Wadhurst to Tunbridge Wells walk

Plenty of fine views on this short High Weald walk to the spa town of Royal Tunbridge Wells.

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, 23-Feb-20 Sunday Walk: Wadhurst to Tunbridge Wells 7 drizzle giving way to leaden then lighter skies in the afternoon
Wed, 30-Oct-19 Wednesday Walk Wadhurst to Tunbridge Wells 17 sunny
Sat, 27-Oct-18 Saturday Walk – Eridge Old Park and the hilltop village of Frant 12 sunny morning with a cold wind
Sun, 26-Nov-17 Sunday walk: Wadhurst to Tunbridge Wells 25 sunny and cold
Sat, 19-Nov-16 Saturday Second Walk - Short, scenic, colourful (hopefully) 20 autumnal sun
Sun, 03-Apr-16 Sunday Walk 2 – A short walk in the High Weald 18 hazy sunshine
Sat, 13-Dec-14 Wadhurst to Tunbridge Wells 34
Sun, 23-Nov-14 Wadhurst to Tunbridge Wells 0
Sat, 28-Dec-13 Wadhurst to Tunbridge Wells 27
Sun, 23-Feb-20
Sunday Walk: Wadhurst to Tunbridge Wells
13¾ km (8.5 miles). Toughness 5 /10
This short Wealden walk on the Sussex /Kent border includes open ridges with fine views and short sections across streams in wooded valleys. Later, the scene changes to landscaped parkland. A path along the boundary of Eridge Old Park leads to lunch in the hill-top village of Frant. The short afternoon section soon reaches the outskirts of Tunbridge Wells, with a relatively traffic-free route into its High Street. With all the rain we've had recently you can expect this walk to be muddy.
Trains:
Get the 9:57 Hastings train from Cannon Street (London Bridge 10:01), arriving Wadhurst 11:00.
Return from Tunbridge Wells at xx:09 and xx:39. Get a return to Wadhurst.
Lunch:
The suggested lunchtime pub is the popular George Inn (01892-750350) in Frant village, If this is too busy, the Abergavenny Arms (01892-750233) is a good alternative, serving food all day.
Tea:
Many refreshment places in Tunbridge Wells. The main route takes you into the High Street with its many cafés, delicatessens and coffee shops, such as Juliet's (01892-522931 at no.54 ; open to 5pm). An alternative route via Calverley Grounds; leads past the Tea House café. There are plenty of pubs in the town, the most unusual being the Opera House, a Wetherspoons, five minutes up Mount Pleasant Road from the station.
Walk Directions: here
T=swc.196
  • Tony
    25-Feb-20

    A party of 7 chose what was soon revealed to be a Wealden wallow in mud - glorious mud! Slippery, boot-sucking mud. The weather was changeable but improving, with drizzle giving way to leaden then lighter skies in the afternoon . Two sandwichers tarried for a drink in the Abergavenny Arms where the food looked on the gastro-portion-size side of delicious. A later than expected arrival in Tunbridge Wells ruled out most of the tea stops but Carluccio's obliged us with coffee and cake.

    Did I mention the mud? Right to the top of my size 12 boots!

Wed, 30-Oct-19
Wednesday Walk Wadhurst to Tunbridge Wells
Wadhurst to Tunbridge Wells
T=swc.196
Length: 13¾ km (8.5 miles). Three hours 30 minutes walking time.

"The first part of the walk is along the Sussex Border Path, a long-distance east-west route which here includes open ridges with fine views, interspersed with short sections across streams in wooded valleys.
On the other side of the A267 the scene changes to the landscaped parkland of the Nevill Estate's Eridge Old Park, where the colours on the mature beech trees are particularly attractive in late autumn. A permissive path along its eastern boundary takes you to a lunch stop in the elegant hill-top village of Frant, dominated by its large triangular green.


On the short afternoon section you soon reach the outskirts of Tunbridge Wells, where a relatively traffic-free route along back streets and quiet alleys takes you down to its High Street.

Trains: Get the 1015 Hastings train from Charing Cross, London Bridge 1022, arriving Wadhurst at 1119. Frequent return trains from Tunbridge Wells. There are advance tickets available if you know your return train.

Lunch: The suggested lunchtime pub is the popular George Inn (01892-750350) in Frant village, after 8¼ km; it serves excellent home-made food, up to 2.30pm daily. If this is too busy there is a good alternative on the main road through the village: the Abergavenny Arms (01892-750233) serves food all day.

Tea: Many places with Juliets (closes 5pm ) being the recommended one.
  • 30-Oct-19

    Morning, I find I have a free day, is there definitely someone going on this walk as I’d really like to join. Jo

  • Lijia Zhang
    30-Oct-19

    I plan to join in today's walk and meet at Wandhurst. Any number I can call?

    Mine is 07483271893

    Lijia

  • 30-Oct-19

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • 30-Oct-19

    Jo and Lijia - please read the FAQ for answers to your questions (link below).

    https://www.walkingclub.org.uk/swc/index.shtml

  • 30-Oct-19

    I am going.

  • 31-Oct-19

    17 on a lovely sunny day. Some mud, but not as bad as expected. 8 of us went to the George Inn with a friendly welcome. That was the last we saw of the picnickers. One well behaved local sheepdog & owner. One meet-up person without any directions. A fine day out.

Sat, 27-Oct-18
Saturday Walk – Eridge Old Park and the hilltop village of Frant
Extra Walk 196 – Wadhurst to Tunbridge Wells
Length: 13¾ km (8.5 miles). Toughness: 4/10

09:45 Hastings train from Charing Cross (Waterloo East 09:48, London Bridge 09:54, Orpington 10:10), arriving Wadhurst at 10:47. Buy a return to Wadhurst.

There are four trains an hour back from Tunbridge Wells at 09, 21, 39 & 51 minutes past.

In the last couple of years this fairly short Wealden walk has been posted in late November when the ground has been very soggy, so hopefully it will appear in a better light this time. There should be some good autumn colour, especially on the permissive path along the edge of Eridge Old Park: this has been quite overgrown in the past but recent feedback said that it was now well maintained and easy to follow.

There's a choice of two good pubs in the hilltop village of Frant for lunch, the George Inn and the Abergavenny Arms, plus a large green for hardy picknickers. At the end of the walk Juliets is probably the pick of the tea places in Tunbridge Wells, but there's plenty of choice.

You'll need to bring the directions from the Wadhurst to Tunbridge Wells walk page. T=swc.196
  • Anonymous
    20-Oct-18

    It is wonderful to see this walk listed again as I remember doing it before

    Walking form the station I went into my reverie whilst we were ably led by several people with confident manners and an array of media for the information.

    When I started this walk little did I think that my report, for I had vowed to do one though I never did until now, would go in this vein but such are the vagaries of our daily lives that here I am an idle pip in the grapefruit of a random breakfast hopefully refreshing the palates of the readers

    The quest for meaning and a searching for poetry in ones daily joy de vivre / every breath

    resulting in the need to bind the unconscionable random events of our existence into a malleable structure with no limits all the while using a narrative to relate to a value system has no doubt caused us all untold angst but then

    - BOOM -

    I walk and life comes into petrifying focus. On this walk there was a young lamb that trotted alongside me. I stopped to watch it and it also stopped and intelligently returned my gaze and then I walked on and it assuredly walked on as well matching my pace.

    I felt a whole oneness with the animal and such a joy in the event.

    I breathed deeply and looked to the sky and realised that this could be the beginning of my next symphony

    I had actually settled on the train before coming into the present. Then with extreme fatigue I realised that my vision was due to be fulfilled.

    And did the thought occur to me that my brother S Oddel should have walked with us today - he would get this?

    Rapture

    TW Addle

  • 28-Oct-18

    12 on this walk. We were nearly stymied by a broken down train ahead of us: we were disgorged from our train at Tonbridge and threatened with a replacement bus. But then the line cleared and we were gorged again and got to Wadhurst only half an hour late. It was a sunny morning with a cold wind . No mud yet, so we could enjoy the pretty ups and downs of the Weald without slithering. There was some autumn colour but still a lot of green. With this cold weather the last big push must be coming soon, however.

    In Frant the George had a hunting party so we went to the Abergavenny Arms where the food was fine apart from the vegetarian options having inevitably sold out (order more veggie meals, pubs! Demand is rising!!). By the time we emerged it was cloudy but at least the threatened showers did not materialise. In Tunbridge Wells most of us squeezed into Juliet’s where we all enjoyed scrummy cakes - all, that is, except the two vegans, because the vegan cakes were (inevitably!!) sold out. A 5.20 (ish)’train home and off into the Great Darkness. Only five months to spring......

Sun, 26-Nov-17
Sunday walk: Wadhurst to Tunbridge Wells
Wadhurst to Tunbridge Wells
Length: 13.8km (8.5 miles) Toughness: 4/10

09:57 Hastings train from Cannon Street (Orpington 10:21), arriving at Wadhurst at 11:01.

Return trains from Tunbridge Wells to Cannon Street are at xx:09 and xx:39 (journey time 51 minutes).

There are no trains to or from Charing Cross or Waterloo East today.

This shortish walk in the High Weald takes in open ridges, wooded valleys and landscaped parkland, including a permissive path through Eridge Old Park that can be overgrown in summer but should be passable at this time of year. Some suggested corrections to the walk directions are mentioned on the walk’s comments page.

The recommended lunch stop is the George Inn (01892-750350) in Frant village, after 8.3km. It is a popular pub so do ring to reserve a table before leaving Wadhurst. There are many options for tea in Tunbridge Wells.

You will need to download the walk directions.
T=3.196
  • Anonymous
    23-Nov-17

    Sounds lovely & not too long. Is anyone else planning to go pls?

  • Anonymous
    25-Nov-17

    Yes, I'm planning to do this walk. The weather forecast tomorrow looks great too. Ruth

  • Anonymous
    26-Nov-17

    Ticket?!

  • 01-Dec-17

    25 . sunny and cold

Sat, 19-Nov-16
Saturday Second Walk - Short, scenic, colourful (hopefully)
SWC Walk 196 - Wadhurst to Tunbridge Wells
Length: 13.8km (8.5 miles)
Toughness: 5 out of 10

9.45 train from Charing Cross (9.48 Waterloo East, 9.53 London Bridge, 10.10 Orpington) to Wadhurst, arriving 10.47.

Buy a day return to Wadhurst.

For walk directions click here.

Every now and then a SWC walker picks up their quill pen, takes a fresh sheet of parchment and writes to say "Why, oh why can't we have more SHORT walks?"

Well, today is your lucky day, since this walk is modest in length, but a gem in terms of scenery, particularly in the morning. After sharing the first 1km as other Wadhurst walks, it turns westwards through very pretty scenery, with a fair bit of upping and downing, the occasional view, and some nice woodland en route to Frant, where two very fine pubs await your attention (The George Inn is so fine it is probably worth ringing to book a table when you set off).

I recall some good autumn colour on this route in years gone past. Mud too - this is the Weald, after all - but cross fingers it has not had time to get too gloopy yet.

After lunch things go downhill a bit - literally and scenically (it is not horrible, just not as beautiful as the morning) - but never mind, because it is worth rushing on to Tunbridge Wells to try and get a seat in the lovely Juliets tea room (though if you could have arranged to have your name put down at birth, that would have been useful). Otherwise, TW does not lack in tea options, and if you are in a pubby mood, seeking out the surreal Opera House (a real opera house, now a Wetherspoons) is worth the effort.

Trains back from Tunbridge Wells are very frequent 09, 21, 39 and 51 past until at least 19.51: after that, look on your smartphone, but there are still lots.
  • Anonymous
    14-Nov-16

    Just before Juliet's at 5 Castle St is Tiffin tea room which is my favourite. It's small but they have an upstairs bit too.

  • 19-Nov-16

    20 or so got off of the train and had an excellent day out in autumnal sun . This walk is perfect for this time of year with powerful views of hills and woods which the autumnal colours set off perfectly

    14 of us lunched at the Abergavenny arms in Frant - very nice thank you - and 3 popped to the George

    8 of us decided to lengthen the walk at the end to reduce the amount of suburban walking but oh so foolish of us as it then rained heavily for 40 minutes until we got to the tea room on the High St - not Juliet's but an independent coffee bar just a few doors further on and that was good as well - tea in a pot with loose tea - one day all tea will served this way.

    6 of us made the 16.39 while the other 2 ' went shopping '- it is good for couples to have a past time

    One of my fellow walkers, a journalist, asked if I could make this report witty as apparently most of the reports, ( M Tiger excepted ) are too dry - I am sorry but no I can't

Sun, 03-Apr-16
Sunday Walk 2 – A short walk in the High Weald
Extra Walk 196 – Wadhurst to Tunbridge Wells
Length: 13¾ km (8.5 miles). Toughness: 4/10

09:55 Hastings train from Charing Cross (Waterloo East 09:58, Orpington 10:19), arriving Wadhurst at 11:01. Buy a day return to Wadhurst.

Trains back from Tunbridge Wells are at 09 & 39 minutes past the hour until 19:39, then hourly.

This walk's previous outings have all been on rather gloomy late-autumn or winter days, but the Wealden countryside should look a bit more cheerful (and less muddy) in early spring. You'll get a moderately strenuous two-hour hike to a pub which advertises “a friendly welcome to walkers” and serves excellent food, followed by a shorter and easier afternoon leg to a town whose name implies it won't be short of watering holes.

The George Inn in Frant will be busy on a Sunday lunchtime and you won't get there before 1pm, so give them a call from the station when you set off. I haven't tried the village's alternative pub, the Abergavenny Arms at the bottom of the hill, but that looks pretty good too. At the end of the walk Juliets is probably the pick of the tea places in Tunbridge Wells, but even on a Sunday there should be plenty of choice.

You'll need to print the directions from the Extra Walk 196 page. T=swc.196
  • Eu
    31-Mar-16

    Hello! Me and my friend would like to join you (we'll print directions and try to follow them, too, but it'd be good to make sure we're not getting totally lost – err, it'd just be a lot nicer to know we could blunder behind you.) Any way to meet you in Wadhurst? Planning to get in at Waterloo East. Thanks!

  • 31-Mar-16

    The more the merrier, Eu. You might well come across some fellow-walkers on the train but if not you won't have any problem spotting them on the platform at Wadhurst station. Although there's no walk leader, people always mingle together for a few minutes before setting off. You might like to read our New Members page.

  • Anonymous
    02-Apr-16

    good to know! will keep an eye out – thank you!

  • 04-Apr-16

    On a day of hazy sunshine 18 walkers turned up, if we count one regular who appeared at the lunch pub but declined to be cross-examined about how much walking she'd actually done, or intended to do afterwards. The walk poster's hope that the route might be ‘less muddy’ than on previous outings provoked hollow laughter as a succession of squelchy fields and gloopy footpaths impeded our progress. However, the seven or eight first-timers were surprisingly uncomplaining about their sodden footwear and mud-spattered trousers and I hope they're tempted to try our walks again in better conditions.

    The George Inn provided its usual excellent fare, postponing yet again any idea of defecting to the other pub in the village. At the end some headed for the High Street and/or the 16:09 train, while others took the small detour to Calverley Grounds for a relaxed cuppa in the sunshine before taking the 16:39.

  • Anonymous
    04-Apr-16

    The said regular did about 5 miles had an excellent lunch and the benefit of some lovely companions. Also the sun shone all day.jfk

  • Anonymous
    04-Apr-16

    The soils of the Weald do not drain well.