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This Week's Walks - Archive

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This is an archive of walks done by the Saturday Walker's Club. You should only need to use this page if the SWC website is down.

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Saturday, 17 October 2015

Saturday Third Walk

Extra Walk 218:  Midhurst Way:  Haslemere to Midhurst via Henley – Quiet hills, country pubs and Cowdray Park (which includes a castle)

Length:  9.7 miles

Difficulty:  4 out of 10

Train:  Take the 10:00 South West Portsmouth Harbor train from London Waterloo to Haslemere, arriving at 10:48To return requires taking one of the hourly buses (No. 70 -- from Stand D at the Bus Station) from Midhurst back to Haslemere (a 24 minute journey).  The buses are every hour on the hour with the last one being 19:05.  Return trains from Haslemere are frequent with regular services at 02; 15; 32 and 39 past the hour (reducing to 02; 15 and 32 at 19:39) until 21:32Buy a day return to Haslemere

This walk is actually a longstanding special request – but, I liked the description so much that I was keen to do it myself (so had to wait until after the swimming season to post it)!  With autumn tree color just starting to show, this should also be a nice time for a walk in the Haslemere area before the dreaded mud season returns.  The walk climbs two gentle hills with nice views and passes through Cowdray Estate towards the end – in the heart of the South Downs National Park.     More information and the instructions for the walk can be found here.  The instructions actually look a little light – so if you have a map, it would be well worth bringing.

There are two options for lunch – an earlier, more classic pub, The Red Lion (01428 643 112) in Fernhurst and a later, more gourmet pub, The Duke of Cumberland Arms in Henley (01428 652 280), slightly less than halfway and slightly more than half way, respectively.  Larger groups should call ahead and provide some warning – especially for the later pub. 

Tea can be had at Cowdray Farm Shop & Cafe which is open until 5:00 PM.  Alternatively, Midhurst and/or Haslemere undoubtedly have a few watering holes to re-hydrate after the walk.


Enjoy the walk!

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

As I'm short of time on Saturday, rather than chance the bus I may do a variation, with a route back to a train station after lunch at Fernhurst (Haslemere circular, or Haslemere to Milford or Witley).

Andrew said...

This is the first time this walk's been done by SWC.

The start (to Fernhurst) is similar to the TOCW1 Haslemere Circular. The afternoon is all new.

The walk's raison d'etre is the Duke of Cumberland Arms, so it might be worth trying it for lunch.

Walker said...

n=20 (23 said one source, but my count was 20) on this walk w=cloudy This was a most pleasant outing, a perfect autumn walk. Lots of sweet chestnuts which were showing good golden colours (and lots of nuts on the ground to collect) but the beechwoods were still all green. In two to three weeks time it would have been a riot of colour, but then in two to three weeks time there would have been lots of mud, whereas we had none.

The route is simple, with long stretches on car-wide bridleways, but nevertheless the brief directions could do with more detail in places. There was a great deal of map study and comparing of GPXs. To be fair, we also kept complicating things by introducing variations of our own.

The morning, as the walk notes admit, is very similar to the book one Haslemere Circular. We lunched at the Red Lion, the usual Haslemere pub, and they were friendly and served nice food. Their kitchen seemed to be run on biblical principles, however - that is to say the last to order got their meals first, and vice versa. We were directed to sit in the garden, possibly for the last time this year as it was a bit chilly. It then later transpired a table had been reserved for us inside.

In the afternoon into new territory and it was delightful - wooded but with lovely views. The later pub, the Duke of Cumberland, looked mouthwatering but had been pre-booked by another walking group, which is why we did not lunch there. Lingering looks were cast up to the Temple of the Winds and some wondered whether we might combine the morning of the OTHER Haslemere to Midhurst walk with the afternoon of this one.

This one definitely has a much better approach to Midhurst than its sister, a lovely gentle descent with fine views. The slightly posh tea room at Cowdray Park is also nice, though some sampled a range of English wines in the adjacent shop as an alternative.

The ruins of Cowdrey Hall are a great end to the walk and Midhurst is a very pretty town. A pity the buses don't run beyond 7pm or we might have had dinner there.

Walker said...

n=20 (23 said one source, but my count was 20) on this walk w=cloudy This was a most pleasant outing, a perfect autumn walk. Lots of sweet chestnuts trees which were showing good golden colours (and lots of nuts on the ground to collect) but the beechwoods were still all green. In two to three weeks time it would have been a riot of colour, but then in two to three weeks time there would have been lots of mud, whereas we had very little.

The route is simple, with long stretches on car-wide bridleways, but nevertheless the brief directions could do with more detail in places. There was a great deal of map study and comparing of GPXs. To be fair, we also kept complicating things by introducing variations of our own.

The morning, as the walk notes admit, is very similar to the book one Haslemere Circular. We lunched at the Red Lion, the usual Haslemere pub, and they were friendly and served nice food. Their kitchen seemed to be run on biblical principles, however - that is to say the last to order got their meals first, and vice versa. We were directed to sit in the garden, possibly for the last time this year as it was a bit chilly. It then later transpired a table had been reserved for us inside.

In the afternoon into new territory and it was delightful - wooded but with lovely views. The later pub, the Duke of Cumberland, looked mouthwatering but had been pre-booked by another walking group, which is why we did not lunch there. Lingering looks were cast up to the Temple of the Winds and some wondered whether we might combine the morning of the OTHER Haslemere to Midhurst walk with the afternoon of this one.

This one definitely has a much better approach to Midhurst, a lovely gentle descent with fine views. The slightly posh tea room at Cowdray Park is also nice, though some sampled a range of English wines in the adjacent shop as an alternative.

The ruins of Cowdray Hall are a great end to the walk and Midhurst is a very pretty town. A pity the buses don't run beyond 7pm or we might have had dinner there.

Arthur Dent said...

Another fascinating aspect of the Cowdray Estate was all windows and doors were painted a deep yellow colour (gold/orange tint)
The Cowdray Farm Shop & Café staff were also adorned with similarly coloured aprons (and served scrummy cakes).
It might also be worth noting that this Café was open to 6:00 pm giving slower walkers an opportunity to sup a cuppa and relax before catching the bus back to Haslemere.
Super walk!