Length: 18km (11.2 miles) T=3.225
Toughness: 5 out of 10 9.42
train from St Pancras International Thameslink platforms
, 10.19 East Croydon
) to Wivelsfield, arriving 10.53 OR 9.50
Brighton-bound train from Victoria
(9.56 Clapham Junction
, 10.06 East Croydon
) to Burgess Hill
, changing there
(arriving 10.35, departing 10.49) to Wivelsfield, arriving 10.53. The sharp-eyed will have spotted that you can change to the Thameslink train at either East Croydon or Burgess Hill, but the Burgess Hill change is probably slightly easier.
(Tattenham Corner train) from London Bridge
to East Croydon
, arriving 10.06, changing there
for the 10.19 Thameslink train to Wivelsfield as above
Buy a day return to Wivelsfield
. For those travelling from St Pancras or Blackfriars there may still be bargain cheap Thameslink-only fares available, so long as you stick to Thameslink trains on your return. Make the most of these as they will likely not survive the introduction of the exciting new Thameslink timetable in May **
For walk directions
, for GPX
I have chosen this walk because in the past I have recorded it as good for wood anemones
and also bluebells
: the latter will only just be starting, if at all: the former should be at their height. The best effect is if the weather is warm when the "wooden ms" open up fully.
Otherwise this is a pleasant Wealden walk. Lunch is in Cuckfield
, one of those towns that was bypassed by the railway and hence now has olde world charm. Last time I did this walk I found the "unprepossessing" White Harte
a positive 1970s timewarp (note to younger walkers: not a compliment!)
: I would not be surprised to learn that it has since been moved in its entirety to a museum.
But to be fair it did feed us. There is also a posher pub, the Talbot
, and several tea rooms
as an alternative.
In the afternoon you are on the High Weald Landscape Trail, with some nice views at times, and you pass Borde Hill Garden
, which you can visit for a fee: perhaps more to the point, there is a very nice tea place
, Elvira's, by its entrance. Otherwise the walk ending is in suburban Haywards Heath
, about which one would formerly have had to say that it had no nice tea options. But now there is a whopping big Waitrose
by the station with a really very attractive cafe
at the front. I am not sure of cafe opening hours, but the store is open till 9pm. Trains back
from Haywards Heath are very frequent: 14
past to Victoria
past to Blackfriars
and St Pancras
, and 17
past to London Bridge. The Blackfriars (and London Bridge?) trains are the Thameslink ones. ** If you take the Thameslink train back and ride on it from East Croydon to Blackfriars, look out the window and enjoy the experience as it dawdles along, seemingly outside spacetime altogether in some parallel universe of its own, because from May ALL OF THIS WILL BE JUST A MEMORY and there will be lots and lots and lots of fast trains from East Croydon to London Bridge and St Pancras and even Finsbury Park as the new "Thameslink 2000" service comes in, only a couple of decades behind schedule. London Bridge travellers, awake: the long night is (nearly) over!!!