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Sussex Hospices Trail Part 10: Normans Bay to West St Leonards

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Sussex Hospices Trail Part 10: Normans Bay to West St Leonards
Author: scarter, Published: 12 Jul 2016 Walk rating : Rating:star1 Sussex Hospices Trail Part 10: Normans Bay to West St Leonardsstar1 Sussex Hospices Trail Part 10: Normans Bay to West St Leonardsstar1 Sussex Hospices Trail Part 10: Normans Bay to West St Leonardsstar1 Sussex Hospices Trail Part 10: Normans Bay to West St Leonardsstar1 Sussex Hospices Trail Part 10: Normans Bay to West St Leonards
East Sussex, Bexhill
Walk Type: Long distance path
Sussex Hospices Trail Part 10: Normans Bay to West St Leonards
Length: 8 miles,  Difficulty: boot Sussex Hospices Trail Part 10: Normans Bay to West St Leonards boot Sussex Hospices Trail Part 10: Normans Bay to West St Leonards
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IMPORTANT NOTE: This is a linear walk that uses a train service for the initial outward journey which runs MON-SAT ONLY. If you are walking on a Sunday, you will need to make other travel arrangements.

An 8 mile linear walk from Normans Bay rail station to West St Leonards rail station in East Sussex, forming the 10th stretch of the Sussex Hospices Trail. You will walk through quiet countryside, around a golf course and along the bustling promenade of Bexhill taking in some fantastic views of the coast.

The hospices of Sussex are dedicated to providing specialist end-of-life care. Friends of Sussex Hospices has worked with partners and supporters to create the Sussex Hospices Trail, a 200 mile long-distance path to support and raise awareness of the twelve hospice care providers that serve the adults and children of Sussex.

The route is largely flat aside from a short climb up ‘Galley Hill’ and although the majority of it is on tarmac the first section is through fields which can get muddy. These fields may be holding livestock so take particular care with dogs. There are also some very tight v-shaped stiles to squeeze over so those with large dogs may struggle. Several opportunities for facilities and refreshments exist on the route. Allow 4 hours.

The walk starts at Normans Bay rail station and ends at West St. Leonards rail station. Normans Bay rail station is a secluded station on the line between Hastings and Eastbourne with no parking nearby and therefore we suggest taking the train from West St. Leonards (where parking is available, post code TN38 0NL) to Normans Bay and then walking the route as the return leg. The small car park at West St. Leonards offers a day rate of £3.10 (correct July 2016). West St. Leonards and Normans Bay stations are on separate train lines and therefore you will need to travel eastwards one stop to St. Leonards Warrior Square and then change lines to travel west to Normans Bay. It is always worth checking train times before you leave as journey duration can vary from 20mins up to 50mins depending on connections. Remember, trains do NOT run on SUNDAYS so you will need to use cars or taxis.

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Walk Sections

Start to Stile Alongside Field
Start to Stile Alongside Field

Start point: 50.826 lat, 0.3898 long
End point: 50.8313 lat, 0.3965 long

Exit the platform and turn left, heading away from the sea. At the junction turn right onto Sluice Lane. There is no footway along this road so be aware of traffic. Follow the road until you reach the Star Inn pub on your left. Here the road narrows to pass over a brick-walled bridge on a sharp S-bend with very limited visibility. You can either continue on the road or alternatively, for a safer option, walk through the pub garden, over the wooden footbridge and then re-join the road.

After a couple of hundred yards you will come to a right-hand bend. To your left you will see a metal gate and a wooden stile close to it that leads into a field.

Stile Alongside Field to Golf Course
Stile Alongside Field to Golf Course

Start point: 50.8313 lat, 0.3965 long
End point: 50.8359 lat, 0.4068 long

NOTE: These fields may have livestock within them so please take particular care with dogs, keeping them on a lead unless you feel threatened.

Cross this stile into the first field and walk up the hill, keeping the wooden fence on you right. Walk to the top of the hill and down the other side where you will approach the end of the first field. Diagonally left, just inside the field corner, there is another wooden stile. Cross this to enter a second field. Continue straight ahead and then over a footbridge into the third field. Walking straight ahead you will shortly come to a ditch and another footbridge into the fourth field. Once over this footbridge, turn immediately right so the ditch is on your right-hand side.

You will see a metal gate ahead of you leading into the fifth field. Continue through the gate following the edge of the field, with the ditch on your right.
You will eventually walk under some power lines in the corner of the sixth field. Ignore both of the main metal livestock gates and instead cross the footbridge and stile ahead of you through into a wooded area.

Golf Course to Clavering Walk
Golf Course to Clavering Walk

Start point: 50.8359 lat, 0.4068 long
End point: 50.8367 lat, 0.4208 long

After a short distance you will reach a golf course. Please be conscious of players at all times and show respect by allowing them to play their shots before you cross. Keep your eyes peeled for any stray flying golf balls, especially when crossing fairways.

Turn left and walk around the edge of the course (keeping off the green and fairway). Follow the course keeping close to the bushes on your left and you will reach the 6th tee and a small wooden hut with a white stone path. Join the path, taking care not to walk in front of any players teeing off. As soon as you cross over a small waterway and onto the next hole you will see a green, metal, public footpath sign. Follow the direction of this sign by turning left off the stone path and walking around the top of the green directly in front of you, heading for a vehicle access track.

Another footpath sign will point you directly across the next fairway (4th hole) and towards a wooden footpath sign within gorse bushes. Continue through the bushes until you enter onto another fairway. Cross this towards the wooden stile and houses that you can see directly ahead.

Clavering Walk to Cooden Beach Hotel
Clavering Walk to Cooden Beach Hotel

Start point: 50.8367 lat, 0.4208 long
End point: 50.8328 lat, 0.4276 long

Once over the stile, join the tarmac path between the houses where you will enter a residential street named Clavering Walk. Follow this all the way until you reach a T-junction with Cooden Sea Road. Take a right here and walk south towards the sea and Cooden Beach train station. You should pass Cooden Beach Golf Club and Cooden Beach train station on your right. There are public toilets situated opposite the train station if you require.

Walking under the railway bridge you will find Cooden Beach Hotel, also on your right. This is a good opportunity to stop for a drink or a bite to eat if you wish.

Cooden Beach Hotel to South Cliff
Cooden Beach Hotel to South Cliff

Start point: 50.8328 lat, 0.4276 long
End point: 50.8353 lat, 0.4466 long

Just after the entrance to the Cooden Beach Hotel (and on the left-hand bend) you need to cross over the road to the opposite pavement. With the hotel behind you, walk east along Cooden Drive for a few hundred yards until you see Beaulieu Road on your right.

Head down Beaulieu Road following it all the way to the end. (Don't be alarmed that at the junction it has changed name to Hartfield Road; this merges with Beaulieu Road half way along). At the end of the road bear right, back onto Cooden Drive again. After approximately a hundred yards cross over to walk down South Cliff. Just a short distance along South Cliff, turn right again down a gated concrete slip way.

South Cliff to De La Warr Pavilion
South Cliff to De La Warr Pavilion

Start point: 50.8353 lat, 0.4466 long
End point: 50.8368 lat, 0.4703 long

At the bottom of the slope you will enter the promenade, bear left here keeping the sea on your right-hand side. Walk along the concrete promenade until you reach Groyne Number 44, which is displayed on a large noticeboard and is situated just prior to a row of concrete beach huts and opposite another concrete slip way. Walk up this slope (away from the sea) and when you reach the road at the top, turn right. After a couple of hundred yards you will re-join the promenade at a round brick building containing public toilets, continue on with the sea on your right.

Along the promenade you will pass a number of features including the Sovereign Light Cafe, amusements and stretch of beach all made famous by the band Keane in their video and song Sovereign Light Cafe!

You will also pass the iconic De La Warr Pavilion which is definitely worth a detour to have a look around if you have never visited. On a hot day this is also the perfect chance to stop for an ice-cream. There are a number of outlets to choose from but one of the best is Di Paolo’s Cafe which is situated just off the seafront to the left of the De La Warr Pavilion, on the roundabout behind the grassed area.

De La Warr Pavilion to Galley Hill
De La Warr Pavilion to Galley Hill

Start point: 50.8368 lat, 0.4703 long
End point: 50.8418 lat, 0.4978 long

Continue all the way along the promenade for approximately 1.5 miles following the path as it snakes around the amusements on your left and Bexhill Sailing Club on your right. Eventually you will reach the end of the promenade at a small white building used by Bexhill Angling Club with several blocks of tall flats situated on your left. Here you will need to join the road and walk up Galley Hill.

When you get towards the top of the hill beware of the cliff edge on your right which is a sheer drop and very unstable. Continue walking until the road ends and you reach a white coastguard building and play area. At this point it is well worth stopping a moment to enjoy the views. On a clear day you might be lucky enough to see the coast of France.

Galley Hill to Sea Road
Galley Hill to Sea Road

Start point: 50.8418 lat, 0.4978 long
End point: 50.8503 lat, 0.539 long

Continue on the path down the other side which becomes a shared footway and cycleway, passing a skate park on the left. At the bottom of the hill adjacent to the Cafe on the Beach the path splits. The existing path turns a sharp left under a brick railway bridge however you need to continue straight ahead up over the hill; keeping the railway line on your left and the sea on your right.

Continue following the clifftop path as it passes beach huts and large rock sea defences. When you reach the blue footway bridge over the railway line, at low tide you might just be able to make out the wreck of The Amsterdam ship in the sand on your right.

Eventually the path joins a concrete track with a long line of beach huts on your right. You will then reach a T-junction with green fencing ahead of you. Bear right and the path will shortly join up with a tarmac road. Keep walking past the Hastings Sea Cadets Corps building on your left and you will see some multi-coloured beach huts. Here the road turns left heading away directly from the sea, but you need to continue straight ahead joining the shared footway and cycleway. Once you have passed all the beach huts and the grassed area on your left you will meet the main promenade.

Sea Road to End
Sea Road to End

Start point: 50.8503 lat, 0.539 long
End point: 50.853 lat, 0.5401 long

At the main promenade, turn left and walk up Sea Road so that the beach is behind you and the houses are on your right. At the T-junction at the end of the road, cross straight over using the zebra crossing and walk up the hill, passing the Bo-Peep pub on your right. Just a minute later you will reach the top of Keats Close where you must bear right onto West Hill Road, walking uphill. After less than 100 yards turn left into St. Vincent’s Road. The road passes over a railway bridge and you will see West St. Leonard’s Railway Station ahead of you where this part of the Sussex Hospices Trail ends.

We hope you have enjoyed walking this stretch of the Sussex Hospices Trail. Its creation was possible thanks to the kind donation from Sean Carter in loving memory of David Carter who always enjoyed walking. David received amazing care and treatment at St Michaels Hospice during his fight against leukeamia. Click the 'In Memory of David Carter' banner (at the bottom of the webpage or on the walk overview page within the App) to read more about him.

Hospices deliver their services for free but such care is not cheap and they largely depend on funds raised from their local communities. We would be very grateful if you would consider making a donation either to your local hospice, wherever that may be, or to the Friends of Sussex Hospices in order to support these invaluable services.

To donate £5 to the Friends of Sussex Hospices text SHTR16 £5 to 70070. Tap the Listen button below (App only) to hear Kathy Gore, Chair of Friends of Sussex Hospices, explaining why donations are so important.

Friends of Sussex Hospices, Registered Charity No. 1089306
http://www.friendsofsussexhospices.org.uk/how-you-can-help/donations

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2016 by the author scarter and may not be reproduced without permission.


The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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