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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

Monday, 29 August 2016

Bank Holiday Monday Walk 1 - North Downs Way: Caterham to Knockholt

Length: 25.9 km (16.2 mi)
Ascent/Descent: 655/655m; Net Walking Time: 6 ½ hours
Toughness: 9/10           
[shorter versions possible (see the webpage), but mostly depending on buses, which may not run today]            

Take the 09.36 train from Victoria (09.42 CJ), change at East Croydon onto the 09.29 from London Bridge, arrives Caterham 10.24.
Return to Charing X at xx.12 or xx.42, journey time 47 mins (shave off 10 mins by changing at Orpington onto a fast service). Caterham and Knockholt are within the Oyster Zones 1-6.

Tired of reading pages of detailed walk directions? Here is your solution: just follow the well waymarked North Downs Way along one of its better stretches (but do expect some road noise in the early part), with just the minimal directions to hand, found at the bottom of this webpage here.
Lunch is in Botley Hill at the Botley Hill Farmhouse (10.1 km/6.3 mi, food all afternoon). A table has been booked for 13.00 hours. For tea there is nothing close to Knockholt station, but there are 1 or 2 pubs in Knockholt Pound about 4 km from the end and another one a little closer, and a little off-route, in Halstead.

For summary, map, height profile, some photos, walk directions and gpx/kml files click here.


Marion said...

I'd like to join the walk at the lunch stop pub thus avoiding the unnecessary steep ups and downs, motorway noise and losing the route in the woods ascending Botley hill. The last time we did this walk I accepted a lift from Sean who kindly took me to his nearest rail station. He didn't want to do the early section either. Could any of the locals advise on buses from Caterham or would it be better to travel from the tram stop at New Addington to the nearest village (Tatsfield?) and walk down to the pub by road?

Sean said...

Marion: I'm not sure if my taxi service will be operating that day...too much competition from Uber. You're right, Tatsfield is the nearest place with public transport: London Bus 464 runs hourly from the New Addington tram stop at xx:38 (see timetable). It's a 3 km walk to the Botley Hill Farmhouse, either along roads or (if you've got OS 147) via a footpath heading south and then west along the North Downs Way.

Alternatively you could take a train to Oxted (outside Zone 6) and follow the route in Extra Walk 244b to the lunch pub, which is about 4½ km (compared with 10 km from Caterham). But that will also have motorway noise and a big climb through the Titsey Plantation.

Marion said...

Thanks to engineering works I have no trains between Barnes and Clapham junction all over the whole bank holiday weekend inc Monday so no chance of connecting with any walks on BH Monday. Any chance of anyone posting a walk involving a stop at Ealing Broadway?

Anonymous said...

9 out 10??

Anonymous said...

Check the bus timetables, Marion?

Anonymous said...

I think Marion is really after a home pick-up from Barnes to Botley Hill Farmhouse for lunch with an option to walk afterwards or be brought back via a scenic route home to Barnes. Would you allow me?

Thomas G said...

12 walkers off the train (incl. 2 first-timers), plus 1 other on a later one, whom we 'sportingly' gave an easy opportunity to catch us quickly by turning into the wood near 'Devils Hole' along the wrong path and taking a few minutes to realise that much.
So, n=13 in total on a w=sunny-and-warm day, graced by the short cameo appearance at the lunch pub of a certain SE London resident walk author and poster.
Lunch was taken by 9 of us, the 4 sandwichers moved on after a while as we had only just had our food served by then. Quite a satisfying place, the Botley Hill Farmhouse, incl. a fried chicken service in the back garden.
By then most of the climbing had been done of course ('tis just one steep ascent in the arvo), and we went ahead hoping to catch the sandwichers before - or at - the second pub en route for another thirst quencher: The Three Horseshoes in Knockholt Pound.
Not so, and the pub was shut for the afternoon anyway. BUT, the publican had heard our displeased mutterings and offered to open the doors for us regardless, so in we went. Nice garden, but the pub itself looks on its last legs really, some major investment is needed...
One of the gizmo-equipped walkers had - meantime - found out that the other pub in the village was supposed to be a 'hidden gem', so we diverted past it, but there was a live performance of some local talent singing Katrina & The Waves' 1985 cracker 'I'm walking on sunshine', which only made us walk faster, but away from the pub...
Upon approaching the decision point in Halstead we realised we'd miss the next train, so diverted to the pub there, The Cock Inn, settling in for a not so swift one in their garden, to finally catch the 19.12 train.
Many fine views, warm but not too hot weather, only one navigational error despite the spartan directions, very nice company, excellent lunch, a short journey. A pretty good day out.