Length: Full walk
: 26.2km (16.3 miles). Shorter options
possible of Winchelsea to Three Oaks
12.9km (8 miles) or Winchelsea to Fairlight
20km (12.4 miles) - or Three Oaks to Hastings
13.3km (8.3 miles) T=3.316 9.34
Southeastern High Speed train from St Pancras International,
changing at Ashford
(arrive 10.11, depart 10.24) for Winchelsea, arriving 10.50. Change as quickly as possible at Ashford, as the Winchelsea train is only two-car and can get very crowded. Late start option: 12.37 South Eastern High Speed train from St Pancras International, changing at Ashford (arrive 13.14, depart 13.24) for Three Oaks, arrive 13.57: you need to be in the front carriage for Three Oaks. Join the main group there at lunch (they should reach the pub at around 1.45) and do the 8.3 mile afternoon and evening part of the walk.
Buy a day return to Hastings,
valid for Southeastern High Speed
This is a NEW NEW NEW
the same as the traditional Rye or Winchelsea to Hastings walk, though it has the same finish over the cliffs as that walk, and it borrows the alternative Winchelsea to Icklesham start from it.
Otherwise it follows an interesting inland route, over gentle hills and with fine views, before turning south and approaching the high ridge that forms the Hastings cliffs from behind - very attractive territory. In all this it cannot make any huge claims to originality because for most of its length it follows first the 1066 Walk
route and then the 1066 Walk Hastings Link
. But it departs from the latter to climb up to Fairlight, and then follows the coastal route (with its hills and dips) into Hastings.
This walk is intended to be a map-led/GPX walk
- GPX file here
and map here
- but there are some written directions here
- notes on the route, if you like, to be used in conjunction with a map or GPX. They may, for all I know, be sufficient to complete the walk without a map or GPX, but I can't guarantee it.
The intention is that lunch
should be had at the quirky Three Oaks Inn
(its website says it serves food all afternoon), 8 miles
into the walk, but it might be hard to resist the wonderful Queen's Head
in Icklesham, which is only 3.3 miles
in. If you want to do the short 8 mile walk,
you could lunch here, have tea at the Three Oaks, and then get the train from the adjacent Three Oaks station
, from where trains depart at 16.36
for Ashford and then the High Speed. If you are set on doing this option you need only buy a day return to Three Oaks
Otherwise, 4.3 miles further on from Three Oaks brings you to Fairlight. The Coastguards Tea Room
is, as far as I know, still operating here (it was up for sale last year, but its website is still there, so cross fingers it is still open: the website says its hours are until 6pm). This is not just a nice place for tea but you can also, if you wish, get a bus
into Hastings at 16.35
, thus ending the walk after 12.4 miles.
Or fortified by tea and cakes, the last four miles of the walk are the familiar coastal route into Hastings, a series of three big dips and climbs, except that the closure of the path into Ecclesbourne Glen eliminates the last dip if you follow the official diversion (as the GPX does), and the first dip can be avoided by a short cut. In the second of the dips, if anyone has the energy, a swim
may be possible at Fairlight Glen, depending on the state of the path (which is officially closed, but is rebuilt each year by the naturists who use this beach).
You end in the Old Town of Hastings, which has lots of refreshment and food options. Trains back
from Hastings are at 26
past the hour (until 22.26
) via Ashford, changing to the High Speed and taking 1 hour 28 minutes
. Or at 18
and 50 minutes
past the hour to Charing Cross
and then 19.50
(1 hour 44 minutes