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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, 25 February 2017

Saturday Walk: Haslemere - Farnham (New Routing, With Options, Fully Written Up) !Now Bigger, Brighter, Better!

A wooded ridge out of town, Invall Wood, Hurt Hill, The Temple of the Four Winds, Gibbet Hill, the Devil’s Punchbowl, Highcomb Bottom heathland valley, Thursley and Hankley Commons, lowland peat bog, The Atlantic Wall, Thursley and Tilford villages, the Wey Valley, Waverley Castle, the North Downs Way into Farnham  [Walk-Check]

Length: 24.0 km (15.0 mi) [longer and shorter walk possible]
Ascent/Descent: 407/470m; Net Walking Time: 5 ½ hours
Toughness:  7/10                       
Consult the pdf for details of the walk options.

Take the 09.00 Portsmouth Harbour train from Waterloo (09.25 Woking, 09.34 G’ford), arrives Haslemere 09.48
From Clapham J take the 08.52 stopping service (arrives H’mere 09.45) or the 08.57 fast train to Woking and change there onto the Waterloo train.
Return trains from Farnham are on xx.28 and xx.58, journey time just short of an hour.
Buy a Haslemere return ticket, you then may have to buy a separate Farnham – Woking single.

The route leads out of Haslemere in a northerly direction along the quietest and shortest possible route to ascend through Coombswell Copse and along the wooded Invall ridge up to Hurt Hill and the Temple of the Four Winds, the ruin of an early 20th century belvedere, and one of several viewpoints with striking vistas. Turn westerly up to Gibbet Hill (the second highest top in Surrey), with more far reaching views, out to the North Downs and London, as well as back to Black Down and to the South Downs.
Skirt around the Devil’s Punchbowl along the course of the old A3 and descend into the remote Highcomb Bottom, a stunning sandy heathland valley to re-join the Greensand Way to Thursley.
Its common (a NNR) is one of the largest heathlands as well as one of the last lowland peat bogs in southern Britain and an optional extension gives you prolonged exposure to it. Next up is Hankley Common, another large heathland, and mostly MOD terrain, for an exploration of a D-Day training site with a replica section of The Atlantic Wall and assorted other defensive structures. On to the picturesque village of Tilford with its pub and cricket pitch on the green, followed by quiet woodland paths and lanes along the River Wey’s North Branch into Farnham, with an optional extension past Waverley Abbey House to Waverley Abbey’s ruins along the way.

Lunch: The Three Horseshoes  in Thursley (10.5 km/6.5 mi, food to 14.30), or The Duke of Cambridge in Tilford Common (15.9 km/9.9 mi, food to 15.30) or The Barley Mow in Tilford (17.5 km/10.9 mi, food to 14.30). Tea: Tilford Village Shop, The Mulberry, The Lamb  or The Waverley Arms.

For summary, map, height profile, walk directions and gpx/kml files click here.T=swc.144

6 comments:

DAC said...

Intend going.

Sandy said...

Me 2

Walker said...

N=19 on this walk, impressive given its 9am train departure, though I hear one went to the wrong platform and ended up on the next train. This is a very "wild" walk for the South East - a big range of hills to cross to start and then acres of heath: not that many green fields. One might almost have been in Scotland, especially as the weather was w=windy-with-rain-late-afternoon. It would be a wonderful walk in August when the heather is in flower.

There were lots of walk options, starting just 250 metres from the station and coming thick and fast thereafter. I think we all stuck to the main walk but I confess I was inattentive to the directions for long periods. Some certainly succumbed to extensions and diversions and even extensions to extensions. Interesting to see the "Atlantic Wall" where D-Day was practised and I hear that the ruins of Waverley Abbey were worth the 1.5km sidetrack. This is another reason it would be nice to do this walk in summer, when there would be more daylight to take it all in.

Lunch was delayed to the Duke of Cambridge, 10 miles into the walk. It was full to the brim but we squeezed in here and there and eventually parlayed a sizeable table. Nine of us went to the William Cobbet pub in Farnham and had a long and interesting discussion about this and that. I also hobbled on my blisters to Cafe Nero in the High Street for tea.

Wine was drunk on the train home.

JuneT said...

Being a bit hungover and so ever so slightly anti-social I decided to attempt the afternoon alone with just a GPX track for company, and found the walk very easy to navigate, heavily wooded, tranquil and a balm to the soul in doubled times. Thank you for posting

Karen said...


Would highly recommend walkers follow the extension (to the extension) along the boardwalk out across the marshland on Thursley Common. A very lovely environment to wander through. Might be a nice re-post for the longer summer days when the heather is in bloom and the dragonflies in flight.

Lovely day out.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful walk. Hope to do it again soon.