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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, 3 September 2016

Saturday Third Walk – the North Downs & Greensand Hills

New Walk – Dorking Circular
Length: 17 to 23 km (10.6 to 14.3 miles), depending on options. Toughness: 6 or 8/10

09:31 Horsham train from Victoria (Clapham Jct 09:37, Sutton 09:59, etc), arriving Dorking (Main) at 10:24. From Victoria (but not intermediate stations) you can get a "Southern Only" day return to Dorking which is 20% cheaper than the standard fare, but you'd have to travel out and back on this route.

If it's more convenient you can travel out via East Croydon, changing at Redhill. I won't clutter things up with details of the connections, but the 10:14 from Redhill arrives at Dorking Deepdene at 10:26 so you can meet the others near the start; while the 10:34 arrives at Dorking West at 10:49 (cutting out the first 1½ km), about the time when the others will be passing this station. All three Dorking stations are covered in the Walk Directions.

Dorking (Main) has Southern services to Victoria at xx:26 & xx:58, while South West Trains depart for Waterloo at xx:04 & xx:34. There are also Great Western trains from Dorking Deepdene to Redhill at around xx:08 & xx:26 if you want to return this way.

You might expect a relatively strenuous Dorking walk to be climbing Box Hill, but this new walk takes in the less familiar territory on the other side of the town. There's a brief overlap with one of the Book 1 walks (#42, Holmwood to Gomshall) around Friday Street, but otherwise this one covers new ground for the SWC.

After about an hour you'll have to choose whether to do the Main Walk (with lunch in Wotton or Friday Street) or the Long Walk (with lunch in one of the Abingers or Friday Street, if you can hold out till then). As both sets of directions could do with checking it would be good if there were some walkers on each. [There's also a Short Walk option after the lunch pub in Wotton, although that's intended for shorter days and/or a later start.]

All the possible lunch pubs are relatively up-market and I'm not sure how they'll cope with the sudden arrival of a large group. It would make sense to choose one and call ahead, or to split up and so get feedback from several pubs on each option. The Walk Notes list some of the many tea places in Dorking but most of them are untried so again feedback on any of them would be welcome. There are plenty of other coffee shops, pubs and restaurants which will be competing for your custom if you loiter in the town before returning.

You'll need to print the directions from this New Walk page. As usual you can click one of the Walk Options to reduce the amount printed, if you're sure which one you'll be doing.


Thomas G said...

24 (or 25 by some people's count) walkers on the platform, 2 more at the gate, 3 more at Deepdene station and 1 more that had taken a bus to The Wotton Hatch lunch pub on the short and medium options to start from there, so I make that (at least) n=30 walkers, the fastest ones of which finished the walk w/o encountering a single drop of the wet stuff from above, so w=overcast-with-sunny-spells, I'd say. [The drizzle, then rain, started the moment we had reached Dorking station.]
Relative chaos ensued from the off, as the long walkers sped off, one disciple of The Church Of The Followers Of A Line On A Screen started the walk the wrong way round, all the way to the lunch pub in Wotton, to then re-trace the walk from there with some other medium walkers; one other walker apparently went straight up the first hill "to explore a different route", never to be seen again (not the woman from SW London you're all thinking of); and the majority of the short and medium walkers were never seen again (by us).
8 of the long walkers reconvened at the Abinger Hatch (traditional pub classics menu, very convincingly executed, delivered at fair speed and for decent prices, and the pub was not very busy at all, so: recommended).
Later we overtook (and assembled into our group) said out-the-wrong-way walker, the bus taker and one other. The 15.58 train was narrowly missed...
As for the walk: very nice, plenty of gentle and not so gentle ascents, shaded woods, far views and pretty villages; minimal overlap with other offerings of this great walking club, so a worthy addition to the list, methinks.
Might be a major challenge in muddy conditions, despite various avoidance routes being described in the text...
Oh, and - of course - there was the - by now customary - cameo appearance of the walk author, this time at the Wotton pub.

Walker said...

Two of us lingered over tea in the Stephan Langton, forgetting that the rain was coming. A few drops towards the end of our sojourn reminded us. We got VERY WET on the walk back into Dorking. Still, I expect the drought-stressed plants all around us were very grateful.