The journey so far...
A reminder of some hiking tips.
Section 6 – 17.5 miles
The end time given for this event is the approximate arrival time at Horsham railway station by minibus after finishing the hike at Rudgwick.
The 17.5 mile epic hike of section 4 was so well appreciated that we’re doing another one of exactly the same distance. There aren’t any hills to speak of this time, but if anything our pace will be just a bit faster, so it’s for the hardcore hiking fanatics only. Only sign up for it if you are sure you will enjoy walking this long distance at a brisk pace and won’t hold up the group, as we have to get all the way to the end, or very near the end, before dark.
Here’s how we will manage to complete another epic odyssey two hours earlier than before:
- We’ll walk in the opposite direction to normal, East to West, so we can start from Gatwick, which is much easier to get to than the end point at Rudgwick.
- We meet early at 8:15 am at Victoria Station and arrive at Gatwick South Terminal by train at 9:18 am. We take the free shuttle service to the North Terminal and set off by 9:40 am.
- We walk at an average speed of 3.1 miles on the flat, including any stops, arriving at a pub for lunch after 3 hours or less.
- We will stop for 45 minutes and eat our own packed lunch in the pub by prior arrangement with the landlord. Everyone must bring their own lunch, and buy a drink to go with it.
- We continue at the fast medium pace for another 9 miles after lunch. Depending on our exact timing the very last bit along a quiet lane into Rudgwick could be in darkness. I will bring a torch. If you have one bring it too!
Photo © Copyright Colin Smith
Despite the unlikely starting point for a country walk it soon gets rural, with a good variety of open fields, woodland paths and quiet lanes as we’ve enjoyed on previous hikes. We pass by a restored 18th century windmill early on. The lunch venue is a traditional small old pub by a stream in a tiny hamlet, conveniently at the mid-point of the hike.
You must bring a packed lunch to eat in the pub, and it is advisable to bring extra rations for later as it is a two-stage journey back to central London.
Photo © Copyright Dave Spicer
There is either a £4 charge or no charge payable to the organizer on the day. The £4 includes the minibus fare from Rudgwick to Horsham railway station at the end of the walk.
See the Return Travel details below.
Full Itinerary with Estimated Timings
Meet Up: Arrive between 8:10 and 8:30 a.m. at Victoria Station, by the ticket office. I will be wearing the floppy hat and moustache for recognition. Get into groups of 4 for buying tickets.
Don’t turn up at Waterloo by mistake! From this hike onwards until further notice our departure point for the Sussex Border Path is Victoria Station.
Buy Ticket: Off-peak return to Horsham. The price is £18 for 1 adult, down to £9 each in a group of 4. The additional minibus fare from Rudgwick at the end of the walk to Horsham is included in the organizer fee.
Outward Travel: 8:47 a.m. train from Victoria platform 16 to Gatwick Airport. Arrive at South Terminal at 9:18 a.m.
Inside the terminal we will allow five minutes for anyone to make use of the deluxe toilet facilities. Then we will take the moving walkway to the shuttle for the North Terminal.
On stepping out of the shuttle we turn back instead of going on into the terminal and take the lift or escalator down to ground level outside. This is the meeting point for the start of the hike.
Meet for Start of Hike: From 9:30 to 9:40 a.m. outside Gatwick North Terminal, at ground level on Northway. If you’re coming from South Terminal follow the instructions above.
If you’re inside North Terminal make your way to the shuttle for South Terminal but instead of taking it walk on to the escalator or lift at the end and take it down to ground level.
The exact location is marked with a red flag on the map below:
Some (night-time) views of this drop-off area where we will be meeting:
Part 1: 8.5 miles. Maximum 3 hours. By taking the shuttle rather than walking the official route around the airport perimeter from South to North Terminal we’ve lopped a mile off the front end of the walk, although it does mean we miss out on a short but glorious stretch of the Sussex Border Path along the side of a busy highway.
Lunch Stop: 45 minutes in the pub. Bring your own lunch. Buy a refreshing drink.
Part 2: 9 miles. Maximum 3 hours 10 minutes.
End of Hike: Arrive in Rudgwick by 16:45
Post-Hike Refreshment: I expect we will all be wanting to get home, but if one or two don't the King's Head pub is a splendid watering hole at the end point of the hike.
Return Travel: 16 people can travel in 2 minibuses that are booked for 16:50 and will get to Horsham railway station in time for the 17:20 train to London Victoria, arriving at 18:16. The next direct train after that is at 17:50, arriving in Victoria at 18:44.
The minibus fare is included in the £4 organizer fee.
The others will pay no organizer fee. If there are 3 or 4 of us who also want to get to Horsham we will order a taxi, otherwise we will take the local bus below. It will cost you £4 for the taxi fare or £3.80 for the bus.
The Arriva 63 bus leaves Rudgwick at 17:12, arriving at Horsham bus station at 17:40.
Then it’s a 17 minute walk to the railway station, arriving in time for the 18:04 train to London Victoria from platform 1. This is a slower train journey, arriving in Victoria at 19:18.
There are two later Arriva buses from Rudgwick, at 17:28 and 18:16, but they both go in the other direction to Guildford.