Stonegate to Robertsbridge walk
The High Weald, Kipling’s home, and panoramic views
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 has hornbeam trees throughout the walk, which become a mass of catkins at this time. The same trees also produce fine yellow or golden tints in autumn.
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 the 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, and serves food from 12pm-3pm daily, remaining open all afternoon for drinks: food is also served from 5.30pm to 8.30pm Wednesday to Saturday. 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.
Burwash also has a cafe, Blacksmiths Tea and Coffee Shop, open till 4pm Wednesday to Sunday and serving sandwiches and paninis.
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 the George Inn, a somewhat smarter and more modern pub. Judges Bakery in the village centre also serves hot drinks and has two or three tables and is open until 5pm Monday to Saturday (though only 1pm on Sunday).
Robertsbridge also has two convenience stores if you want to get snacks or supplies for the train. The larger One Store has a Costa coffee machine (no tea though!) and is open till 10pm daily, but the smaller Village Store has a better selection of snacks, cakes and pastries: it is open till 7pm Monday to Saturday.
After the walk, we would love to get your feedback
Out (not a train station)
Back (not a train station)
National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline (bus times): 0871 200 22 33 (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