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This Week's Walks - Archive

Please see the Saturday Walker's Club This Week's Walks page.

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.

Blog Archive

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Saturday Second Walk - Surrey fields, heaths, commons and canals

SWC Walk 214 - Horsley to West Byfleet
Length: 9.6 miles (15.4km)
Toughness: 3 out of 10

9.33 train from Waterloo (9.37 Vauxhall, 9.42 Clapham Junction, 9.49 Wimbledon) to Horsley, arriving 10.18.

Best ticket: the walk author suggests a day return to Guildford, which is £10.65 with a Network Card. That gets you round the problem that the outward and return lines for this walk are different. Otherwise, you would have to get a day return to Horsley (£8.70 with a Network Card) and then a single from West Byfleet to Surbiton, where the routes join.

For walk directions click here.

I have long had my eye on this walk but have never tried it, so I know as much as I am told in the introduction to the walk directions. Putting me off posting it in the past has been that a footbridge over a river mid walk is closed for repair. It may still be so, since the council seems to lack the funds to repair it. But a diversion of just 15 minutes is supposed to be in place to avoid it.

The specified lunch pub is late in the walk - 12.7 km (7.9 miles), but an earlier option is mentioned. I note that the route goes through the Royal Horticultural Society's Wisley Gardens and its website says this has as cafe which is accessible without paying an entry fee, but I have no idea if this is on the walk route or not.

Trains back: West Byfleet has four trains an hour to Waterloo - the 27 and 57 past are a bit faster at 37 minutes, with the 06 and 36 past taking 46 minutes


Mike said...

I believe that this footbridge is still missing - as a Surrey Council Tax payer, I find this very irritating! I can explain the diversion options on Saturday. Last time we did this walk with the diversion we still got to lunch in just over 3 hours.

Walker said...

N=15 on this walk on a w=misty day. This is a pleasant and varied outing which should get an airing more often, with woods, heaths and a section along a canal. Road noise is not as evident as the map suggests it will be.

As for the famous missing footbridge, you can actually bypass this by taking a golf club footbridge 40 metres downstream but this would clearly be a trespass and so obviously none of us did that. Instead the walk author researched a not much longer detour which I believe he is going to write up and include in the walk directions.

For lunch we squeezed into the busy Anchor at Pyford Lock, a lovely canalside pub whose only deficiency is that it is too near the end of the walk: next time I might be tempted to explore the earlier pub option. As it is we were at tea by 3pm and most then got the train home. Not wanting to finish so early, three of us decided to preview next Saturday's walk by following the canal onwards from West Byfleet. We enjoyed an atmospheric dusk, before doubling back to Byfleet and New Haw for a train home. It was still only 4.30.

Mike A said...

Yes, an atmospheric walk on a dank and misty December day. I took the opportunity to visit the RHS gardens at Wisley which has a nice Cafe for light lunches, loos etc. There were also eight Seasonal German style Christmas Market Stalls on the day.
The much mentioned footbridge will be closed until at least August 2017, but Ockham Mill just before the closure is well worth a butchers.
The diversion via Walsham Lock is relatively straight forward and I'm happy to write this up (and the extension to visit the RHS Gardens) if t'other Mike wishes

Mike P said...

Mike A

Feel free!