The Vanguard Way
The Vanguard Way continues through East Sussex on its determined course to the sea. The hills and woods of the High Weald flatten out into the farmland of the Low Weald as it picks a picturesque route ever southward, once or twice crossing or bumping into the Wealdway, the other great long distance path from the London metropolis to the South Coast.
Section 5 – 15 miles
This is a walk with plenty of rural charm. We retrace our steps through the village of Buxted to get back to the path and then it’s on to the much smaller village of Blackboys, taking in Tickerage Mill and pond, the even smaller hamlet of Chiddingly with its 13th century church and a whole series of farms, ending up at the very small settlement around Berwick Station for the train back.
It’s a 15 mile hike altogether, slightly undulating to start and very flat later on. We keep to our usual fast medium pace throughout, with the occasional short stop to regroup and look around.
You must bring a packed lunch as we stop for a picnic somewhere out on the path. We have another stop for a drink in a pub in the afternoon at the two-thirds way mark.
See the page about Rail Tickets for The Vanguard Way Sections 4 to 6 for your cheapest ticket option.
There is a £1 charge payable to the organizer on the day.
Full Itinerary with Estimated Timings
Meet Up: Arrive between 9.15 and 9.40 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 or by bank transfer in advance 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 at East Croydon platform 6 as below or travel from any station and meet at Buxted for the start of the walk.
Buy Ticket: Arrive at Victoria by 9.30 a.m. if you have to buy a ticket. Try to get in a group of 3 or 4 people in the same situation, if there are any.
Buy a single out to Buxted (£15.10) and a single back from Berwick (£15.90). Total price £31, down to £15.50 in a group of 4. But there may not be a group of 4. Buying a DaySave ticket in advance for £12 is a better option.
*** If you are left in a group of 1 or 2 then the organizer will subsidize your ticket by £5 from the fees collected on the hikes so far, reducing the price to £26.00. This offer does not apply to anyone joining the group on the train or at Buxted, however these people will not be charged the £1 organizer fee for this event. ***
Outward Travel: 9.53 a.m. train from Victoria platform 17 to East Croydon platform 6. Arrive at 10.09 a.m.
10.23 train from East Croydon platform 6 to Buxted platform 1. Arrive at 11.15 a.m.
On your own you can take the later 10.02 train out from Victoria which arrives at East Croydon platform 3 at 10.17, then join the group on platform 6. This might be cutting it too fine for the group if there is any delay so we take the earlier 9.53 train.
Meet for Start of Hike: Buxted Station platform 1 side from 11.15 to 11.20 a.m.
Part 1: 9 miles. Maximum 4 hours 10 minutes including a picnic stop for up to half an hour. Bring a packed lunch.
Afternoon Stop: A pub stop for up to 30 minutes.
Part 2: 6 miles. Maximum 2 hours 10 minutes.
End of Hike: Arrive at Berwick Station by 18.10.
Post-Hike Refreshment: There is a pub right by the station for those not in a rush to get back.
Return Travel: 18:18 train from Berwick platform 1 to Brighton platform 8, or hourly thereafter. Arrive at 18.45.
Quickly change to platform 5 for the 18.49 train to London Victoria. Arrive at 19.40. 1 hour 22 minutes journey time altogether.