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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, 10 September 2016

Saturday Third Walk: Haslemere to Midhurst via Lurgashall (fully re-written)

SWC Walk 48  Haslemere to Midhurst (via Lurgashall) [slightly revised route, fully revised text]
Length: 21.8 km (13.6 mi)
Ascent/Descent: 604/718m; Net Walking Time: 5 ½ hours
Toughness:  7/10                       

Take the 09.30 Portsmouth Harbour train from Waterloo (09.55 Woking), arrives Haslemere 10.20.
From Clapham J take either the 09.22 stopping service (arrives H’mere 10.16) or the 09.27 to Woking, changing onto the 09.30 Waterloo departure.
Return to Haslemere from Midhurst either by bus number 70 (roughly hourly, £4.90 fare, last dep. 19.05) or by taxi.  
Return trains from Haslemere are on xx.02 (last at 21.02), xx.15, xx.32 (last at 21.32) and xx.39 (last at 19.39), journey time from 48 to 66 mins.

This is an old walk, whose author has been inactive for a while, so the text was somewhat dated. It is now fully revised, and we will take the opportunity to check the new directions!
The route leads from Haslemere station through the town’s centre and along the waymarked Serpent Trail through a small Nature Reserve to rise steeply out of town and back down through Camelsdale to then rise with the Sussex Border Path through pastures and pine and heather covered slopes up to the Black Down. Following the crest through open heathland, with far views across West Sussex and out to Hampshire, you reach the Temple Of The Winds viewpoint, with further panoramic views over the Rother Valley to the South Downs escarpment and easterly across to the West Weald.
A long descent through the sloping open grounds of Blackdown House and through woods leads to the classic Sussex village of Lurgashall, with its pub and church at the corner of a picturesque village green and cricket pitch. The afternoon takes you through a mix of flat farmland and wooded hills to the Cowdray Estate, with its golf course-with-views as well as several polo fields, to the romantic ruins of Cowdray House, as captured by JMW Turner. Climbing from the River Rother’s banks, Midhurst's Norman castle ruins are passed en-route to the old market town's attractive centre with its many tea options.

Lunch is in Lurgashall at The Noah’s Ark Inn (10.3 km/6.4 mi, food to 14.30). A table has been booked for 13.30 hours. 
There is also Lurgashall Winery/Blackdown Distillery en-route (8.7 km/5.4 mi).
For tea there is lots of choice en-route to and in Midhurst (see the pdf for details), recommended are The Halfway Hut (3 km from the end), Cowdray Farm Shop & Cafe (2 km from the end), Garton’s Coffee House, The Wheatsheaf, The Angel Inn and The Olive & Vine.
For summary, map, height profile, photos, walk directions and gpx/kml files click here.


DAC said...

Intend going.

Thomas G said...

You gotta love it when the weather turns out as forecast. In principle.
But when the forecast for the area you are walking in says: w=continuous-rain-from-morning-to-late-afternoon, you kinda hope that it won't be true, as it often is. Unfortunately it was today. Not a walk for fairweather walkers then, so only n=7 (fool)hardy people congregated at Haslemere, immediately donning what waterproofs they had, as what looked like mild drizzle from the train window was actually a fair chuck-down.
The bad thing about heavy rain is: there will be muddy paths. Cue: some muddy paths.
The good thing about heavy rain is: there are no views from the tops. Cue: no delays for admiring this and that far view, also no unnecessary stops for chat or Brexit-talk, just fast walking.
So we arrived at the lunch pub a good 50 minutes before the booked time (!), before creating puddles of rain water on their floor, while enjoying a high quality, convivial lunch.
We were also treated to the sight of a walker donning her puffa-jacket as a skirt, while her (non-waterproof) troosers were deemed to dry out, hanging over the back of a chair (they didn't).
On then to Midhurst, where the front runners arrived at 16.00, well in time for Cream Tea at the Cowdray Cafe (with disappointingly small allocations of cream and jam, one opines). We did also pop into the wine tasting shed (and bought a desert wine from Worcestershire, who would've thunk?).
One more drink at the Angel Inn, then the 18.00 bus.
...and a long delay en route to H'mere, as there had been an accident (an overturned car in a bend of the road), resulting in a temporary road closure. That's the small annoyance of a very wet walk put into some proper perspective, there and then...