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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

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Saturday Third Walk – Heaths and lakes in the Blackwater valley

Extra Walk 83ab – Crowthorne to Blackwater, via Eversley Cross
Length: 15 km (9.3 miles), with shorter option (see below). Toughness: 1/10

10:30 Portsmouth Harbour train from Waterloo, changing at Guildford (arr 11:03, dep 11:09) for the Reading train, arriving Crowthorne at 11:38. From Clapham Jct you could take the 10:27 Exeter train and change at Woking (arr 10:45, dep 10:55) as well as Guildford. Buy a return to Crowthorne.

Alternatively, if you'd like more time for the critical connection at Guildford, take the 10:15 Haslemere train from Waterloo (Clapham Jct 10:22), arriving there at 10:50.

Trains back from Blackwater towards Redhill (changing at Guildford for Waterloo) are at 25 & 51 minutes past the hour.

Shorter Option: The walk route goes past Sandhurst station after 11¾ km (7.3 miles), where there are hourly trains towards Redhill at 22 minutes past. [You could also take a train in the other direction at 35 minutes past and change at Wokingham for Waterloo, but this takes longer.]

I wouldn't advise travelling back via Reading and changing there for Paddington as this is only valid with a more expensive "Any Permitted Route" ticket (£14.25 vs. £10.45 with a Network Card).

The short version of this walk has only had a couple of winter postings, each of which suffered from a flooded footpath just before the lunch stop. I thought I'd give it an outing in (hopefully) drier conditions, especially now that the relatively new optional extension to Blackwater makes it more suitable for longer days. It covers similar ground to the main version – pine woods, heathland, lakes, pastures and a long stretch alongside the River Blackwater – although to confuse GPS aficionados some of it is in the opposite direction.

There's a choice of two nice lunch pubs just off the large village green at Eversley Cross, the Frog and Wicket and The Chequers. If you finish at Sandhurst the Village Inn is reportedly better for tea or coffee, but a Halloween Beer Festival at the Rose & Crown will doubtless appeal to some. There are no particularly inviting places near Blackwater station, so if you're doing this extension the suggested tea place is Pistachios in the Park café at the entrance to Sandhurst's Memorial Park; allow 35-40 minutes for the final 2½ km.

You'll need to print the directions from the Extra Walk 83 page. You can reduce the amount of printing by clicking "Short" on the Walk Options line, which hides the directions and map routes which are only needed for the Main Walk.

PDF version: As an alternative, a PDF version of the Short Walk variations is on this Walk 83 (short) page. I'd be interested to hear how well this displays on various mobile devices.

1 comment:

Ian T said...

N=12 11 off the train, 1 SWC exile from Hampshire. w=mild-overcast-dry dry underfoot. Some signs of autumn but it could try harder. Pretty none the less. Good walk for fungi, mostly poisonous, some deadly. Chestnuts too.
Lunch at the Frog and Wicket was fine (with the possible exception of a microscopic beetroot tart). Most pressed on to Blackwater. 3 stopped at Sandhurst.