Book 3, Walk 19, Frant to Tunbridge Wells 1

Eridge Old Park, 7 May '07

07-May-07 • mew2005b on Flickr

kent tunbridgewells book3 frant walk19 swcwalks tocw319

Book 3, Walk 19, Frant to Tunbridge Wells 2

Near Eridge Green, 7 May '07

07-May-07 • mew2005b on Flickr

kent tunbridgewells book3 frant walk19 swcwalks tocw319

Book 3, Walk 19, Frant to Tunbridge Wells 5

Three Acre Wood, 7 May '07

07-May-07 • mew2005b on Flickr

kent tunbridgewells book3 frant walk19 swcwalks tocw319

Bluebells

Frant to Tunbridge Wells

25-Apr-11 • moontiger on Flickr

book3 walk19 swcwalks

DSCN3164

Frant to Tunbridge Wells

25-Apr-11 • moontiger on Flickr

book3 walk19 swcwalks

Bluebells

Frant to Tunbridge Wells

25-Apr-11 • moontiger on Flickr

book3 walk19 swcwalks

Bluebells

Frant to Tunbridge Wells

25-Apr-11 • moontiger on Flickr

book3 walk19 swcwalks

Tunbridge Wells Circular walk

A varied High Weald walk with stretches through parkland, restored heathland and woods containing massive sandstone outcrops, finishing alongside the Spa Valley Railway.

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
Sat, 26-May-18

Saturday Walk Frant to Tunbridge Wells via Goombridge

Frant to Tunbridge Wells via Goombridge T=swc.19.b

Length: 13 miles (21 km). Five hours 15 minutes walking time. (there is a 9.3 mile option)

This is an enjoyable walk and the Spa Valley Railway will be running (Goombridge 1620 to Tunbridge Wells). The choice of how far to walk is after lunch. I've always done the main walk start (5a), and not found it too bad.

Trains: Get the 1004 Hastings train from Charing Cross, (London Bridge 1011, East Croydon 1026) arriving Frant 1115. Return trains from Tunbridge Wells are xx09 & xx39. CDR to Frant.

Lunch: at the Nevill Crest and Gun (01892-864209) in Eridge Green; it has a large garden and serves very good food all day from noon


Sun, 08-Oct-17 13

A varied walk through the High Weald

SWC Walk 19 - Tunbridge Wells Circular (Main walk)

Length 19.2km (12.0m); toughness 5/10

Trains: London Cannon Street 09.53 arriving Tunbridge Wells 10.51. (Cannon Street is on the Circle and District lines.)

Return trains to London Cannon Street at xx:09 and xx:39

This is a varied High Weald walk with stretches through parkland, restored heathland and woods containing massive sandstone outcrops, finishing alongside the Spa Valley Railway.

Click here for further details about the walk and your lunch and refreshment options. You can shorten the walk if you wish by starting from Frant. Click on the pdf tab on the walks page for full walk directions.

T=swc.19
Intend going.
I may join anonymous on this walk as I have an unexpected gap in my diary, although I'm still chuckling about the "annual rutting walk" and as it's on my doorstep I might do that one instead.
Sounds like a proper walk in the countryside Anonymous 2.
Hi Sandy,

Long time no see or news hope you are well. Demanding Monica will be attending this walk. Hopefully see some familiar faces. been busy past 6 months.

Regards,

Monica
Sorry Sandy thought you meant Tunbridge wells. Enjoy the 'rutting' season.

Monica
Anyone starting from Frant?
If anyone wishes to start at Frant perhaps they could sit in front carriage of train (second if front carriage is first class). If I attend, I may then finish the walk via Groombridge.
Sorry Monica, I did mean this walk but was out late last night and haven't got up in time for the Tunbridge Wells train, so Richmond it is!
Hi everybody. I am On the train at Cannon Street. Where should we meet? Look forward to it
Ten off the train at Tunbridge Wells and a further three started from Frant so 13 in all. Weather fine sunny and dry. This excellent ramble attracted a good Sunday turnout and we enjoyed perfect walking weather. The notoriously muddy stretch just before Eridge Park was err muddy but you can walk in the heathland off to its right a lot of which has been cleared to enable you to avoid the track which bitter experience has taught me is a nightmare in winter.

Five of us had a picnic lunch under a superb oak tree on a hill just before the Nevill Crest and Gun lunch pub where we all met up for a drink. Here the group split with some lingering at the pub with at least 2 saying they were going to do the 14+ mile long walk via Groombridge. Four of us set off to complete the standard walk noting a fine Amanita muscaria in a wood along with a healthy population of spiders. We also picked some hops from a roadside bush.
Annoyingly all the Pantiles cafes closed at 4pm except one which was packed so I made do with a tea from a cafe Nero before catching the train home. A fine autumn day out.


Actually Pete 6 of us did the long walk and it turned out to be 28.5 km (16.8 miles) which we were all surprised but we all 6 thoroughly enjoyed it. Good sunny weather and hardly any mud after lunch. Expected autumn colours will be fully out in 10 days time and maybe the mud too!
Yes Sandy you miss a very good long walk at least you saw some deer. Thank you Pete and all of you who attended as its one of my best SWC day out. Love to do it again next spring if not sooner.

Monica.
Sat, 22-Jul-17 15

Saturday Walk - Frant to Tunbridge Wells

Frant to Tunbridge Wells (long walk)

Length 13 miles (21km) 5/6 out of 10

"This longer route goes along the southern part of Broadwater Warren and then loops around the area's most famous sandstone outcrop, Harrison's Rocks, which are very popular with climbers. After a mid-afternoon tea stop in Groombridge you pass the grounds of Groombridge Place, a beautiful Jacobean manor house surrounded by a medieval moat. This option includes a much longer stretch alongside the SVR and if their steam trains are running you could round off the day with a ride from Groombridge (or High Rocks) into the old Tunbridge Wells West station, leaving just a 1¼ km stroll via The Pantiles to the mainline station".Don't be put off by the unpromising start to this walk! You can of course shorten the walk after lunch, by following the directions for the circular walk. T=swc.19.b

Trains: Get the 1015 Hastings train from Charing Cross (London Bridge 1023), arriving Frant at 1115. There are frequent trains back from Tunbridge Wells to Charing Cross and London Bridge. Buy a return to Frant.

Lunch: is the Nevill Crest and Gun (01892-864209) in Eridge Green, open all afternoon, with a large garden 4.5 miles (7.25km) into the walk.

Tea: There is a lot of choice in Tunbridge Wells, but you might want to break up the afternoon with a stop at the pub in High Rocks.

It is around 7km from Eridge to Groombridge, around 2 hours walking, if you want a trip on the Spa Valley Railway. The 1536 is steam, the 17.01 is Diesel.
Groombridge dep 15:36 17:01
High Rocks dep 15:43 17:08
Tunbridge Wells West arr 15:50 17:15

Two of us thinking of doing the Short Walk, starting from Frant which is 9.3 miles, anyone coming with us please?
I will be joining the walk probably doing the middle distance option, perhaps the shorter version.
Re short walk 9.3miles, I am interested, are you ending the walk at Eridge?
If return from Eridge Southern Train, will Frant return still valid?
It is not: different rail franchise, different line.

Hi Anony #1 yes we are planning to do the short 9.3 ending in Tunbridge Wells which is on the same line as Frant J+J
15 on this walk. A pleasant, brightish morning and the Nevil and Gun lunch pub was not over busy and served food efficiently. We even sat outside. In the afternoon most opted for the shorter 9 mile option: five of us decided to do the specified longer walk but changed our mind five minutes later when drops of rain were felt. This proved to be a wise choice as it then rained intensely for two hours, a truly shocking downpour, as bad as anything I have ever experienced on an SWC walk (though ironically by the time we got to Tunbridge Wells it had stopped and the sun later came out, making me wish we had done the longer walk after all).

In the Pantilles we ran into the other walkers, one or two of whom had not brought waterproofs and looked like drowned rats. Tea and fancy chocolate cakes revived us. Many then got shockingly early trains home: a few of us had a stroll around historic Tunbridge Wells, followed by a drink in a mouldy smelling Opera House pub (it might have been all the wet clothes).
Three walkers stopped at High Rocks and took steam train back to Tunbridge Wells (£3.5 only), well worth the journey. Just outside Nevil and Gun, we met one other walker who started one hour early and was on her way out just as we walked in and we met her again at the Waterloo East station. She was the only person who managed to do the long walk today.
Mon, 17-Apr-17 20

Easter Monday Walk – Bluebells, rock outcrops and steam locos

Extra Walk 19c – Tunbridge Wells Circular (long walk, via Groombridge)
Length: 23½ km (14.6 miles), with shorter options (see below). Toughness: 6/10

09:45 Hastings train from Charing Cross (London Bridge 09:48, Waterloo East 09:53, Orpington 10:10, etc), arriving Tunbridge Wells at 10:39.

Trains back from Tunbridge Wells are at 09, 21, 39 & 51 minutes past the hour to 8pm, then three per hour.

I was planning to post this bluebell walk in May but with spring coming on apace I've decided to bring it forward a few weeks by pinching one of the Easter Monday slots. As well as some fine bluebell woods (especially the one just before the lunch stop in Eridge Green) this long walk option will take you past one of the finest sandstone outcrops in the south-east, Harrison's Rocks. On the final stretch back to Tunbridge Wells you're never far from the heritage Spa Valley Railway.

The last time this walk option was posted I gather that a walker following his gizmo inadvertently led the group on the longer route out of the town: unless you really want to do an extra mile or so, I suggest taking the shorter start in §3 down the town's High Street, as per the printed directions for Option c. In just over an hour you'll pass a nice pub in Frant village but I suggest pressing on for another hour to Eridge Green, where it's the last day of a Spring Cider Festival at the Nevill Crest and Gun. There are several places where you can break for tea in the afternoon, including a buffet on the platform at Groombridge station (where a steam train might be available to convey anyone who's over-indulged on the cider and perry to Tunbridge Wells).

Shorter Walks. As well as ducking out at Groombridge, two other options for a shorter walk are described in the walk document:

Later Start: Buy a return to Frant (one stop further down the line), take the train half an hour later (CHX 10:15, etc) and start from Frant at 11:15. This is Option b. You might well meet up with the main group on Frant village green and be able to do the rest of the walk together.

Shorter Afternoon: After lunch in Eridge Green switch to the Main Walk (or Option a if you start at Frant) through Broadwater Warren, skipping the loop out to Harrison's Rocks and Groombridge.

You'll need to print the directions from the Tunbridge Wells Circular Walk page. If you're sure which route you're taking you can minimise the amount printed by clicking on the relevant Walk Option. T=swc.19.c
The Raptor Centre near Groombridge Place is worth a look. It's about 20 metres off the route. http://www.raptorcentre.co.uk/
14 off the specified train at Tunbridge Wells but another 6 either starting at Frant or coming on different trains so 20 in all. Lots of bluebells on South facing slopes but north facing slopes still not showing at all. With firm underfoot conditions (and this is an important proviso for this walk where some stretches would be very difficult after rain) the long walk makes an excellent summer outing with some terrific views and attractive trails.
We lunched and drank at the Nevill Crest and Gun where the meals were generaly good except for a disappointing biryani where the rice and vegetables were wrapped in a cabbage leaf!
After lunch the group fragmented and six of us enjoyed the superb sandstone Harrison rocks the centrepiece of the long walk which are much better than the ones at Eridge and on this holiday Monday well populated by climbers. I've also never seen so much wild garlic on a walk (no picking; its illegal.)
The six all had a drink at Groombridge station where two departed on the steam train back to Tunbridge Wells with 4 of us continuing on the final leg on the way enjoying the olfactory experience of a local sewage works! (Walks inspector to review the route here.). Arrived in Tonbridge Wells just after 5pm for trains home . A grand day out but the countryside badly needs some rain, foliage looking stressed and "tired". Weather dry cloudy with a cool breeze.
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Sun, 29-Jan-17 1

A varied High Weald walk

Free walk 19a Frant to Tunbridge Wells (short walk)
Distance 15km (9.3m)
Toughness 4/10.
Trains: 10.01 London Bridge (East Croydon 10.16) to Frant 11.05. Return trains from Tunbridge Wells are at xx:17 and xx:47 mins past the hour.
Buy a day return to Frant.

This is a varied High Weald walk that takes you through Eridge park. Full details about the walk can be found here. Be sure to click on option a to get the walk directions for this short walk option.
Why is it called a 'free' walk?
As I recall, the term "free walk" is historic, dating from when walk directions were available either by buying books 1 or 2 or printing a "free" walk directly from the website. Nowadays we have all walk instructions available online.
1 on this, I hear: "I was the only person who got off the specified train and I didn't see anyone else. This is the first time this has ever happened to me on a SWC walk."

cloudy, with promised rain not really materialising.
Sun, 28-Feb-16 11

The High Weald

Book 3 Walk 19
Tunbridge Wells Circular – main walk
Length 19.3km (12.0m ); toughness 5/10
Trains:09.55 London Charing Cross (Waterloo East 09.57)Tunbridge Wells 10.51
Return trains xx.09 and xx.39 to London Charing Cross
An interesting walk through parkland, heathland and woods in the High Weald. (There will be some mud I’m afraid but hopefully not too much!)

There are options to shorten the walk should you so wish but you can find further details about the walk, refreshment opportunities and full walk instructions here. Click on the Main Walk options M for the 19.km version of the walk
Planning to go. Anyone else?
I'm hoping to go.
I'm not sure how to leave a report. There was one minor problem with the directions in Section 4 of the walk. Please insert the following: "Ignore the first gap in the hedge and, instead, take the next (smaller) gap in the hedge, go up a few steps and follow the left hand edge of a second field"
but how many walkers were on it?
I took the train 30 minutes after the scheduled one, and followed the short cut that the write up suggests gives an opportunity to catch up with the group.

Shortly before arriving at Frant, I saw a group of walkers some distance away. Its appearance was consistent with the SWC. The direction it was approaching, from my left, could not be reconciled to the directions, though it would be consistent with recovering from a confusion over hedge gaps before steps mentioned by David.

Since the spot was very close to the early lunch stop, I went there expecting to be joined by the group. They soon arrived, and hard to tell as it was from the distance, I thought I recognised at least a couple of regulars, but the group made no effort to stop.

So I had a happy lunch anyway in the George Inn, where the welcome was warm, the service rapid, and the roast functional. The place was pretty much full at 1225, and I don't think there would have been room for a larger group.

I looked in later at the later lunch stop, the Nevill Crest and Gun in Eridge Green, which is a much larger place and had plenty of unoccupied tables, but saw no walkers, which was perplexing as it was hard to imagine a group getting served any faster than I had been.

If this was our group, I would say that 11, including me. A few early spots of rain and some later weak efforts at sunshine with most of the day in between.

At one point in the walk the instructions take one down three or four steps, along a path, then right into woods that lead over a walkway above marshy ground before crossing a stream. The GPX file is inaccurate at this point, and just displays a short direct line between the start and end of this sequence.
Wed, 09-Dec-15 9

Midweek day walk - Frant to Tunbridge Wells

Frant to Tunbridge Wells (short walk)

A varied High Weald walk with stretches through parkland, restored heathland and woods containing massive sandstone outcrops, finishing alongside the Spa Valley Railway.

Book 3* Walk 19

* online only

Length : 15 km or 9¼ miles

Toughness : 4 out of 10

Getting there : Catch the 10:15 am train from London Charing Cross to Frant
Calling stations:
  • Waterloo East: departs 10:18 am
  • Orpington: departs 10:39 am
  • Sevenoaks: departs 10:49 am
Meeting point : Frant Station at 11:15

Tickets : Buy a day return to Frant

Brief Description

With the SWC Christmas party just a day away, this weeks offering should help to put you in good spirits if you're intending to go.
You may find full details of this walk here, and hopefully it will not be too muddy through Eridge Old Park

Suggested Lunch stop

Nevill Crest and Gun t: 01892 864209

Suggested Tea stops

One of the many cafés in The Pantiles

Maps

OS Explorer 135 and 136

Return train times

Trains return from Tunbridge Wells to London Charing Cross at 16:09 | 16:21 | 16:49 | 17:06 |17:21 |17:39
Trains return to Cannon Street at 15:51 | 16:39 | 17:49
Arthur, are you going on this Wednesday walk?

Peter Gibson
Yes, I'm intending to go.
AD
Weather looks good and a handy Waterloo East train very convenient so I'll be coming.
I will coming up from Hastings, joining you on the train at Tunbridge Wells.
9 or 10 on this walk. The weather was bright and clear. A bit of a squelch in the morning through Eridge Park, although the clay wasn't cohesive enough to build up on ones boots.
Two more joined at lunch and the group fragmented with the pub lunchers dallying in the Neville.
Slightly firmer underfoot in the afternoon passing through RSPB Broadwater Warren with it's amazing collection of flora, fauna and wild life before the final leg passing High Rocks and following the Spa Valley into Tunbridge

Thought the unexpected High rocks and the lunch time pub were a knockout jfk
Mon, 25-May-15 14

Bank Holiday Monday Walk – rock climbers and steam trains

Extra Walk 19c – Tunbridge Wells Circular (long walk, via Groombridge)
Length: 23½ km (14.6 miles), with shorter options. Toughness: 7/10

09:33 Hastings train from London Bridge (East Croydon 09:52, Redhill 10:08), arriving Tunbridge Wells at 10:39.

Late Start option: You could take the train half an hour later (10:03) and start from Frant (one stop further down the line) at 11:16. This is the original version of Walk 19, now option b. I reckon that both groups will get to the old well on Frant village green at the same time and so could do the rest of the walk together.

Trains back from Tunbridge Wells are half-hourly, at around 03 & 33 minutes past the hour.

Note that the Hastings trains are being diverted this weekend with a slightly longer journey time (but a bonus for south Londoners who can connect with them at East Croydon or Redhill).

When you head out of Tunbridge Wells station beware those walkers following the route on a gizmo, as there's a 50-50 chance they'll set off on the longer way out of town: on this option c you should be starting at §3 in the printed directions. You'll pass a nice pub in Frant village but I suggest pressing on to the Nevill Crest and Gun in Eridge Green, after about 10 km. After lunch you can switch to the shorter return route via Broadwater Warren, but the long walk will take you past one of the finest sandstone outcrops in the south-east, Harrison's Rocks. On the final stretch back to Tunbridge Wells you're never far from the Spa Valley Railway and could decide to save your legs by boarding one of their heritage trains at Groombridge (steam loco at 15:46, diesel at 17:22). There are several places where you can break for tea during the afternoon, and of course plenty of opportunities for further refreshment in Tunbridge Wells itself.

You'll need to print the directions from the Extra Walk 19 page. If you're sure which route you're taking you can minimise the amount printed by clicking on the relevant Walk Option.
I think I can tell you how many were on this walk 14 and I wasn’t even on it. I sort of was, but not in the same way as everyone else. I was going to start at Frant but my computer had other ideas. Someone, either me or it, accidentally selected the “main walk”, which, let me tell you, does not print out the full directions. Having realised that Frant was crossed out, I had time to switch to the TW train at East Croydon. At TW, I realised that the shorter start was also crossed out. :( So I followed the long morning, possibly even the “gizmo” route, sulking all the way, and arrived at Frant well after everyone else had left. Shortly before Frant, I was overtaken by someone who started an hour later. Tell me I’m not that slow.
My “afternoon”, was shorter than the others’. Much as I would have liked to extend the walk to God knows how long, my computer had said “no” and that was that. I was going via Eridge Rocks. And Broadwater Warren, desolate but passable.
At walk’s end, I had a quick look along the Pantiles for any stragglers but saw none. I admit, though, that I was reluctant to venture far inside any of the notorious tea dens.
I can vouch for the Pantiles Tap, a tiny little establishment selling real cider and beer. A well earned half was quaffed in seconds.
Then on to the station where I actually met three stragglers, which is how I got the numbers. I also found out that quite a few bailed out at Groombridge and got the chuff chuff. cloudy and sunny
2 things I think I learnt today:
a) check the directions after printing
b) always a good idea to bring a map

Mon, 21-Apr-14 Tunbridge Wells Circular
Sun, 02-Feb-14 10 Frant to Tunbridge Wells (short walk)
Sun, 27-Jan-13 2 Frant to Tunbridge Wells (short walk)
Sat, 31-Mar-12 Eridge to Tunbridge Wells - withdrawn
Sun, 05-Feb-12 Frant to Tunbridge Wells (short walk)
Sat, 08-Oct-11 Frant to Tunbridge Wells (short walk)
Mon, 25-Apr-11 Frant to Tunbridge Wells (long walk, via Groombridge)
Sat, 21-Nov-09 Tunbridge Wells Circular
Sat, 11-Apr-09 Frant to Tunbridge Wells (long walk, via Groombridge)
Sun, 20-Jul-08 Frant to Tunbridge Wells (long walk, via Groombridge)
Sat, 03-May-08 Frant to Tunbridge Wells (long walk, via Groombridge)
Sat, 12-Jan-08 Tunbridge Wells Circular
Sat, 07-Jul-07 Frant to Tunbridge Wells (long walk, via Groombridge)
Mon, 07-May-07 Frant to Tunbridge Wells (long walk, via Groombridge)