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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 April 2017

Saturday Walk - A gentle walk with lots of bluebells

Book 1, walk 47 - Ockley to Warnham
Length: 16.5km (10.3 miles)
Toughness: 3 out of 10

9.31 train from Victoria (Clapham Junction 9.37, Sutton 9.59) arriving 10.36.

There looks likely to be a group of Metropolitan Walkers on this train also, but they are getting off at Holmwood, the stop before Ockley and are going a different way: no fraternising!!

Buy a day return to Warnham.

For walk directions click here.

This should be the best weekend for bluebells and our website's Where to Find Flowers page says this walk has bluebells in "lots of places, throughout the walk". I wrote that, so it must be true.

Certainly this walk has lots of little woods and shady corners where bluebells ought to lurk, and otherwise passes through gentle countryside which will place a lot fewer demands on you than climbing a Welsh mountain (to take a random example).

Lunch is usually had at the Scarlett Arms - a "walker-friendly pub" but quite a small one and one with a somewhat quirky ordering system, from memory. Ringing it at the start of the walk might not be an awful idea. There is also an earlier option - the Punch Bowl - reached by a small diversion off the route, which could also be worth checking out.

Tea is at the lovely Sussex Oak in Warnham, which has a nice garden and serves gorgeous puddings.

Don't linger too long over tea, however, as the last train back from Warnham is 18.08 (the previous ones being 08 past the hour) and it takes 20 minutes to walk from the pub to the station.

If you miss the last train, there is an 18.41 southbound to Horsham (the last train in that direction), but you will be taking a replacement bus service from there to Three Bridges before picking up a train to Victoria  - a tortuous business, but better than sleeping in the fields.T=1.47

1 comment:

Walker said...

N=28 on this walk including 3 on variant trains. The weather was W=cloud-clearing-to-sun-at-lunchtime. Though I say so myself, this made a lovely spring walk, one which did indeed have bluebells throughout just as advertised. No vast showstoppers but lots of modest woods, all fully carpeted. Also three big areas of wild garlic, pretty much in full flower. Several people commented on how interesting it was to do this walk in spring rather than the autumn slot it used to occupy in the rota. I enjoyed the contrast between the bare branches in March 2016, when I last did the walk, and the lush green today.

For lunch we spilt between the two pubs. I hear the food was a tad slow to appear in the Scarlett Arms. The Punch Bowl was nearly empty and momentarily surprised to have nine of us turn up, but the single member of bar staff was super friendly and the food came quickly and was tasty. On the way to the pub we passed through a gorgeous little bluebell wood that also had, in the space of twenty metres, early purple orchid, woodruff, sanicle, yellow pimpernel and wood speedwell. I realise this list means little to most of you, but for a wildflower enthusiast like me it was a royal flush, an unprecedented concentration of less common woodland species.

We sat outside the Punch Bowl under grey and ever so slightly chilly skies but as we left the pub the sun appeared and it was then a warm and lovely afternoon. We elected not to do the rather niggardly short cut back to the main walk route suggested in the directions but instead went back into the wood to see more bluebells etc, pass the woodland church and come to the Scarlett Arms where we joined some of those who had lunched there.

In the afternoon there was a big field of ewes and lambs who were thrown into delightful consternation by the arrival of a flock of humans. In one other field there were nervous cattle and calves (I was glad at this point that no one on the walk had a dog, even a well-behaved one...). The final delight was the Sussex Oak pub which has a pleasant sunny garden and served proper tea in pots and super puddings with astonishing speed and efficiency. It was only a pity we had to tear ourselves away to catch the last train at 18.08.