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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, 30 January 2016

Saturday Second Walk - Hampshire-Surrey borderlands

SWC Walk 184 - Bentley to Farnham
Length: 18.7km, (11.2 miles)
Toughness: 3 out of 10

9.53 train from Waterloo (10.00 Clapham Junction) to Bentley, arriving 11.02

(If you miss this, get the 10.00 to Woking, changing there for the above train, arriving 10.24, departing 10.30)

Buy a day return to Bentley (Hants).

For walk directions click here and click here for details of lunch and tea places.

I have not done this walk and I am not even sure it has had a Saturday outing before. I was attracted to it by mention of heaths and sandy soils, hoping (possibly vainly) that these might be a bit less muddy.

The walk seems to offer a mix of woods, heaths and more normal terrain. The 11.7 mile version of it involves doing the short cut to Tilford and the standard ending: I would not recommend the longer options at this time of year.

It is a fair old walk (8 miles by my calculation) to the recommended lunch pub, the Barley Mow in Tilford (which serves food till 2.30pm, so at a reasonably brisk pace you should be able to make it) otherwise, earlier lunch possibilities (which may or may not be available or open) are mentioned in the walk details.

(If anyone fancies getting the train an hour earlier to be more sure of getting to the lunch pub, they could indicate in a comment. I agonised about this, but figured an 8.53 train would put people off).

The afternoon is short but hilly. Back in Farnham in addition to the listed tea places, walkers on the recently Farnham Circular recommended the Bush Hotel, which is a 3-400 metres down the main road into Farnham, on the left just past Sainsbury's (which is on the right).

Trains back are at 28 and 58 past


Anonymous said...

I've done this one previously. There was some road noise but otherwise I thought it a nice walk and there are sandy paths when you're up on the heathland.

Anonymous said...

But most of the heath and sandy soils are actually just on the longer option of this walk. With the short cut you only get a bit at Frensham Common.

Walker said...

n=20 on this walk, one taking the train an hour earlier, who the rest of us briefly saw at lunch. This made a delightful walk in the w=lovely-sunshine, with a long stretch on a tarmac path through a forest to start, dry sandy heaths after lunch, and only a few rather gloopy bits in between. Gradients were easy, the landscape varied, and in general the scenery really seemed to suit this time of year.

The walk author materialised and negotiated lunch for ten of us at the rather posh Frensham Pond Hotel, which put up with our walking clothes and boots left at the door with good grace. They were alas a little slow to take orders and bring our starters (the fact that the walker who took the earlier train still did not have her meal when we arrived perhaps should have been a warning to us), so that we spent an agonising hour (I speak personally) staring out the window at the sunshine, feeling the best of the day was passing us by, and envying the sandwich eaters, who after a quick repast by the lake and a brief drink in the hotel bar, carried on. But the food when it came was delicious, the starter portions large, and the main courses very tasty: very reasonable for a fixed price of £15.50.

Setting off finally at 2.45, we skirted the very scenic Frensham Ponds and passed over the magnificent heathland of Frensham Common, stopping for a brief refreshment at the Barley Mow in Tilford. The walk route into Farnham then went through more sandy woodland, with some considerable hills, about half of which we backmarkers negotiated in the dark.

My conclusion is: great walk, but in winter get a 9am train to get to Tilford for lunch: or do it in August, when the pond would have nice swimming (there is a beach) and the heaths would be covered in heather.