Uck Valley, undulating Low Weald Countryside, van Hoogstraten's path, Blackboys Inn, Tickerage Stream valley with Vivien Leigh's home, and Buxted Park
|Length||21.6 km (13.5 mi), of which 7.3 km (4.6 mi) on tarmac or concrete. Cumulative ascent/descent: 342/312m.|
|Toughness||5 out of 10|
|OS Map||OS Landranger Map: 198 (Brighton & Lewes) & 199 (Eastbourne & Hastings) OS Explorer Map: 135 (Ashdown Forest) & OL25 (Eastbourne & Beachy Head)|
This undulating amble through some varied scenery in the Low Weald Countryside provides ample South Downs views in the morning from the Uck valley and on the way to and through the East Sussex National Golf Course, before turning north east through the High Cross estate, owned by property developer Nicholas van Hoogstraten, who was at the centre of various legal battles with The Ramblers after blocking or otherwise obstructing rights-of-ways across this estate.
You then pass a couple of manor houses, one with pretty ornamental lakes and ornate landscaped gardens, en route to lunch at the charming 14th century Blackboys Inn in Blackboys.
From lunch the route turns west along Vanguard Way and Wealdway for a long stretch through the tranquil valley of the Tickerage Stream, past Tickerage Mill, Vivien Leigh’s abode in the final years of her life, and finishes through Buxted Park, an old deer park in Ashdown Forest parkland, past the very large, elegant Palladian Buxted House (now a hotel) in its hilltop position.
Disclaimer: there are plenty of stiles on this walk, and the morning section has some very mud-prone parts.
It is possible to shorten the walk by routing through Framfield for lunch instead of through Blackboys. This cuts 3.5 km/2.2 mi and 24m ascent, and is rated 4/10.
Bus 31 (Hurst Green to Haywards Heath) runs through both lunch destinations Blackboys and Framfield, with an hourly service Mon-Fri and one every two hours Sat (last bus on Sat early afternoon).
|Transport||Uckfield station is on the Uckfield branch of the Oxted Line from London Bridge. Journey times are 73 minutes Mon-Sat and 88 minutes Sun (hourly every day). Buxted station is one stop closer to London with a journey time from 74 minutes Mon-Sat (half-hourly) and 91 minutes Sun.|
|Saturday Walkers' Club||Take the train closest to 9.00 hours.|
|Lunch and Tea||
The Halfway House, East Sussex National Hotel, Little Horsted, Uckfield, East Sussex, TN22 5ES (T: 07709 518 485). This is a perfect spot for elevenses. Located 6.5 km from the start of the walk. Open 09.30-14.00 (longer in summer).Crockstead Farm Hotel, Eastbourne Road, Halland, East Sussex BN8 6PT (T: 01825 841 022). Located 9.1 km from the start of the walk. The Blackboys Inn, Blackboys, Uckfield, East Sussex TN22 5LG (T: 01825 890 283). This is the recommended lunch stop on the full walk. Located 14.1 km from the start of the walk. Food served 12.00-14.30 and 18.00-21.00 Mon-Fri, 12.00-15.00 and 18.00-21.30 Sat and 12.00-17.00 Sun.
The Hare & Hounds, The Street, Framfield, Uckfield, East Sussex TN22 5NJ (T: 01825 890 327). This is the only lunch stop on the short walk. Located 12.3 km from the start of the walk. Open 12.00-14.30 and 18.00-21.00 Mon-Fri, 12.00-15.00 and 18.00-21.30 Sat and 12.00-17.00 Sun. It has suffered from frequent changes in management and can’t necessarily be relied upon for food service. Call ahead to confirm.The White Hart, Station Road, Buxted, Uckfield, East Sussex TN22 4DP (T: 01825 732 068). Open 12.00-14.30 and 18.00-23.00 Tue-Fri, 12.00-24.00 Sat and 12.00-23.00 Sun. Food served Tue-Sun 12.00-14.00 and 18.30-20.30. The Buxted Inn, High Street, Buxted, Uckfield, East Sussex TN22 4LA (T: 01825 733 510). Open 12.00-23.00 Mon-Sat and 12.00-22.00 Sun. Food served 12.00-14.30 and 18.00-21.00 Mon-Sat and 12.00-17.00 Sun.
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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