-18 Sunday Walk: Stonegate to Robertsbridge 5
Sun, 28-Jan-18 Sunday Walk: Stonegate to Robertsbridge 13 overcast in the morning but clearing nicely in the afternoon
Sun, 13-Nov-16 Sunday Walk 2 – Autumn colours in the High Weald 8 sunny
Wed, 09-Mar-16 Midweek day walk - Stonegate to Robertsbridge 5 slightly overcast with a brief shower
Sat, 10-Jan-15 Stonegate to Robertsbridge, via Batemans (alternative route) 8
Sat, 19-Oct-13 Stonegate to Robertsbridge, via Batemans (alternative route) 11
Sun, 17-Mar-13 Stonegate to Robertsbridge, via Batemans 7
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
Sun, 07-Aug-22
Sunday Walk: Stonegate to Robertsbridge

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. After lunch, you head towards Robertsbridge along a beautiful route, which climbs up onto a ridge, follows it with fine views to the north, then descends,with panoramic views, into Robertsbridge..
Anyone wanting a longer walk could substitute the morning of Stonegate Circular (CW2 Walk 19) to increase the distance to 16.4 km (10.2 miles).
Trains:

09:25 Hastings train from Charing Cross (Waterloo East 9:29, London Bridge 9:34) arriving Stonegate at 10:38. Return from Robertsbridge at xx:14.
Get a return to Robertsbridge.
Lunch: The Rose and Crown, Burwash (01435-882600) is west down the High Street from the church. The Bear Inn (01435-882260), is 90 metres further. There are also two tea rooms on the High Street - the Lime Tree Tea Rooms and the Blacksmiths Tea and Coffee shop.
Tea: The Ostrich (01580-881737), close to Robertsbridge station, is conveniently placed to act as your afternoon tea/beer stop.
Bateman's, once the home of Rudyard Kipling, is a short detour from Burwash. It can also act as a lunch venue or early tea-stop but only after paying the £12 entry fee (NT members free). The old gentleman himself sits on a bench near the church.
Walk Directions can be found here.
T=swc.112

  • 07-Aug-22

    3 off the train but one lady accepted an invitation to join a meet up group, so 2 in hot and sunny weather. A pleasant hour was spent in the garden of the Ostrich pub before catching the 1714 home.

Sat, 10-Oct-20
Saturday walk - Stonegate to Robertsbridge - a gentle walk in the High Weald
I am posting this walk on behalf of Tahnyet, who has provided all the details:
8.7 miles or 10.6 miles T=3.112

4 out of 10: some hills, but relatively gentle gradients
Take the 10.15am train from Charing Cross (dep 10.18 W’loo East; 10.24 London Bdg) arrives Stonegate 11.26
RETURN TRAINS Depart from Robertsbridge 14 mins and 44 mins past the hour
TICKET: Buy a day return to Robertsbridge.
This is a hilly – but relatively gentle – walk through the High Weald, beautiful any time of the year, especially autumn with a rich array of hornbeam trees, 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.
LUNCH AND TEA: All lunch and tea pubs are open. Please remember no groups of more than 6 when going into pubs. For the lunch pubs, it is always advisable to book.
There are two pubs in Burwash for lunch, 3.6km/2.2 miles into the walk. The Rose & Crown (01435 882600), which has both inside and outside seating, Saturday and 12pm-2.30pm. The Bear Inn (01435 882 540), 150 metres to the west, serves food 12-9pm Saturdays.
For picnics Burwash churchyard or the fields between the village and Batemans are a good spot.
BATEMANS NT: 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. To access the tea room, you have to pay to go into Batemans, however – unless you are a National Trust member. NT website states: Important notice - We’ve re-opened the ground floor of the house, gardens, estate, shop and Mulberry tea-room for take-out food and drinks. Please book in advance, especially at weekends and bank holidays. If you do not book we cannot guarantee admission.
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. Judges Bakery in the village centre also has two or three tables and is open until 2pm Monday to Saturday.
For walk directions, GPX, map, photos etc click here
  • 05-Oct-20

    The religious community you walk through right at the end of this walk was featured in a BBC documentary in August called "Inside the Bruderhof": alas, no longer available on iPlayer, but if you Google it you can find out more about them.

  • 09-Oct-20

    Intend coming and doing the shorter morning option but would like a pub lunch

  • 10-Oct-20

    Stonegate to Robertsbridge

    24

    cloudy with sunny periods

    This walk is lovely as ever. We broke up into groups of 6 in the station forecourt, and people decided in their groups whether to do long or short versions, pub or picnic. My group had lunch on the two benches on the grassy slope just before the church in Burwash, with lovely views (and a white squirrel. We went through the grounds of the religious community again with great views - and quite a few people had tea or other drinks in the Ostrich pub - split up into small groups of course. Due to being in small spaced out bubbles I don't know who had pub lunches or what their experiences were, so please add to this comment if you wish.

Sun, 18-Nov-18
Sunday Walk: Stonegate to Robertsbridge
SWC walk 112:
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. The churchyard there offers a sombre reminder of darker days: skull-and-crossbone tombstones marking the graves of executed smugglers. After lunch, you head towards Robertsbridge, along a beautiful route, which climbs up onto a ridge, follows it with fine views to the north, and then descends with panoramic views directly into the heart of Robertsbridge.
Trains Take the 09:36 Robertsbridge train from Charing Cross (London Bridge 9:45) arriving Stonegate at 11:01. Get a return to Robertsbridge. Trains return from Robertsbridge at xx:21 and xx:51.
Lunch: The Rose and Crown, Burwash (01435-882600) serves pub food from 12 to 3:00pm. It is west down the High Street from the church. The Bear Inn (01435-882260), is 90 metres further.
Bateman's, once the home of Rudyard Kipling, is a short detour shortly after Burwash. It can also act as a lunch venue or early tea-stop but only after paying the entry fee. (NT members free).
Tea: The Ostrich (01580-881737), close to Robertsbridge station, is conveniently placed to act as your afternoon tea/beer/gin stop.
Directions can be found here.
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). Just don't go bragging about it.
T=swc.112
  • 21-Nov-18

    From an SWC Facebook posting I think there were 5 on this walk. Please correct if wrong.

Sun, 28-Jan-18
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.
T=swc.112
  • 26-Jan-18

    Hi,

    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 :)

  • 26-Jan-18

    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.

  • 26-Jan-18

    Thanks

  • 27-Jan-18

    Which train are people taking? It seems there is no 9:50 train from London Bridge but at 9:01 or 10:01.

  • 27-Jan-18

    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.

  • 27-Jan-18

    Thanks,

    See you tomorrow

  • 28-Jan-18

    Oks, sontrain has been cancelled.. is there a bavkup plan?

  • 28-Jan-18

    Sorry I havent got a crystal ball. You could check twitter https://twitter.com/search?f=tweets&vertical=default&q=%23swcwalks 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

  • 28-Jan-18

    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

  • David Colver
    28-Jan-18

    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.

  • David
    28-Jan-18

    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.

  • David
    28-Jan-18

    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.

  • 28-Jan-18

    Thanks for the corrections to the directions: the pdf has been updated.

  • 30-Jan-18

    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
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
  • 11-Nov-16

    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.

    Aritra

  • 11-Nov-16

    I will be joining the walk. Might be wet underfoot in parts. Just turn up at the station preferably with the walk notes.

  • Anonymous
    12-Nov-16

    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.

  • 13-Nov-16

    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 on.next train not stopping at stonegate!still at least I have the instructions.

  • 13-Nov-16

    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.

  • 14-Nov-16

    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.

  • Anonymous
    14-Nov-16

    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...

  • Red Rambler
    17-Nov-16

    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.

  • Anonymous
    18-Nov-16

    8 sunny

Wed, 09-Mar-16
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

Maps

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
  • 06-Mar-16

    Will be there, weather permitting.

  • 09-Mar-16

    "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.