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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, 12 September 2015

Saturday Second Walk - Heather-clad heaths

Book 2, walk 12 - Guildford to Farnham
Length: 22.2km (13.8 miles)
Toughness: 2 out of 10 - fairly flat

9.45 train from Waterloo (9.52 Clapham Junction) to Guildford, arrive 10.23

Best ticket: an interesting question. Some say that a day return to Farnham (£11.55 with a Network Card) works through the barriers at Guildford, but if it doesn't, South West Trains can be fussy about imposing penalty fares. You can cover your back by buying a single from Woking to Guildford for the outward journey (£2.40 with a Network Card, so £13.95 in total), but you will need to do this from a ticket office (in which case you might as well ask them if the Farnham return would work at Guildford). 

Otherwise a day return to Guildford (£10.55 with a Network Card) plus a single from Farnham to Woking (where the lines join = £5.20) comes to £15.75.

For walk directions click here.

Before anyone starts posting comments about it, yes, for a second week I am putting up a book walk not an SWC walk (as would be more normal for this slot). My reason is because the (longish) afternoon of this walk crosses some wonderful heathlands which should still hopefully have plenty of heather in flower. (If one times this right, they can look really quite spectacular). We also need to get some longer walks in before the clocks go back (!!) and I think it is a while since this walk had a Saturday outing.

The morning is a simple walk along the North Downs Way - mainly lowland tracks at this point. Lunch is in the Good Intent in Puttenham, which normally manages to accommodate us, but if not there is (or was last time I looked) a Harvester pub just before it.

Tea is most conveniently had in a pub by Farnham station, though if you get there during shopping hours the historic town centre has some other nice tea places. Really this walk could do with a tea stop mid afternoon, however, which it doesn't have. You could bring a thermos…

Trains back from Farnham are at 28 and 58 past till late.


Sean said...

My take on the ticket is that a return to Farnham is all you need. If you ask the SWT website for a return to Farnham via Guildford, it shows you the trains and tells you the Railcard fare is the same £11.55. You're allowed to break your journey with an off-peak ticket so you can exit at Guildford (or any station on this route).

The Guildford ticket barriers may not be correctly programmed to allow this, of course. But if you say "your website says that via Guildford is a permitted route to Farnham" I don't see how the staff could not let you through.

Sean said...

PS. One caveat to my previous comment. I've checked that the "via Guildford" route applies to tickets from London and Clapham Junction, but the website doesn't let you check it from, say, Boundary Zone 6. It's just possible that different conditions apply to these tickets.

Anonymous said...

I did this walk recently and the return to Farnborough ticket was fine, I got through the barrier no problem. There were some road works on the final section to the station, so a detour was necessary, but I suspect this is all finished now. Hilary

Anonymous said...

Sorry I meant Farnham return ticket! Hilary

Arthur Dent said...

Super walk (I'll leave full details and metrics to others)
Stunning woodland, ponds, heathland and fascinating fungi.
Blackberries and wild plums available for foragers.
As an extra bonus my my Farnham return ticket (bought with freedom pass and senior rail card) opened the barrier at Guildford Station

Walker said...

The metrics are n=24 on this walk, a nice happy, chatty group. W=sunshine-and-cloud (we will not mention the brief shower in the afternoon).

The heather on the heaths was, alas, about three quarters over but there were still some reasonable flashes of colour. Some in my party (including me) were wilting a bit before the end, but the earlier heathland sections were very nice, and terrain-wise this is a very easy walk, with no hill climbing to speak of.

Yet again I reflected on what a great little pub the Good Intent is: simple pub grub but tasty. Efficient service. I had forgotten it had a garden (rather a pity we sat inside on a sunny day). We probably quadrupled their lunchtime turnover.

The Mulberry pub by the station has turned into a party/sports venue - loud youth and even louder football commentary. A good business choice for them, but not quite the walk one wants to end a walk. But I understand one Farnhamite, born and bred, in our party led many to "The Maltings", a tea place reached by going down the road into Farnham and taking the first left.