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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

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Sunday Walk 1 – The Hog's Back and Loseley Park

Book 2 Walk 12a (variation) – Guildford Circular, with alternative start
Length: 12½ or 14 km (7.8 or 8.7 miles). Toughness: 3/10

10:30 Portsmouth Harbour train from Waterloo (Clapham Jct 10:39), arriving Guildford at 11:10.

There are fast return trains from Guildford at 05 & 35 minutes past the hour.

The book version of this short circular walk will be (over-)familiar to most SWC stalwarts – although its last Sunday outing was 2½ years ago – but it has been re-invigorated with this new start. On this variation you climb up onto the North Downs ridge (the Hog's Back) for far-reaching views on both sides before dropping down to join the North Downs Way, where the walk notes offer a number of continuations.

If you don't want a pub lunch the simplest option is to follow the book route into Compton via the Watts Gallery tea room and/or Watts Chapel (the latter is free and well worth a visit), before heading back to Guildford via Loseley Park. However, my inclination would be to head first to the popular Withies Inn, which is usually able to squeeze walkers into its bar area for lunch. From here the walk notes direct you straight back to Guildford but it's not difficult to detour into Compton if you want to visit the Chapel and/or Gallery, an extra 1½ km or so.

At the end of the walk there are many possible tea places in Guildford, with the book recommending Debenham's self-service restaurant on the riverfront. There are also several riverside pubs plus a choice of cafés and coffee shops in the High Street.

You'll need to print the new route directions from this Hog's Back Start Option document. For the return route, bring Book 2 or print the relevant pages from the main Book 2 Walk 12 document.


Walker said...

The Witthies Inn is a very nice pub, one of the best, with super helpful staff. So please be nice to them. I dimly remember some SWC party a while back reporting that they had arguments with the staff and got "banned". We definitely don't want to fall out with this place, so be nice.

Back in the summer I went there for lunch on a weekday and ordered at the bar from the restaurant menu. I didn't want to sit inside, so I opted for a table in the garden. Bless them, they sent a white-coated waiter out to lay my table and to serve my meal in proper restaurant style, using fork and spoon to transfer my mousaka neatly from dish to plate (wish I knew how to do that!). So in short, top hole place.


Anonymous said...

As it's a Sunday and pubs are generally busy, I recommend giving them a courtesy call from the station to book a table.

tartanrug said...

Withies claim to be fully booked in the bar tomorrow lunch. Didn't ask about the restaurant. Just so you know.

Walker said...

n=11 on this walk. Weather w=fairly-sunny-in-the-morning w=cloudy-some-rain-in-the-afternoon. A nice climb out of Guildford onto the Hog's Back, from where there was a fine view. Paths minimally muddy apart from one sunken section. The Witthies Inn was alas fully booked, but the Watts Gallery cafe accommodated us, even if the welsh rarebit portions were considered "a bit small for walkers". A few visited the Gallery itself.

After lunch most of us visited Watt's Chapel and then headed off into the woods where there were some squelchy bits to negotiate. It rained as we approached Loseley House but soon stopped. The Wey Navigation was a brown torrent but fortunately not high enough to flood the path.

The Debenham's self-service restaurant was alas closed for some special reason or other, but a few of us eventually found a nice cafe after an exhaustive search. I am not sure we could find it again, however...

Lucilla said...

The cafe in Guildford is called Coffee Culture. It is on Tripadvisor as #2 place for coffee (tea and cakes as well). The link below. It is worth noting it for future outings.