Further details on walks - 2008

Sunday 6th April - Haslemere Round (Book 1, walk no. 22)

8.7 miles 4 out of 10 toughness.

A lovely walk through mainly National Trust land with fine views from Black Down, the highest point in Sussex. The silence is from Haslemere station to the lunch pub which is about half way. There will definitely be people going on this walk unless the weather is very bad.

10.00 Waterloo, 10.09 Clapham Junction, 11.26 Haslemere Meet on the train or if driving at Haslemere station. Return trains 17 past the hour. The journey time is slightly longer than usual due to the ongoing engineering works on this line but no buses involved.

Sunday 1st June - Leigh to Tunbridge Wells (Book 1, walk no. 15)

8.6 miles

"The route of this walk is through a landscape of great beauty confirming the description of Kent as the Garden of England. It proceeds through the grounds of Penshurst Place, with fine views of the house, taking in a truly pastoral landscape of rivers, lakes, woods and rolling hills and passes through the lovely village of Penshurst. The walk then makes its way along the River Medway and into historic royal Tunbridge Wells, through woods and parks."

As usual we are silent for the first half of the walk up to lunch time.

Silent Walking

For those new to silent walks, they are not anti-social or solitary. Participants have said that they have felt a strong sense of connection with the group and have found that communication doesn't have to be solely verbal! Other people have reported that they enjoy a deeper appreciation of nature when spending some time in silence. It's a chance for a different experience.

Lunch

There is no lunch pub on this route so bring a packed lunch. [For anyone who wants to, there is the option of extending to Smarts Hill where there is a pub - this adds 2 miles to the walk].

Train Times

Meet in the middle carriage of the train or at Leigh station.

The journey leg from Tonbridge to Leigh is a rail replacement bus. However don't let it put you off as it is only a 15 min journey...

A return ticket to Tunbridge Wells is suggested. In theory you also need to pay for the train journey from Tonbridge to Leigh as it is on a different line...as there is a bus service, we will see!

Trains back from Tunbridge Wells are half hourly and it is a 53 minute journey to London.

Sunday 29th June - Birchington to Herne Bay (Extra walk, no. 28)

8.7 miles

An easy, entirely flat walk along the Kent coast, passing the dramatic ruins at Reculver, with the possibility of a swim near the end at Herne Bay. Lunch is just over half way into the walk at the King Ethelbert Inn. There are plenty of tea options in Herne Bay including a beach cafe which we found last year close to our swimming spot. Another option is tea at the Heron which is a few minutes walk from Herne Bay station. If you are looking for dramatic (exception said ruins) and varied scenery, this walk will not oblige. It may be the most level walk you ever do. However it has a ye olde English seaside feel to it and the route is entirely along the coast. It has been pointed out that the endless flatness and never ending horizon lend a certain Zen-like quality...

Maps OS Landranger Map 179 Explorer Map 150

Trains:

Return from Herne Bay at 49 past the hour. 1 hr 37 minutes to Victoria.

Buy a cheap day return to Birchington-on-Sea. Meet in middle carriage of train.

Sunday 27th July - Lymington to Barton-on-Sea

9 miles

A mixture of easy promenade walking and gentle cliff top paths with wonderful views over Christchurch Bay towards the Isle of Wight and the Needles. The walk starts near the colourful yacht marina in Lymington and passes through tranquil salt marshes and a nature reserve. This is followed by coastal walking along the beach and a gentle cliff top path into Barton on Sea. Return trains are from New Milton which is an 8 minute bus ride away.

Lunch: The Needles Beach Cafe or bring a picnic to eat on the beach.

Swimming: There are plenty of good swimming opportunities on the last leg of the walk.

Trains: Buy a cheap day return to Lymington Town (which covers return journey from New Milton on same line).

Fares With a network railcard it will cost £20.75 (full price is £31.40). If you don't have a railcard, team up with someone who does and get them to buy you a discounted ticket.

There is also a group save option - 4 adults travelling together pay £15 each for their tickets.

Return Trains

19.02 from New Milton, arriving Waterloo 20.49.

Trains from New Milton run half hourly with fast ones leaving at 02 past the hour. Bus connections are only 2 hourly though so if you want to catch an earlier train you can take a taxi to the station (unless you make the 16.37 bus).

Notes on Silent Walking for Newcomers

The usual format is to start the silence upon leaving the station at the start of the walk and keep it up until lunch time. We then burst into chat for the rest of the afternoon. Silent walks are not at all anti-social or solitary, rather the opposite in fact. People have said that they have felt a strong sense of connection with the group and that communication doesn't have to be solely verbal. Other people have reported that they enjoy a deeper appreciation of nature when spending some time in silence. It's a chance for a different experience.

Sunday 24th August - Hassocks to Devil's Dyke 8km (5 miles)

(morning section of Book 2 Walk 23 Hassocks to Upper Beeding)

A short walk but a three hour strenuous hike with steep ascents and descents ending at Devil's Dyke with panoramic views of the south downs and beyond. From there it is a half hour bus journey into Brighton for swimming, hostelries, retail therapy in the Lanes or whatever else takes your fancy.

Take the 11.32 train from London Victoria arriving Hassocks at 12.38 (journey time 1 hour 6 mins). Stops at Clapham Junction at 11.38 and East Croydon at 11.51. Buy a day return to Brighton.

There are lots of excellent picnic spots with fine views on this walk or if you can hold out to the end, there is a large pub on the top of Devil's Dyke ("Devil's Dyke"which may be very busy as it is a Bank Hol weekend 01273 857 256).

[If you want to do the full walk, ending in Upper Beeding from where you catch a half hourly bus to Shoreham- by -Sea, it is a further 5 miles and estimated 3 hours walking time].

Sunday 21st September - Haslemere Round Walk Book 1 Walk 22

8.7 miles (14 km) Toughness 4 out of 10

Train Times:

(meet in middle carriage)

The last time this walk was done on a Sunday was at the beginning of April during the unexpected heavy snowfall which gave it a magical atmosphere. On that occasion it was very Narnia-like traipsing through snow laden forests and we were half expecting to see the Snow Queen on her sledge! Early autumn will give this walk a very different feel.

The route is a contrasting mixture of woods and bracken and gorse covered heathland with some stunning views from Black Down, the highest point in Sussex. Some potentially muddy bridleways in the afternoon stretch.

Lunch is at the Red Lion in Fernhurst and a very good tea will be provided at the welcoming Darnleys in Haslemere. Some were pleased to discover last time that alcoholic beverages were also available. We are silent for the first half of the walk up until the lunchtime pub.

OS Landranger Map: 186

Notes on Silent Walking for Newcomers

For those new to silent walks, here are some of the reasons participants give for enjoying them:

Sunday 2nd November - Extra Walk 21 Sevenoaks Circular

9.6 miles (15.4 km)

Highlights of this walk include two National Trust properties Knole House and Ightham Mote (both of which will be open for the last day of the season), a stunning stretch of the Greensand way and lovely views of the Weald. All this and only a 30 minute train journey from central London.

10.18 from London Cannon St (calls at London Bridge 10.22) arriving Sevenoaks 10.48.

Notes on Silent Walking for Newcomers

For those new to silent walks, here are some of the reasons participants give for enjoying them:

The silence is for the first half of the walk only up to the lunch time pub.

Sunday 30th November - Time Out Book 1 Walk 43 Otford Round

11.3 km (7 miles). 2 out of 10 toughness.

Take the 10.14 from Charing Cross (calling Waterloo East 10.17 and London Bridge 10.22), arriving Sevenoaks 10.48, change trains depart 10.55, arrive Otford 11.10.

An ideal walk for short winter days, this Kentish ramble follows the North Downs Way initially and then the Darent Valley Path in the afternoon, with some great views along the way. Lunch is at the Fox and Hounds in Romney Street (booking required 01959 525 428). The tea stop in Otford may not be open but there is a pub.