Amberley Circular, 5 August
AS OF FRIDAY MORNING (4 AUG) TRAIN TIMES IN THIS POST ARE CORRECT. BUT IF EITHER TRAIN IS CANCELLED AT THE LAST MINUTE, THERE IS ANOTHER ONE 30 MINUTES LATER.
There is an ASLEF drivers ban on non-contractual overtime on 5th August, which has resulted in changes to our trains and also can mean late cancellations.
I’ll need to check the day before that our trains are still running. Please check the website on Friday. Members will get an email message on Friday either confirming the Amberley walk or offering an alternative walk if our Amberley trains are not running. So please do not buy train tickets to Amberley until you receive a message on Friday.
Currently there is a choice of two outbound trains. Both involve changing trains at Three Bridges.
Firstly, there is the train I will be catching, which is the 8.35am from London Bridge, calling at East Croydon (8.49), arriving at Three Bridges at 9.11, where you’ll change trains to catch the 9.20 to Amberley arriving at 10.03.
Secondly, there is the 8.29 from Victoria, calling at Clapham Junction (8.36) and East Croydon (8.46), arriving at Three Bridges at 9.07, where you’ll change trains to catch the 9.20 to Amberley, arriving at 10.03.
We are unlikely to arrive back at London Bridge or Victoria before 6.30pm and it could be as late as 7.15pm, depending on our progress.
This is a beautiful nine-mile ramble, with lots of lovely views. There are walks through woods & fields and also through parkland with waterfowl on a lake, where we stop for a break, with excellent ice cream available to buy from a kiosk.
Paths by the River Arun are a big feature with a particularly stunning section just before lunch, when we walk with Arundel Castle initially to our right then, as the river bends through 90 degrees, the Castle and the town appear dramatically in front of us.
If we have time in the afternoon, we will visit an unspoilt church which has hardly changed since the 13th century and some parts of which date from the 11th century.
We have lunch in Arundel. There’s a spot next to the river for those with a picnic lunch. Nearby is the The Swan Hotel for those wanting to eat there and where those picnicking can join us, if they wish. No need to book as, in the unlikely event that we cannot all get in to The Swan, there are plenty of other pubs nearby.
The morning is about 5 miles and the afternoon about 4 miles. It is easy to dropout at lunch because there are regular trains back to London from Arundel. You will need to have bought a return to Arundel. Alternatively, if you have bought a return to Amberley, then you may need a single ticket from Arundel to Amberley, which is the next stop on the line. There are no other drop out possibilities.
There are a couple of short sections on country lanes with no pavements, so please walk single file along them and follow the leader’s advice.
If there’s been heavy rain, there may be some mud on the paths next to the river, but it was minimal on the recent recce.
There is a relatively long steady climb in the middle of the morning, but we will stop regularly to get our breath back and the exertion is worth it for the stunning views across the valley back to where we started.
There is one short, but very steep, downhill section in the morning, for which a walking pole/stick is strongly advised.