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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.

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Saturday, 5 December 2020

Saturday walk - Liphook to Haslemere - Shulbrede Priory & its woods

This walk was proposed by Branchline, who provided all the details below, so thanks, Branchline.

Length: 15km (9.3 miles)

Take the 9.30 from Waterloo station (CLJ 9.39; Wok 9.59). Arrives Liphook 10.40 

Buy a day return to Liphook 

** Covid rules will be respected on this walk, ie splitting into groups of six and sharing contact details within them **

For walk directions click here, for a GPX file click here, for a map of the route click here

This walk has plenty of relatively mild uphill and downhill sections. It is almost entirely through full-grown mixed woods - mainly oak, beech and chestnut trees. After passing Shulbrede Priory in the middle of the woods, you come to the pub and church by the village green in Fernhurst. In the afternoon, you cross streams in the forest before passing through Valewood Park and up into Haslemere, a town surrounded by beautiful countryside. 

The bridleways immediately after lunch are usually muddy at all times of the year, and very muddy in winter, so decent walking boots are recommended. T=1.6 (I am not sure it is only after lunch that this walk is muddy: don't wear your party shoes - Ed)

You could shorten the walk by using the hourly Monday to Saturday bus service from Fernhurst, the halfway mark lunchtime village, back to Haslemere; the bus goes from the top of Hogs Hill Road in Fernhurst, along the A286. 

Shulbrede Priory is the remains of a priory for Augustinian regular canons dating from about 1200 The prior's chamber, above a vaulted undercroft, contains sixteenth-century wall paintings. The priory is open to visitors by appointment (tel 01428 653 049) (admission is about £2.50). 

The lunchtime pub is the Red Lion (tel 01428 643 112), by the village green at Fernhurst, offering quality home cooking. It serves food until 2.30pm daily. Space inside is limited but there is a good sized back garden with lots of tables under parasols. Booking recommended and please follow the COVID rules, which are 1) No eating inside with anyone not in your household or support bubble 2) No consumption of alcohol without a meal, though takeaways are permitted (or are they...?)

Just down the road from the pub is Fernhurst recreation ground and cricket club, a perfect spot for picnickers. 

Tea: Darnleys was closed when I last looked (stripped out, so it was either being refurbished or had closed for good), but Hemingways (tel 01428 656904) across the road has been the reliable walker's friend throughout the Covid crisis, so do support this lovely friendly business. It serves teas and meals until 5pm on Saturday. Its cakes are delicious, and it does do takeaways. Same rules apply about eating inside as for pubs see above.

The pubs in Haslemere - eg the Swan Inn (a Wetherspoons), or the White Horse Hotel  - are also governed by the rules above. Whether a tea with a pudding counts as a "substantial meal", I do not know, but it arguably takes longer to eat than a scotch egg...

The station is a ten minute walk from the town centre.

Return trains from Haslemere 15 and 32 past the hour. There are engineering works today on lines out of Waterloo, and journey times are 20 minutes or so longer than usual - ie 1hr 26 mins for the 15 past and 1hr 18 mins for the 32 past. There is also a 40 past requiring a change at Woking, which takes 1hr 45 minutes: only really recommended if you want somewhere warm and dry to read the paper.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

N=15 on this walk, splitting into three or four smaller groups. On the train down, as the sun shone, I was silently speculating how far south we would get before it clouded over. The answer was near Haslemere. Hugely disappointingly, it then went on to rain (which had not been mentioned in the previous night’s forecast) and we had w=frequent-showers all day: ie we definitely drew the short straw weather-wise, judging by the other walk reports.

That apart, this made a great winter walk. I remember it from the early days of the SWC as a winter mudfest. But it just goes to show memories are unreliable, because lots of the paths were firm and gravelly. I might have found the endless woods a bit depressing at other times of the year, but with the branches all bare it was rather attractive.

Five (at two widely separated tables) ate in the pub, which seemed grateful for the business. Three of us in the afternoon went up onto Black Down, ie doing the Haslemere Circular afternoon route. A lovely invigorating climb. From the top there was a good view of blue skies to the north...

By the time we got to Haslemere, the others were long gone, but two of us had tea and cakes in Hemingway’s before our quixotic engineering works journey home via Chertsey and Egham. Arriving back at Waterloo I found the station busier than I have seen it since mid March. Whether this is a good or bad thing, I do not know.

Walker said...

Four more, I hear from one of the other subgroups, so n=19

Anonymous said...

Wetherspoons sold the Swan in 2015. Very well refurbished by the present owners and can be thoroughly recommended in summer or winter.