Book 1, Walk 25 - Rye to Hastings
Length: 24 km (14.9 miles)
Toughness: 10 out of 10
London St Pancras
: 09-37 hrs
Arrive Ashford International: 10-14 hrs
International: 10-33 hrs Brighton service
: 10-54 hrs
to St Pancras
via Ashford International: 17-09, 17-36 , 18-36, 19-37 and 20-36 hrs.
Return: Hastings to London Charing Cross
: direct trains at 17-50, 18-46, 19-50 and 20-50 hrs.
Return: Hastings to London Victoria
: direct trains at 17-55, 18-55, 19-55 and 20-56 hrs. Rail ticket
: buy a day return to Hastings, with a HS1 supplement.
This is the toughest walk in Book 1 - and possibly the toughest in the SWC repertoir, with most of the hard work - up and down steep glens - coming towards the end of a long walk when a walker is already tired. But the walk in rewarding and worth the mega effort for its variety and views !
Your long day's walk starts in the pretty Cinque Port
, where you take the 1066 path into Winchelsea
, once a port but now landlocked. Then its over farmland, fields and water meadows to Icklesham
for an early lunch at the usually excellent Queens Head pub
tel: 01424-814552. Please 'phone ahead with numbers - your e.t.a should be just before 13-00 hrs.
After lunch you descend to Pett Level
and the sea, where a later lunch option is available at the Smugglers Inn
. Onwards now into the National Trust's Fairlight
Estate, where you soon find yourself dodging landslips as you make your way towards the Glens
, and the hard work descending and ascending them. In recent times you have to take a diversion around Ecclesbourne Glen to avoid a land slip: all will become clear when you get there ! Eventually you arrive on the grassy cliff top above Hastings for your final, level walk into Hastings, for much needed refreshments in one of the pleasant pubs in the Old Town,
Today's walk is not suitable for anyone with evening appointments back in London: you will not make it to Hastings much before 6 pm, and probably later.
Walk directions: here L=1.25
Next Week, Wednesday 31 May : SWC 263c - Haslemere to Midhurst