This walk reveals the beautiful rolling countryside of rural East Sussex and throws you the keys to the magnificent moated ruins of Bodiam Castle, a showpiece fortress built in 1385 by the knight Sir Edward Dalyngrigge. See a selection of photos from this walk »
We meet at London Charing Cross station and take the train to Robertsbridge, a sleepy village near the Sussex/Kent county border. Many of the high street homes here are architectural relics that have changed little since their construction in the 14th Century. Nowadays, Robertsbridge is known for its world-famous cricket bat factory and a small but thriving Hutterite (Anabaptist) community, founded in 1971 on the site of a former tuberculosis sanatorium.
Departing Robertsbridge, we strike out to the east down the valley of the River Rother. The route follows an old abandoned railway line. Derelict pillboxes visible from the path show evidence of the line's strategic importance during World War II; the British Army manned these pillboxes to safeguard against German paratroopers intent on dynamiting trains.
At the hamlet of Bodiam, we break for lunch at The Castle Inn. It's a picturesque, riverside pub set amongst hop fields.
The highlight of the day is a tour of The National Trust's Bodiam Castle. Although much of the castle interior was plundered during the English Civil War, the turrets still stand intact, and can be climbed. A commanding view of the Rother River Valley awaits those who manage the tortuous ascent up the stone spiral staircase.
Our route back to Robertsbridge takes us over a Roman Road and through apple orchards to the village of Salehurst, which is reputed to take its name from the many willow trees found here. (Salix is the Latin for willow, and hurst is Old English for a grove, thicket, or shrubbery.) Anyway, we stop off for a drink here at the excellent Salehurst Halt pub.
The last leg of the walk follows country lanes back to Robertsbridge. Here we catch a train back to London, arriving into Charing Cross station in the evening.
This walk starts in London. We meet at 8:45am in front of the main ticket counter at London Charing Cross rail station and return here later the same evening. Pre-booking required.
See the calendar for walk dates.
(a) admission to Bodiam Castle
(b) your choice of a picnic or pub lunch, and
(c) return/roundtrip rail fare from London
picnic lunch option
individuals: £50 per person
groups of 2-3 booking together: £45 per person
groups of 4+ booking together: £40 per person
pub lunch option
individuals: £68 per person
groups of 2-3 booking together: £62 per person
groups of 4+ booking together: £55 per person
Payable by cash to your guide at the start of the walk.
For reservations and information call 07932 953 174 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please be sure to mention:
(a) which walk you're interested in
(b) your desired dates and options
(c) the number of people in your party, and
(d) the best way to contact you