Apr
2018

leading a walk

Leading a walk, or sharing a led walk!

Leading a walk alone is somewhat easier than trying to map out a new walk, with two other leaders. Although I was grateful to be with two map reading experts, I still found the experience somewhat difficult. To make matters more complicated. we started the walks at Hastings, towards Rye; previously we started at Hastings and finished at Rye. I found out after this walking experience that starting at Rye was the best option.

 My experience of leading a walk at present is limited. As long as the seas to the right of me I’m pretty ok.

I’m not a great map reader, so more inclined to lead the walk from memory. I would only refer to a map as a backup. The national country park is fairly well signposted, so even if you get lost it’s hardly the amazon forest, saying that. it’s not Brockwell Park either. 

PREPARATION for Leading a Walk

It is essential to prepare for a new walk, in unchartered territory so to speak.! Essential information needed is to find out what is out there! ;  find out what works.  Where the toilets are located, are there any in the station at the beginning of the walk? this is essential information! 

 

You can take a sandwich and a drink, but it is good to know if there are cafes and bars at all on any of the routes. This particular walk once had a bar, that had changed in the time, between us doing the walk the 1st and 2nd time. Things do change.

 

Leading my next walk will be a perfect day! 

 Martin will be a joint leader on this walk. he & I had previously walked this route, led by another South Bank Group Leader. It went from Rye to Hastings.  On this occasion, we were sort of doing this a bit based on that memory, and our third leader was doing it all by the map.

view of Hastings town from top of stairs

A view from the hill of Hastings.

 

Hastings from Rye, this route felt new but backward!

 

We had some knowledge of the area and the 1st part, to Hastings Country Park, was easy. We headed straight through the old town and turned in at a side entrance by The Dolphin Inn. There is a steep staircase leading up to East Cliffs Hastings

Martin is well acquainted with Hastings, he occasionally displays his artwork at a Gallery near the seafront at St Leonard’s. On this occasion, we met in Hastings , Martin told us about a warning about erosion in Hastings Country Park which meant we would be diverted.

 

a bridge crossing over near

I recognise this bit, it leads to a naturist Beach * (nudity can be found here, please close your eyes if squeamish)

A slight spanner in the works

We were keen to avoid steep climbs of which there are many. The diversion worked quite well as we only had 3 difficult steep climbs in which you have to stop at the end to catch your breath. I had walked some hellish steep steps in Hastings Country Park, in the past. Although fairly well signposted it is vast; so easy to get waylaid and then exhausted. 

Texan Jane, the other leader, held firmly to the map, correcting us when we were going wrong. Both Jane & Martin have been leading walks for many years, but still, it was ‘my walk’, but we all contributed to making it happen. The rain poured down from 2 pm- 6 pm, we had no choice but to carry on.

 

 

Gray and blue skylight picture of sea

looking toward Petts level

 

a picture of sign post in three directions

I’m sure it’s this way, yes definitely, sure thing…… 

 

Buying the right train tickets

 learning how to get around the somewhat overcomplicated system can be a bit of a pain. My word of advice is to avoid advanced tickets if possible and try to get the off-peak return instead. Split ticketing is another way of possibly getting a cheaper ride and using the oyster up to Zone 9 than buying a train ticket for the rest of the journey out of London.

I occasionally attend a Blog Meet UP Group in Euston and would recommend this blog about travel. blog/travel-money-matters/5-tips-for-cheap-train-travel
Wearing the right clothes

Having the right walking gear is essential, the subject deserves its own blog, although that might be a bit boring. Google, Goretex! and you will be on the right track. It is not fun being soaking wet, knowing we have another 8 miles to walk in the rain, believe me! I’m not going to lie this walk was fierce.

 I love walking and seeing the countryside and scenery. but 15 miles in the pouring rain, is a real test of endurance.

 

Texas Jane had a state-of-the-art waterproof jacket, the rain didn’t touch the surface. (Goretex man) I also had a Goretex jacket (but not as good) I paid £170 for and got soaked.! Walking clothes are expensive and I’m not sure if you get what you pay for always holds true, but pay what you can afford obviously and do your research.

 Camber Castle Looking through the window of Camber Castle
picture of ruined but still standing Camber Castle

 

When I first joined the Ramblers in 2011 I received a free copy of The Best Walks in Britain

 

I took it with me on my first visit to Seaford; from there I took a bus to East Dean then walked back to Seaford via The Seven Sisters. this was amazing and stunning rolled into one. What a fantastic walk. After I completed my Accredited walk leaders course, I started taking a group out doing variations on that route.  I have extended my walk this year , so that it starts in Seaford and goes over the Seven Sisters and all the way to Eastbourne.

Leading walks is fun if you know the route and have a good group who like a good natter and to enjoy themselves.

to seem more fun walks see I can’t explain my feet best walks of 2014-2015

 

Until next time keep on keeping on

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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