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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, 1 July 2017

Box Hill Circular - relaxed pace with butterflies, heathland, views and tea

SWC Walk 64 - Box Hill Circular
Length: 15km (9.3 miles)
Toughness: 8 out of 10: some steep climbs

9.31 train from Victoria (9.37 Clapham Junction, 9.59 Sutton) to Box Hill & Westhumble, arriving 10.21.

There is a faint possibility of train disruption on this route due to a drivers' work to rule, although Southern have said they expect to run a full Saturday service. But fear not. In the event that this train gets cancelled, meet near the barriers to that platform and we will plot another route - eg to Clapham Junction and on one of the very regular South West Trains to Dorking. 

For walk directions click here.

Buy a day return to Box Hill & Westhumble - or to Dorking (only a few pence more) if you want to cover yourself for possible train disruption or use the alternative ending from there.

What is life if full of care?
We have no time to stop and stare
No time to stand beneath the boughs 
And stare as long as sheep or cows.... (etc: full poem)

This is not a long walk and so often gets done in autumn and winter. But it also goes over some wonderful terrain for summer wildflowers and butterflies. Eg the slopes of Box Hill can be alive with marbled white butterflies (see photo) at this time of year. (This is weather dependent, however: they tend to hide in wet or very cloudy conditions.)

The walk also has some steep climbs but some pleasant spots with fine views where you might like to take your ease. It is summer, after all....

There are two lunch pubs, both of which can be popular. Because of this - and because of possible train disruption - I have chosen an earlier train time, aiming to arrive at the pubs just as they open. This will also give us lots of time to do the six mile afternoon of the walk and stop to look at things.

Trains back from Box Hill are at 28 past till 18.28, then 19.01 and 01 past to 22.01. If any of these get cancelled, it is not an enormous walk to Dorking (and there are even alternative endings of the walk going there) which has a much bigger choice of trains.


Sandy said...

Planning to join you but getting the 465 bus from Kingston. I should be at Westhumble a few minutes before you, but if not I'll try and catch up. If you do "plot another route" from Clapham Junction, a text on 07817 492330 letting me know would be lovely.
Many thanks

Walker said...

20 at the start on this walk: others dribbled in with various excuses for being late ("the hamster got out", "the dog ate the alarm clock": must try harder, you lot), so I saying n=25 on this walk and who will gainsay me? Three other groups seemed to start with us but none went to the King William IV for lunch, thank God. Getting there early meant we had its fine outside terrace to ourself.

As for the walk, unalloyed delight. Who would guess from all those autumn and winter outings that it was so awash with downland flowers in summer? (Well, I did actually: that is why I posted it.) Loads of butterflies too - mostly meadow brown and ringlet but lots of marbled whites too, and - oh! - was that a silver-washed fritillary? Dear reader, it was! Two of them! The weather was w=bright-cloud-with-some-hot-sun.

The NT kiosk at Box Hill was as busy as ever but for once had no big queues. Most people got trains home far too early. Two of us had a lovely dinner in the garden of the Stepping Stones and then walked to Dorking as an encore in the sunny dusk.