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Rye to Hastings - Challenging Linear Walk (36694)

Event Overview

A tough 15 mile linear walk of contrasting Sussex landscapes; initially flat marshland, and later challenging climbs with sea views.

This walk starts off with some very easy terrain, building up to some demanding hill climbs in the last coastal section of the route. As we approach the coast, the perimeter of the High Weald AONB, our efforts will be rewarded with some dramatic views of the sea. You should be used to regularly walking 15 miles or more to undertake this route, and it is definitely not suitable for beginners.

Departing from Rye we will join the 1066 Country Walk (with its politically incorrect road name), with some great views of Rye across the marshes, before climbing uphill to the small, but perfectly formed, town of Winchelsea with its numerous clapboard and clay tiled houses arranged on a grid layout. A brief coffee and snack stop in the Winchelsea Farm Kitchen is highly recommended. Following the lanes out of Winchelsea we will continue on the 1066 Country Walk, with views over the marshes towards the sea, the Royal Military Canal, and then onwards to the windmill at Hog Hill.

After passing by some orchards we will make our way southwards towards the village of Pett where we will stop for lunch beside the cricket green and The Royal Oak pub for those requiring some additional liquid refreshment. From here we continue over farmland and through woodland towards the sea, joining the Saxon Shore Way, and where the steep ascents begin.

Shortly after passing through the village of Fairlight we will be walking along the cliff path all the way to Hastings, with superb sea views over Fire Hills and Covehurst Bay as we wind our way up and down vertiginous steps through wooded valleys and across gorse studded heathland.

The coastal path is sometimes re-routed by East Sussex County Council just outside Hastings at Ecclesbourne Glen due to erosion. We will follow the diversions in place at the time, and this may require some ad hoc re-routing in the final mile. This will lead us into Hastings Old Town, and the Net Shops, the tall black sheds used to store fishing nets, on the sea front.

Hastings railway station is approximately 20 minutes walk from here.

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What to bring

For your comfort and safety please be prepared for the anticipated weather and the terrain of the walk - keep in mind the following:

Boots:  Hiking boots  that  are both waterproof and breathable, and provide good ankle support, are important as soon as you encounter any mud. Cross trainers may suffice in good weather and flat routes.

Socks:  Proper walking socks keep your feet dry, and help prevent blisters.

Walking Trousers:  (ideally water resistant) will be more comfortable than Jeans which are heavy and cold when wet.  From April to October shorts are usually a better bet.

Waterproof Over-Trousers:  essential in any significant rainfall.  Breathable ones are best.

Layered clothing: allows you to quickly adapt to changes in the weather as well as body temperature. E.g. a base layer or a cotton T-Shirt; a mid layer like a micro fleece, or a rugby type thick shirt,  and in cooler weather an outer layer consisting of a windproof jacket or a thick fleece. 

Waterproof Jacket: essential when hiking in all but the calmest of weather.  You get what you pay for with these. Breathable fabrics are advisable.

Hat: essential both in mid winter to preserve heat and in summer to prevent sunburn and heatstroke. 

Gloves: essential in frosty weather.

Small Rucksack: One that is comfortable to wear is essential so that you can use your arms freely. Place valuables in water proof bags inside.

Sunglassses: April- Sept: comfortable sunglasses enhance your pleasure and keep insects out of the eye

Water: even in winter one can loose a litre or more of fluid by perspiration. If you fail to make this up you'll get dehydrated which can lead to headaches and other problems. A hydration bladder is easier to use than bottled water, but higher maintenance.

Food: a packed lunch will be required unless otherwise stated. In addition carry energy bars or similar to counter 'sugar lows'.

Medicines: If you have allergies, are diabetic, or have minor ailments don't forget these!

Food & Drink

You will need a packed lunch, and plenty of water and snacks to see you through the day. We will stop for a picnic lunch in the village of Pett; for your own comfort you may wish to bring something to sit on. 

Meeting & Times

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Is this your first event?

The idea of meeting up with a group of complete strangers to be taken for a long walk on an unknown route through unfamiliar countryside can be daunting for some. These helpful guidelines will outline what you can expect on the day.


All photos taken by event leader

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