Many of favourite Meetup walks and cycle rides have been in the High Weald area of Kent and Sussex and one of the best pubs surely the Huntsman in Eridge, not least due to it's convenient situation within 100 strides of the station, but their tables also have board games built into them! This hike thus attempts to marry the two with a 12 mile saunter across some of the finest countryside within an hour's train journey of London, ending with an optional Saturday evening pub social.
Meet by 09:00 at the latest on the concourse outside the ticket barriers by Platform 11 of London Bridge station - we will get the 09:15 train and change at East Croydon onto the train to East Grinstead, arriving at 10:17.
We will return directly by train from Eridge to London Bridge on one of the hourly trains at x51, the journey takes around an hour. The earliest you are likely to get back to London is 18:00.
If coming by car, East Grinstead station has a large car park, but note that charges apply. You can return there after the hike by rail via changing trains at Hurst Green - you will need to buy your own train tickets.
After admiring one of the most impressive 14C timber framed frontages in the world on our way through town, we soon escape into lovely rolling countryside, with it's patchwork of fields, woodlands, streams and meadows. We follow a disused railway for the first few miles, ironically passing the home town of Dr Beeching, an infamous Chairman of British Rail in the 1960's, who was responsible for the closure of many of our rural branch lines! Later we will follow deeply rural footpaths, so expect a little mud on our way to a 16C pub lunch in Hartfield - there is a tea room and Winnie the Pooh themed shop in the village (oh yes, he comes from these parts) for those who prefer.
At the end of the hike in Eridge, everyone is welcome to join me for more refreshments, socialising and perhaps a board game or two at the Huntsman, but there is also the option to head straight home.
£10 payable in cash on the train, which includes both the outward and return train tickets. Note that the train tickets require us to travel together in groups of 4, so I will attempt to team people up for the return journey!