The Vanguard Way
The map below shows the complete route of the Vanguard Way in the Joined Up Hiking version, which includes the links to and from the railway stations and a detour to a pub for lunch.
Section 6 – 12.5 miles
The final leg of our first long distance path is not to be missed, including as it does the picturesque village of Alfriston, a pleasantly sited pub lunch, a flirtation with the first of the fabled Seven Sisters, a crossing of the classically meandering Cuckmere river and a stretch along the coast by the water’s edge to the finishing post of the 66 mile route (or 86 miles in the Joined Up Hiking version) at Newhaven harbour.
The day out includes a 90 minute rail journey each way if travelling from Victoria, so to pack it all in we keep to our usual medium fast hiking pace throughout.
You can either order lunch in the pub or eat your own packed lunch somewhere nearby.
There is a £1 charge payable to the organizer on the day.
Full Itinerary with Estimated Timings
Meet Up: Arrive between 9.10 and 9.30 a.m. at Victoria Station, by the ticket office. I will be wearing the floppy hat and moustache for recognition.
If you paid me £6 in cash in advance on a previous trek for a Southern Rail group day save I will have your ticket.
If you've bought your own DaySave ticket online you can meet the group on the train or travel from any station and meet at Buxted for the start of the walk.
Buy Ticket: The total price of a single out to Berwick and another one back from Newhaven Harbour is so huge that I won’t even mention it. The only sensible options on this occasion are to buy a DaySave ticket in advance for £12 or an All-Network Downlander for £12.50 or get on a group DaySave from the organizer for the ridiculously cheap throwaway price of £6 for a journey all the way to the South Coast and back. Please contact the organizer if you have any queries about how this works.
Outward Travel: 9.47 a.m. train from Victoria platform 16 to Polegate platform 2. Arrive at 11.05. Change to platform 1 for train to Berwick at 11.12. Arrive at 11.20.
Meet for Start of Hike: From 11.20 to 11.30 a.m.
Part 1: 4.5 miles. 1 hour 45 minutes. Very flat.
Afternoon Stop: A pub stop for lunch or picnic. Leave by 2.20 pm or earlier.
Part 2: 8 miles. Maximum 3 hours 40 minutes. Some very steep ascents and descents early on and half-way through. Very flat in the closing stretch.
End of Hike and the Vanguard Way: Arrive at Newhaven Harbour station by 18.00.
Post-Hike Refreshment: The organizer will be celebrating completion of the Vanguard Way with a beer at a pub, any pub, close to the railway station and will therefore get a later train back. You are most welcome to join him!
Return Travel: 18:03 train from Newhaven platform 2, or hourly thereafter. Arrive at Lewes platform 4 at 18:14. Change to platform 2 for the 18:20 to London Victoria. Arrive at 19.28.