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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, 26 November 2016

Saturday Second Walk - Heaths, commons and woods of metropolitan Surrey

SWC Walk 178 - Oxshott to Ashtead
Length: 15.3km (9.5 miles) or 19.6km (12.2 miles)
Toughness: 3 out of 10

10.03 train from Waterloo (10.12 Clapham Junction, 10.19 Wimbledon) to Oxshott, arriving 10.37.

Buy a day return to Effingham Junction, which will also cover your return from Ashtead

For walk directions click here.

This walk just beyond the south west edges of London has not had an SWC outing for more than two years, or a Saturday outing for three years. On the latter occasion the walk creator famously got lost on the morning section. Others of us reached the lunch pub without trouble, however, so the directions do work (or did in 2013) if you pay close attention to them.

This is a very woody walk and so will be a good opportunity to catch the last of the autumn colour (of which there still seems to be quite a bit despite last Sunday's gales). Another plus point is that you are on sandy soils, which should be less muddy than usual (though I wouldn't turn up in open-toed sandals even so).

The full walk is 12.2 miles but you can cut out a loop on Epsom Common at the end for the 9.5 mile version. There is a further 2 mile shortcut possible at point 11 in the directions, though this misses a nice river section.

Both lunch and tea pubs still seem to be active, if their websites are anything to judge by. Benya's Coffee Shop in Ashtead is now Shakespeare & Co (Isn't that a famous bookshop in Paris? - Ed) and according to my good friend Dr Google is open until 9pm.

Trains back from Ashtead are very frequent 08, 14, 27, 37, 44 and 57 past the hour

1 comment:

Walker said...

N=20 on this walk, delighted by w=unexpected-sun-for-the-first-two-hours-after-which-it-was-cloudy. The mix of woods and heaths and ponds on this walk looked especially pretty at this time of year, with autumn colours still good - gold on birch trees, yellow-green on understorey hazel, and brown on oak.

The lunch pub, The Star, was very busy. It is 8 miles into the walk and it is probably just as well we arrived there a bit later when they were starting to get a few free tables. Nine of us lunched there that I know about - whether any faster walkers were turned away earlier, I do not know. The pub is deservedly popular as the menu is extensive and the service very cheerful.

After lunch we walked through Ashtead Forest - magnificent oak colours - and then Epsom Common as stipulated: there was a fine red dusk sky here. We then went off piste in search of a pub on Epsom Common of which we had nice memories. That was either closed or being refurbished, but we found another - also very busy: pubs in these parts are doing good business, evidently - which served us wine, beer, teas or pudding according to choice. We then got the 18.40 something train from Epsom station.