T=3.05.c SWC Walk 5 (option): Wadhurst Figure of Eight
Length: 17.6km (10.9 miles) or 19.9km (12.3 miles)
Toughness: 5 out of 10 9.53
train from London Bridge
(10.11 East Croydon
) to Wadhurst, arriving 11.09. (The sharp-eyed will notice that this train is slightly diverted from its normal route due to engineering works: but this does make it more accessible to East Croydon types.)
Buy a day return to Wadhurst
I make no apology for once again picking the Wadhurst bonfire and fireworks
for 5 November, since this is a charming and pleasant village event, big enough to have a large blazing bonfire that you can get close enough to to "melt your goretex", as one walker charmingly phrased it to me the other day, and with a substantial fireworks display too, yet (in past years at least) not crowded or over-marshalled or full of loutish urban youth.
The event costs £6, gates open 5.30pm, the fire is lit at 6.30pm and the fireworks are at 7.30pm. Since this is a Figure of Eight walk (see below) you could buy your ticket in advance at lunch time from Wadhurst Ironmongers, The Co-op or Jempsons, but in truth we have never had a problem paying on the gate.
The Figure of Eight walk
, which covers charming Wealden territory with lots of hills and woods, and later skirts the Bewl Water reservoir, works like this:
- First you do Book 2, Walk 18a
, the Wadhurst Circular shorter walk
. Directions for this are here
and you only need print pages 2-3 and 7-8. You start off on the main walk, then when prompted at point ,
switch to the short walk directions.
- By this route it is 7km (4.3 miles)
to lunch in Wadhurs
t, where you can choose between the traditional Greyhound
pub, the White Hart
which was revamped last year and now looks rather gastro, or the Wealden Wholefoods Cafe
which has some light lunch options.
- After lunch you switch to the directions on page 8
of the SWC Walk 5
directions - here
: print the whole document.
These take you down the hill to join the afternoon route of this walk where in due course (paragraph 41 on page 5) you have a choice of routes: The main walk
is 7.4km (4.6 miles)
from lunch back to tea in Wadhurst and takes in a short section of the shores of Bewl Water. The longer walk
takes in a much longer section of the reservoir shore and is 9.7km (6 miles)
from lunch to tea.
- Tea is then back in Wadhurst - the same places as for lunch - and you can either go onto the fireworks or not. Afterwards you can walk down the main road
to Wadhurst station - there is a pavement all the way and it is 2.2km (1.4 miles)
But more interesting is to follow the main walk route down the back lanes
- 3.2km (2 miles)
- a lovely walk, perfectly doable in the dark (with or without a torch, but a torch is obviously useful). If you are not going to the fireworks, you can also get a number 254 bus from Wadhurst village - outside the Greyhound - to Wadhurst station, or Tunbridge Wells station which has a more frequent trains service. This goes at 02 past the hour until 18.02. If walking the back lanes in the dark, note that the field crossing in paragraph 66 can easily be avoided by staying on the road and taking the next road left. Follow this to the very bottom of a steep hill and turn right and then resume the directions in paragraph 69.
I always reckon to allow 45 minutes
for the main road
route to the station and an hour
for the back lanes
route. Every year people say they do both quicker, but the point is that you don't want to just miss a train at Wadhurst, as there is nothing in the vicinity of the station and it is a cold place to wait for the next train. Trains back from Wadhurst
are at 19
past until 19.49
, then hourly
at 49 past until 22.49