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South Downs Hike, Southease to Polegate - 13 Miles (21km)

  • Apr 19, 2014 · 8:45 AM
  • This location is shown only to members

Note that this hike is on Easter Saturday and will include a pub lunch.

With British Summer Time and more clement weather making a welcome return and our fitness improving in tune with the day length, it's high time to venture back not only to the hills of the South Downs, but also to visit the mythical Long Man of Wilmington.

The South Downs became the UK's newest National Park only three years ago - surely a justified step given the stunning views, downland scenery and abundant wildlife.  For us hikers, there is the added bonus of some challenging hills.

The plan is to traverse the ridge of hills a few times through the day to take in the sweeping vistas, hangliders and a pub lunch in the picture postcard village of Alfriston.  After lunch, we will pass by the National Trust Old Clergy House (but not visit on this occasion) and the attractively tall hill figure, (and look out for the horse too!), before continuing to the hike's end in Polegate, where there are two trains an hour back to London, taking approximately 80 minutes.  Those who wish to stay on and socialise are welcome to join me at a suitable establishment, but there will also be the option to head straight home - note that it is unlikely that you will get back in London until at least 19:00 though.

As usual, we will travel to and from the hike by train - meet me BEFORE 09:00 outside the main ticket office at Victoria Mainline station ("Ticket Counter" opposite platforms 13-19. We will catch the 09:17 to Southease via a change of train at Lewes.  If making your own way to the start, meet us at Southease station ready to go at 10:34 - you can return there by train from Polegate at the end of the hike.

If, like me, you need a coffee to join the land of the living at this time of the morning, getting a free Bite card gets you 20% off at many station outlets: https://www.bitecard.co.uk/Home

The cost to include the guided and backmarked hike, plus the return train fares is £15.  Please pay the hike leader in cash on the train.

The walking pace will be sociable, but the hike is a little longer than some of those we have been doing over the Winter and the terrain is moderately hilly and very exposed to the weather, so a reasonable level of fitness and suitable clothing / footwear are required to enjoy the trip.

Only RSVP YES if you are certain that you can come to this event and update your RSVP if you can no longer attend. Meetup events are organised by enthusiastic volunteers and we restrict numbers at many events for logistical, safety or quality reasons. If you don't show up to three events that you have RSVP'd YES to without good reason, you will be banned from the Club, as you could be preventing other members from attending events. Changing your RSVP in the last 24 hours prior to the event is strongly discouraged.



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  • Grae

    Another great walk - made extra special by beautiful weather and great company.
    Thanks Andy!

    April 22, 2014

  • vanessa

    Really lovely day out with amazing views - thanks Andy!

    April 22, 2014

  • Alexander

    Excellent trip! Looking forward to meeting you guys again!

    April 21, 2014

  • Elizabeth

    A really nice walk. With some really nice people. Andy did a good job as usual thanx

    April 20, 2014

  • MK

    Great hike and great company, and even got to learn how to play scrabble! Thanks, Andy, for organizing such a lovely day!

    April 20, 2014

  • Judy

    What a lovely day - lovely vistas, good conversation and fun - thanks Andy for organising so well :))

    April 19, 2014

  • Emmylou

    I was going to write a cunning review using words from our game of Scrabble. The only one I can remember now is UTOPIA... Which seems fitting for such a great day!

    April 19, 2014

  • Javier G.

    Second walk with Andy and second success!! thanks for organising!! I also have to say that people who came today were much more than nice!!!

    1 · April 19, 2014

  • Andy

    Fresh air, sweeping vistas, tasty local beers and conversations on everything from conspiracy theories to Scrabble psychology -a most excellent day! Thanks for the great attendance everyone.

    1 · April 19, 2014

  • Matthew F.

    Very sorry Andy and everyone I am unwell and cannot make it.

    April 19, 2014

  • Judy

    I will meet you at Southease station too Andy

    April 17, 2014

    • Andy

      Judy and Glenn, great, the group should arrive at Southease at 10:34. There is only one train per hour to Southease, so car drivers may be best to leave their cars at Lewes to assist their journey home.

      April 18, 2014

    • Judy

      Glenn, check the trains as there may not be any in the evening at all. It seems that leaving the car in Lewes is the best option

      April 18, 2014

  • Andy

    Our lunch stop at around 13:30 will be at the "Ye Olde Smugglers Inn" in Alfriston, which has a special hog roast event in the garden. Alternative food, including vegetarian options can also be ordered separately.

    April 18, 2014

  • Katie

    Sorry I thought the hike was on Sunday. Enjoy it!

    April 18, 2014

    • Maja

      We have one on Sunday :-)

      April 18, 2014

    • Katie

      I signed up for it but then realised how long it is and opted out as I've not been on a hike for a bit. Are there any easy drop out points so I can come for part of it? :-)

      April 18, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry, got my dates muddled up! Have a great time!

    April 18, 2014

  • Uli

    Hi, I have a cold, and not sure at the moment, whether I will be fit enough to take part. I will update my RSVP this evening, if that's ok.

    April 18, 2014

  • Andy

    1) The weather for tomorrow's hike is forecast to be a lovely fresh and bright Spring day.
    2) Please update your RSVP if you can no longer make it, as there is a waiting list for this trip.
    3) I am also looking for a volunteer to backmark this hike - please let me know if you are interested.
    Cheers, Andy

    April 18, 2014

  • iain

    Now unable to make this walk, other matters to attend to.

    April 16, 2014

  • Paul R

    Sorry, unable to make this event, daughters birthday and I am looking after grandson.

    April 16, 2014

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