Winter can be the most rewarding time of the year for walking simply because we spent the rest of our time indoors. It simply feels great to get out and see the daylight and to keep the body fit.
Wye Downs in Winter
This is a 14 miles hilly walk in the heart of Kent at a relatively brisk pace. The landscape is undulating through the open landscape interrupted by small woods and we walk in a circle from the village of Wye. The Wye Downs are part of the North Downs and offers lots of spectacular views – the sea is visible on a clear day. The walk passes through the Wye National Nature Reserve.
The Devils Kneading Trough is part of the Wye National Nature Reserve
The combined ascent of this walk is 556 meters
The reason for leaving London early is the few daylight hours we have at this time of year. Sunrise is at 7.47am and sunset is at 3.49pm. It is thus not guaranteed that we will make it all the way back to Wye before darkness.
At the half-way point we will stop for a picnic outside. There is a pub nearby in which we can enjoy a hot drink if the weather is against us. If not, I suggest a pub visit after dusk when back in Wye. Remember to bring warm and waterproof clothes and water plus a packed lunch.
Travel & Cost
We will meet at 7.45am in front of the national ticket office in St Pancras International. I will provide my number to those on the RSVP list. Our train departs St Pancras 8.12, arr. Ashford International 8.50, dep. 9.03, arr. Wye 9.09. Please show up on time to allow for us to buy GroupSave tickets. The return train ticket is £25.50 off-peak or £12.75 per person for 4 people travelling on a GroupSave ticket.
We should be back in Wye around dusk at 4.30pm, but there is no guarantee for an exact return time. It might be handy with a torch on this walk. Return trains from Wye depart every half hour at 19 and 51 minutes past the hour and arrive back at St Pancras one hour later.
Group Tickets: Note that if you buy a GroupSave 4 ticket you will need to travel out and return in the same 4 group to ensure validity of the ticket. Although we strive to provide the cheapest ticket for everyone, the GroupSave price option is not guaranteed, and you may have to pay a more expensive ticket. Strict punctuality generally ensures a higher probability to take advantage of the cheapest offer.
Cost: The £2 will be entirely used towards the purchase of hiking equipment for the group, as well as extra training for the hike leaders.
Finish Time: It is impossible to state a specific finish time as it depends on weather conditions, the general pace of the group and other unplanned factors. Please only RSVP if you are comfortable doing several hours of walking. Thanks.
Equipment: Please ensure that you have basic adequate equipment. For this walk you are required to have appropriate walking or hiking shoes or boots and a good waterproof jacket and trousers. Please remember fleece, gloves and hat in case of chilly weather. Also, do not wear jeans because if they get wet you will get cold and lose temperature fast.
RSVP: Please remember to change your RSVP if you are no longer able to make the event. No shows are recorded and may affect your RSVP status for future events. After three “no shows” you may be moved to the waiting list for events that are full.