Sunday Stroll to Bodiam Castle
14 people attending
11 places left
Bodiam Castle is one of the National Trust's most popular attractions. An externally almost complete, moated castle in beautiful countryside next to pub and a river, beyond which lies the Kent and East Sussex steam railway line. Fortunately for us, the Sussex border path goes right through the estate and next to the moat. This allows us to walk through the grounds without having to pay to do so. It does not allow us to cross the moat and enter the castle itself.
The little hamlet of Bodiam can easily be reached on foot and there are numerous routes to enable this. In the various walks that I do with the group, we have covered many of them but there are always more variations to choose.
Due to circumstances beyond my control, to whit the arrival on the footpath field of a large herd of boisterous beef cows with calves, I have altered the route from my original plan. Our walk will now follow close to the valley of the river Rother for both outward and return journey, although generally on different paths.
We will proceed north and westwards for a little, allowing us our first crossing of the river for the day then a lovely wander through fields and alongside an old mill feeder canal which runs nearby but several feet above the river itself. Crossing again, we progress towards Salehurst Park Farm, passing the newly harvested hop gardens. Thence, close to woodlands, orchards, the ancient sunken drover's track of Udiam Lane and gradually climbing to the highest point of the walk, we will then descend past and over the Kent and East Sussex railway, hopefully seeing steam trains close by and from here, another river crossing at Bodiam Bridge which is next to both pub and castle. We shall follow the public footpath through the castle grounds and back again before lunch.
The Castle Inn at Bodiam is a popular pub which is well accustomed to providing lots of meals at short notice. Hopefully it won't take too long. If anybody wants to go into the castle keep itself, tickets are £10 or thereabouts.
The return walk is 4 miles and virtually flat, following river Rother almost all the way back. One careful road crossing is the only blip in this otherwise very pleasant home run. There is a pub right next to the station for a well-deserved drink while we wait for the trains.
If you are unable to make this particular day, I will be leading another walk to Bodiam Castle, via a different route, on the day of the Robertsbridge Bonfire celebrations towards the end of November. I have basically swapped the two routes around with a few alterations. Please watch this space, as they say.
Please note that our finishing time is not certain; it depends how long it takes to get lunch and how weary the walkers are in the afternoon.
If you have never been on an Outdoor Lads event before:
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, but hopefully the following helpful guideline for new members will set your mind at rest. Please use the drop down sections on this page to find walk guidelines.
What to bring
Water: bring at least a litre. Once the walk starts, there are no shops
Medicines: if you have hay fever, diabetes, minor ailments etc.
Rucksack: or any other bag
Footwear: hiking boots or sturdy trainers
Layered clothing: lets you quickly adapt to changes in the weather and body temperature. Go for a base layer (vest or t-shirt) and a mid layer (a micro fleece or shirt) and in cooler weather add an outer layer (a windproof jacket or thick fleece)
Trousers: ideally not jeans which become heavy and cold in the rain, breathable fabrics are more comfortable and dry and on warm days shorts are OK
Waterproof jacket: breathable fabrics are more comfortable and dry
Hat or cap: stay warm in winter and shaded in summer
Sunglasses: for any sunny day, even in winter
Sun cream: can be useful even on cloudy and winter days
Snacks: bring biscuits, energy bars, gels, bananas, chocolate or dried fruit for example and put them somewhere easy to get hold of
Food & drink
Please bring snacks to sustain you and plenty of water. There are shops near the start of the walk but there are none once we get going. Bodiam Castle has a café and shop.
For lunch, as this is a sociable starter walk, we will have lunch at the Castle Inn at Bodiam.