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A Sussex coastal walk – Hastings to Rye

Event Details

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General information

Paul Conway will lead us on a superb coastal walk eastwards from Hastings to the pretty town of Rye. Starting from Hastings station we will walk down to the seafront and view Hastings Pier, which was damaged by fire a few years ago and restored by local community efforts. We then follow the seafront past the fishing boat sheds, then climb onto the East Cliff steps adjacent to the funicular railway and into the extensive Hastings Country Park.

In the Country Park we generally follow the cliff tops east, although an inland detour is needed at one point because of land slips. After a series of ups and downs we aim to have lunch above Pett Levels. Alternatively those who are hot, hardy or brave enough can take their lunch to the pebble beach at Pett Levels itself and have a swim there!

After lunch it will be easier going, almost entirely level, although it can be hot and exposed, mainly following the route of the Royal Military Canal. If time allows we will divert to Rye's neighbouring planned medieval town of Winchelsea. Winchelsea never achieved its intended potential because of the retreat of the sea and has thus preserved a quaint timeless atmosphere. Returning to the canal, our final stretch takes us past Camber Castle before reaching Rye around 6.  Rye is an attractive medieval town that is well worth exploring. There should be time to stop at one of a number of pubs in Rye for food and drinks before catching the return train to London.

Please note that the walk length and travel times from London mean that you should allow a full day for the trip. You will likely not get back to London in time for any evening assignments!

Terrain / Difficulty

This is a tougher walk than most London Group walks.  You should have a reasonable level of fitness, as there are several major ascents and descents in Hastings Country Park. In the event of recent wet weather, paths are liable to be slippery and great care is needed. You may wish to consider bringing trekking poles.

Approximate Distance

12 miles

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